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Converse International School of Languages

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Quick facts:

  • Your Gap Year in California
  • A pathway into the best American universities
  • Combine English language teaching with an internship

CISL is a unique language school based in San Diego and San Francisco (California). Established in 1972, CISL has offered high quality language courses for 45 years, all of which are accredited by the CEA (Commision on English Language Program Accrediation).

CISL San Diego English School Tour

CISL San Diego is located in San Diego's trendy Gaslamp Quarter within easy walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops, night clubs, shopping, and public transportation.

CISL is particularly well known for its personalised approach to teaching. Class sizes never exceed 8 students, meaning each individual can progress in the best conditions possible and benefit from personalised teaching.



ICFTU offers different language programs (intensive English classes, conversation classes …) as well as unique year-long programs of which there are 3 formats :


Academic Gap Year

Through partnerships with two Community Colleges in the region: Berkeley City College and Grossmont College, CISL offers a one-year program that combines English and academic courses.

During your first semester, you will follow a linguistic refresher program, which will enable you to reach a C1 level in English. Once this level is reached, you can then transfer to one of the two Community Colleges for a semester of academic courses in subject area(s) of your choice.


This program is ideal for students who need to work on their English and wish to discover the American university system. With a semester of total immersion in Community College, you will be able to experience university life in the US, whilst having the guarantee of mastering your English by the end of your program. Finally, the university credits you will validate during your second semester may be recognised if you wish to continue your studies within the Community College. This is an ideal option if you wish to validate your degree more quickly.


Pathway Program

For those who wish to study in the US but do not hold the required level of English, CISL offers bridging programs in agreement with American universities to facilitate your admission.

ICFTU offers more than 25 possible transfers to universities or colleges across the country – through their bridging programs you will be able to take language preparation courses to join one of these universities.

In addition to your English lessons, the preparation program will give the benefit of receiving help and guidance from a coordinator who will help you select institutions you will be able to transfer to and accompany you along the admissions process.

In addition, through these programs, you will not need to pass the IELTS or the TOEFL. Thanks to the agreements negotiated between the school and its partner universities, validating your refresher program exempts you from official tests. ICFTU offers you here a royal route to study in the USA!


To apply in this program you will have to provide your last obtained degree (baccalaureate). A level of English B1 + will also be required.

English course + internship (San Diego only)

Many of you dream of doing an internship in the USA but it is often very difficult to find a remote company. With ICFTU’s Career English program, it’s now a possibility!

This program is for students who wish to improve their English in a professional setting. The program is divided into two parts:


  • You will first follow a linguistic upgrade (minimum 6 weeks). The exact duration of this first installment will depend on your current level. You will take general English classes but also conversation classes and Business English to prepare you to integrate into US company. Throughout this first part, you will also work in close collaboration with the school coordinators who will help you find your internship in accordance with your interests.
  • Once the language upgrade is done, you will be working full time in a US company. The duration of the internship is 6 to 8 weeks (2 months). ICFTU works with a very large number of companies in the San Diego area. Whether you are interested in an internship in business, architecture, fashion, law, NGO / non-profit … CISL will find you the ideal company for your project. During this internship period, you will remain in contract with the coordinators of the school to check that everything is going well. Once your internship is complete, you will receive a certificate proving that your program has been successfully completed and you will also receive a letter of recommendation from your company.

Warning: Internships in the USA are not paid – the positions offered are “Volunteer Positions”

In order to integrate into such a program, you will need to meet these requirements:

  • Be over 18
  • Have completed at least one year of advanced study or professional experience in the field in which you wish to do your internship
  • Have a level of English B1 + minimum.


For more information on CISL programs contact a member of the Study Experience team.

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