Making Creative Education Accessible for ESL and International Students

By: Rachel Handel

June 15, 2022

At The Art Institutes, we want to ensure that every student learns in a supportive and enriching environment—and we have measures in place to direct new students to helpful organizations and connections that will bring out the best of their creativity.

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For students who are not native English speaking or who live outside of the United States, we begin by inviting them to a virtual meeting where admission, application, and the visa process are explained in detail. Once accepted, these students begin their studies at Miami International University of Art & Design, which is home to The Art Institutes’ ESL (English as a second language) program. There, students study English as they take other classes that count toward their major. Once they’ve achieved English proficiency, they may choose to transfer to another location of The Art Institutes.

According to Jose J. Castro, International Marketing Director at Miami International University of Art & Design, ESL and international students are guided throughout the education process, including getting help with cultural adaptation. “We also provide information such as how to obtain a driver’s license, how to open a bank account, and international student health insurance,” he says.

On campus, ESL and international students become a part of the creative community with activities designed just for them—including trips outside the classroom to museums and galleries. There, students are also encouraged to practice their English to build language and communication skills.

A recent school-organized trip took ESL students to the de la Cruz Collection gallery located in Miami's Design District. There, a group of students viewed contemporary art during a guided tour of the collection, including paintings, sculptures, and site-specific installations from the private collection of the la Cruz family.

The Art Institutes’ College Bound program, which gives high school students the chance to take college-level courses and potentially earn proficiency credit at The Art Institutes, are also open to ESL and international students. Castro mentions that College Bound is a great option for high schoolers who are looking to practice their English and learn new skills in a supportive environment.

Castro adds that he feels a special connection to ESL students because he was once an international student. “I can easily relate to prospective students and parents when it comes to the challenges and expectations of studying abroad.” Despite the challenges, he asserts that trying something new—and pushing creativity—is a valuable life lesson. “International education helps people to develop and achieve their aspirations.”

Interested in learning more about the support The Art Institutes offers to international and ESL students? Contact Jose J. Castro at or +1 (305) 428-5903 to discuss options that can help you to reach your creative goals.

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By: Rachel Handel

June 15, 2022