F.A.Q.

Category

Summer CampModel UNWinter Camp

Why should I choose the YES USA programs?

There are definitely many reasons why we think we are the best junior program in New York City. In a nutshell, we guarantee the best experience to each one of our students by ensuring the highest quality of the services we provide, which include but are not limited to:

  • effective English lessons with expert ESL teachers
  • daily excursions and activities with our fun and friendly activity leaders
  • safe and caring environment
  • 24/7 availability of our support team.

Which visa is needed to participate in the YES USA Junior programs?

Our Junior programs includes 20 lessons (15 hours) of English classes per week, which fits the U.S. Immigration requirements of studying less than 18 hours a week for a short period on a tourist visa.


Participants are required to have a tourist visa to enter the US. Those coming from the Visa Waiver Program countries are eligible to come on their ESTA.

How long is your Summer Camp?

YES USA runs an 8-week program, but students typically come to us for two weeks. Occasionally some of our groups come for as short as one week and more rarely for 4-6 weeks.

We have 4 two-week sessions in total over an 8-week period with fixed arrival and departure dates, as per the booking page.

Who are YES USA students?

Our students, aged 12-19 (average age is 15-16 years old), come from all around the world: Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Georgia, Italy, Nigeria, Spain, Ukraine, Russia, just to name a few. Nationality mix varies from year to year.

What does a typical day at YES USA Summer Camp look like?

Our Summer Camp is genuinely an intensive immersion program as we keep our participants busy at all times. Because our students come to the US for a short period, we want them to get the most of their time here.

This is how a typical day with YES USA may look like:

During the weekdays, students attend class in the mornings and go on excursions after lunch. The excursion program is quite intense, so they come back at around 9 or 10 pm. On some days, they may come earlier depending on the sight they visit and their energy level. On some afternoons instead of visiting city sights, we arrange on-campus activities. Students participate in exciting events planned by our activity leaders and spend their afternoon chilling out on campus.

On weekdays, there are no English lessons (yay!), so students go out to explore the Big Apple for the entire day right after a hearty brunch!


How are students grouped for their English lessons?

Students will be required to do a placement test, which is an important step in the process and includes three sections:

  • a written placement test that focuses on reading, vocabulary and grammar,
  • a speaking test to evaluate speaking, and
  • an essay writing portion to assess their writing skills.

Based on the average result of all the parts of the test, student age, and nationality, we will place them in the right group accordingly.

How much will students improve their English?

Students can see a huge improvement in their speaking fluency and listening after our fully-immersion program. However, it’s really what the student makes of it. We encourage students to speak only English or as much English as possible during their program to ensure their improvement. Our goal is for students to be able to advance their levels of English within a short period of time, so teachers gear lessons based on students’ interests to get them fully engaged and motivated.

Do students receive any feedback or evaluation on their progress in English during the course? Is there any final exam?

Students receive a weekly evaluation as well as an end-of-course evaluation, so this is very motivating for students to try and improve all of their language skills as much as possible. There is no exam at the end of the course, but students do receive a certificate and take part in a small graduation ceremony (a bittersweet moment!) with their teachers and peers.

What makes your excursion program special?

Students will get to see the most prominent places of interest and learn lots of interesting facts about them through casual and engaging interactions with our activity leaders. Participants will learn about the places of interest through spontaneous conversations with our knowledgeable and friendly activity leaders who keep students involved and motivated on excursions.

What makes the program unique is that we don’t just take campers to excursion sights, we share our culture with them. Not only do participants make friends with each other but also with our approachable activity leaders. Many of our staff members are still in touch with students years after the program ended, and some of them even catch up with each other in various parts of the world. YES USA helps students create life-long memories and build friendships!

Is there any free time during excursions? What can students do during their free time? Where can they go?

Yes, there is some free time for students to buy souvenirs or explore a place a little bit more at their own pace. We give students up to one hour of free time on excursions, during which they are allowed to walk around within a designated area, specified by their activity leader. Campers are only allowed to move in small groups and never alone. Should they want to hang out with their activity leaders during this time, they can also opt for staying with them.

How are students supervised during excursions? How do you make sure that students are safe at all times? How do you make sure that nobody is lost?

We have special safety, security, and emergency protocols in place that we strictly follow while dealing with minors. Before the arrival, students will be provided with a set of rules known as Student Code of Conduct, which includes excursion rules. In addition, during the Student Orientation, we will explain the excursion rules and tell students what is expected from them when we go off campus while moving as a group, taking public transportation, and going into excursion venues, etc.

Our experienced activity leaders take their jobs extremely seriously. They make sure students are accounted for at all times by taking roll-calls before leaving the campus, while on excursion, and once they are back on campus to ensure students’ safety.

In case a student does get lost while off campus, we have a missing student procedure in place. Each student will have their student ID with an emergency phone number to call for this reason, so that we could quickly find them and join back to the group.

How much money do students need to have with them?

Our program is fully-inclusive, which means that children won’t need any extra money unless they want to buy souvenirs. Some students don’t want to buy anything expensive apart from a few magnets or T-shirts “I love New York” while others come with a long shopping list, which may include pricey designer brands and electronic gadgets for their friends and family. In other words, the amount of money campers should have with them really depends on the student’s shopping plans.


Is there anything that is NOT included in the price of the fully-inclusive package?

Absolutely everything is included apart from the participant’s flight tickets, visa fees, if applicable, and medical insurance, which is mandatory to have. Parents can choose either to book medical coverage from us or purchase it from their own provider.

Also, while round transportation to/from the airport upon arrival and departure is included for groups of 12+, these services are not part of our fully-inclusive package for individual students. Should parents of solo travelers want to add it to the package, they should select this service upon booking the program.

What do students need to pack with them?

  • Comfortable clothes - please be ready for extreme temperatures (very hot outside, very cold inside buildings and on the subway) and rainy weather.
  • Some warm items of clothing, including a sweater and a scarf.
  • A beach towel and a bathing suit
  • An umbrella
  • Pocket money (if needed).

Towels as well as linens are provided and changed weekly. There are also laundry rooms in the residence hall where students can wash their clothes, if they wish.

Is there any paperwork that parents/students need to complete before their arrival?

Yes, both YES USA and our hosting institution will require parents and students to complete some forms well ahead of the arrival date. There will be some liability forms, medical forms, and a set of rules to be read and signed.

What are your COVID prevention measures?

YES USA complies with guidelines on prevention of COVID-19 enforced by our hosting institution while on campus. Therefore, everyone coming to our program must be vaccinated, as requested by the University. In addition, St. John’s has enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols in place which involves cleaning and disinfecting all buildings prior to the start of each day. Throughout the day they have a Disinfection Team that tours buildings and disinfects high-volume touch points such as doorknobs, levers, handrails, railings, restrooms, and elevator buttons.

Students have access to hand sanitizer, with multiple stations throughout each campus, and sanitizing wipes that are available for individual use in each classroom, and in shared spaces (such as cafeterias), etc.

There are a lot of signs across the campus to remind everyone of the importance of hand washing and sanitizing, the use of masks, gloves, etc., as well as social distancing.

When we go out on excursions, take public transportation and go inside public venues for excursion purposes, YES USA follows the city requirements which are social distancing, the use of personal protective equipment, constant reminders to students to wash and sanitize their hands.

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