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Our UK Locations

Cambridge
Beauty, history and culture
Canterbury
The traditional English experience
Brighton
The UK's coolest seaside town
London
The UK capital

Our US Locations

San Francisco
'The city that knows how'
Chicago
An All-American experience
San Diego
Learn English in a beautiful, sunny beach city
Boston
Study in one of America’s most famous college towns
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Chicago

The third-largest city in the United States, Chicago is a lively city of diverse neighborhoods and endless opportunities. Whether you are looking for museums, concerts, theatre, sports, or great food, Chicago has something to offer. And as the home of more than 60 Fortune 500 Companies, Chicago is the perfect place to learn English and start your career in a global business

Top 5 things to see in Chicago

  • The Cloud Gate (bean sculpture)

    The Cloud Gate (bean sculpture)

  • Art Institute of Chicago

    Art Institute of Chicago

  • Navy Pier

    Navy Pier

  • Millennium Park

    Millennium Park

  • Lincoln Park Zoo

    Lincoln Park Zoo

The School

Stafford House Chicago (formerly known as Intrax) school is located on South Michigan Ave., across the street from Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain is ideally located within walking distance from The Art Institute of Chicago and a quick bus ride to the Shedd Aquarium and The Field Museum. With quick access to public transportation there’s no part of Chicago you can’t experience easily from your English school.

Capacity
270
Classrooms
20
Student Computers
40
Lessons
45 mins long
Students in class
Average 10 (max 15)

School Facilities

  • Student lounge
  • IT lounge
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Student kitchen
  • Self study area
  • Multimedia classroon

Accommodation

Where you live is key to your happiness and academic success. Whether you prefer the independence of a student residence or the familiarity of homestay, our accommodation options are chosen to offer you the flexibility of choice and quality you deserve.

Homestay Accommodations

Living with a family in the Chicago area is a unique way to experience American traditions and culture first-hand. You will practice your English language skills with real Americans every day. If you would like to stay in a homestay, you are placed with a trusted family in the Chicago area. Each family is carefully screened and interviewed. We have single rooms or rooms with roommates. Families provide you with breakfast and dinner every week (14 meals). Most host families are located within 40-60 minutes of Stafford House by public transportation.

Please note: You must give at least four weeks notice before you arrive so we can make sure your homestay is available and reserved. If you have any questions about living with an American family, you can contact the Housing Coordinator.

Residence Club Accommodations

When you choose to live in a Residence Club you will enjoy an independent living situation with an international atmosphere, dormitory-style housing and meal options or shared kitchen. Residence clubs also provide an opportunity to get to know students and travelers from all over the world.

Independent Housing Options

You can reserve your own accommodation, and there is a lot of choice! A Stafford House staff member has visited all of these places and we think they are great value and close to Stafford House. You can find more information about reservations on their websites. You must reserve them directly- we cannot book these for you.

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Meet our team

All of our teachers hold teaching qualifications ranging from certificate to diploma level and are committed to continuous development and share our passion for learning with our students.

  • Angelica Rackow

    Student Enrollment Advisor

    Angelica Rackow, Program Advisor, has been working with our students for more than two years. Angelica was born and raised in Brazil and came to the USA in 2008 as an Au Pair. She also worked in Brazil as an agent for three years and loves helping our students settle in to Chicago.

  • Darzell Brown

    Student Advisor

    Darzell Brown, Student Advisor, is responsible for accommodations and student activities. Darzell loves working with our students because his role directly helps the students experience all that Chicago has to offer through cultural immersion and fun.

  • Dustin Riedel

    Academic Supervisor

    Dustin has worked in ESL for many years as a teacher, teacher trainer, and academic supervisor; he has been at the Chicago school since 2006.  His job is to take care of all of the teachers, classes and students and make sure they have what they need to succeed.  He loves to see students get inspired and excited to learn.

  • Hazem Fahmy

    Administrative Coordinator

    Hazem Fahmy, Administrative Coordinator, has worked at the Chicago school for three years and is responsible for helping students with immigration issues, and processing student enrollments, records, changes and payments. He loves working with our students because it provides mutually enriching experiences and cultural exchanges.

  • Megan Guimon

    Center Director

    Megan Guimon is the Center Director in Chicago.  She has lead the largest Stafford House School in the US for more than three years. Her commitment to education and multicultural experiences has helped create a welcoming and fun environment in the Chicago school.

  • Megan Knight

    Senior Student Advisor

    Megan Knight taught English in Chile for 3 years before joining the Chicago school in July 2013. She manages the Student Ambassador program and is responsible for college and career advising. Megan loves meeting students from all over the world, learning about their cultures, and of course, trying their food.

  • Tom Swietlik

    Lead Teacher

    Tom Swietlik, Lead Teacher, has worked at the Chicago school since 2006 and is responsible for assisting the Academic Supervisor in developing professional development workshops, mentoring teachers and managing curriculum materials. He specializes in English for business purposes and loves helping students reach their learning and professional goals.  

  • Volha Niamera

    Administrative Coordinator

    Volha Niamera, Administrative Coordinator, is responsible for helping students to maintain their immigration status. Volha moved to the United States from Belarus a few years ago and loves helping students on their experience in the USA. 

 
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Social Programmes

It takes more than time in a classroom to learn English and our Social Programmes provide that extra experience that is so crucial to full fluency. Our Activity Leaders are passionate about Chicago and take students on activities designed to show off the special aspects of this great city, allowing students to fully immerse in, and experience, their new home.

  • SUN

    29

    MAY 2016

    Brick by Brick

    Brick by Brick

    Time: 9:30am - 4:00pm | Price: $18

    Meeting point: Museum of Science and Industry.

    Why go? The sensational LEGO® structures and hands-on challenges in Brick by Brick reveal the power of play as a gateway to creating greatness.

  • MON

    30

    MAY 2016

    School CLOSED

    School CLOSED

    Time:

    Why go? The School will be CLOSED for Memorial Day. Enjoy the Holiday.

  • TUE

    31

    MAY 2016

    Bus Tour for new students

    Bus Tour for new students

    Time: 1:30pm | Price: $32

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Discover the Windy City with the Chicago Bus Tour. This is a great event for our new students!

  • WED

    01

    JUN 2016

    Tribeca Flashpoint

    Tribeca Flashpoint

    Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm | Price: Free

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Join us for an exclusive workshop of Tribeca Flashpoint college. Know about this college and be ready to ask questions.

  • THU

    02

    JUN 2016

    Museum of Science

    Museum of Science

    Time: 2:05pm | Price: Free

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Explore the largest museum in the western hemisphere. It is a must see attraction while you study with us at Stafford House!

  • FRI

    03

    JUN 2016

    Gospel Music Festival

    Gospel Music Festival

    Time: 12:35pm | Price: Free

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? The Chicago Gospel Music Festival showcases the best in local, national and international Gospel Music performers.

  • SAT

    04

    JUN 2016

    Greek Festival

    Greek Festival

    Time: 12:00pm - 11:00pm

    Meeting point: Lincoln Park

    Why go? The Lincoln Park Greek Fest brings all the aromas, sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece to your doorstep.

  • SUN

    05

    JUN 2016

    Run at the Zoo

    Run at the Zoo

    Time: 7:45am | Price: Start at $40

    Meeting point: Lincoln Park Zoo

    Why go? This is one of Chicago's oldest running events, attracting children and adult of all levels of ability to compete in a myriad of athletic events.

  • MON

    06

    JUN 2016

    Bus Tour for new Students

    Bus Tour for new Students

    Time: 1:30pm | Price: $32

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Discover the Windy City with the Chicago Bus Tour. This is a great event for our new students!

  • TUE

    07

    JUN 2016

    Copa America USA

    Copa America USA

    Time: 5:00pm | Price: $75

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? This year, the Copa America Bicentenario is here in the USA. Join us for a big soccer game! USA vs Costa Rica. Buy the tickets at the front desk!!

  • WED

    08

    JUN 2016

    Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

    Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

    Time: 2:05pm | Price: Bring Cash

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Ice creams, frozen yogurts, sorbets, ice cream sandwiches, and toppings! That sounds amazing! Lets go together to this artisan ice-cream company!

  • THU

    09

    JUN 2016

    Bike Rental

    Bike Rental

    Time: 2:05pm | Price: $10 per hour

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Chicago has a national reputation as one of the best large cities in the United States for bicycling. It’s a great way to spend a day outside.

  • FRI

    10

    JUN 2016

    Soccer at Foster Beach

    Soccer  at  Foster Beach

    Time: 12:35pm | Price: Free

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Do you love soccer? We will be heading to Foster Lakeshore Dr. to play! Come join us!

  • SAT

    11

    JUN 2016

    Pilsen Food Truck Fest

    Pilsen Food Truck Fest

    Time: 11:00am - 10:00pm | Price: $5

    Meeting point: 18th St. and Allport St.

    Why go? The event will feature about 30 Illinois Food Truck Owner Association affiliated food trucks, live music, plus local Pilsen restaurants and retailers.

  • SUN

    12

    JUN 2016

    Spring Awakening

    Spring Awakening

    Time: | Price: $169

    Meeting point: Jackson Park

    Why go? Spring Awakening Music Festival is an electronic music festival that takes place in Chicago, Illinois.

  • MON

    13

    JUN 2016

    Bus Tour for new Students

    Bus Tour for new Students

    Time: 1:30pm | Price: $32

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Discover the Windy City with the Chicago Bus Tour. This is a great event for our new students!

  • TUE

    14

    JUN 2016

    Shedd Aquarium

    Shedd Aquarium

    Time: 2:05pm | Price: Free

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Hang out with Nemo the fish under the sea at the most modern aquarium in America!

  • WED

    15

    JUN 2016

    Ferris Wheel Navy Pier

    Ferris Wheel Navy Pier

    Time: 2:05pm | Price: Bring cash

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? The new attraction, dubbed the Centennial Wheel, offers a higher, longer and also higher-speed hoop ride. You don't want to miss it!

  • THU

    16

    JUN 2016

    Visit Graceland Cemetery

    Visit Graceland Cemetery

    Time: 2:05pm | Price: Free

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Graceland Cemetery is one of Chicago's finest hidden treasures. It's the final resting place to many prominent Chicago figures.

  • FRI

    17

    JUN 2016

    Beach Volleyball

    Beach Volleyball

    Time: 12:35pm | Price: $3

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Join your classmates for the battle of the century. Beach Volleyball has finally arrived to the school again. Join us!

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Nationality Mix

A healthy mix is key to students progression in English language and at Stafford House we are proud of a wide nationality mix across all our centres.

Top 5 Nationalities

  • Saudi Arabian
  • Thai
  • Brazilian
  • Korean
  • Other

Meet our students

To browse our student stories, click on their profile image below to read detailed student profiles.

  • Carelly

    Carelly

    Brazil

    The part I liked most was learning about business language, self-promotion and the opportunity to work with native speakers. I also refined my skills with computer software.

  • Carlos

    Carlos

    Brazil

    My English experience in Chicago is complete. Here I can live in one of the biggest and greatest cities in the world, explore the diversity that only metropolitans can provide without giving up of living the real American culture. The city is home of many historical places and is a vibrant part of the American history. Stafford House allows me to make my English classes much more than lessons inside the classroom - they give me great opportunities to understand and experience the culture while I learn the language.

  • Champ

    Champ

    Thailand

    I am from Thailand. I have spent four months at Stafford house, and all staff is very helpful and generous to help me improve my English skills. I have gone to TOEFL Class and Business English Class. I learned a lot of skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. It helps me to deal with the TOEFL exam but I also learn how I can use those skills that I have learned in everyday life. The business class is very interesting because it has a new interesting topic every week. I have an opportunity to make friends coming from other countries. A teacher is very helpful and always encourages me to speak English in and out classroom. There are a lot of interesting activities going on every week such as a restaurant tour, going to museums around Chicago, watching a movie, special activities, etc. Finally, all the staff and teachers are willing to encourage you to improve your English. I am looking forward to seeing you at Stafford House Chicago,

  • Chia-Tzu

    Chia-Tzu

    Taiwan

    I’m from Taiwan. I graduated from Business Administration last year. I decided to participate in CPA course because I wanted to learn America business culture and improve my resume with an American work experience with the goal to find a better job when I go back to my country or find a job in China or U.S.

  • Daniel

    Daniel

    Brazil

    Staying with a host family was the best experience for me. Living with a family helped speed up my learning process, because we talked a lot during dinners.

  • Flavie

    Flavie

    Belgium

    I chose to participate in Career Preparation Activity because I wanted to improve my resume with an American work experience with the goal to find a better job in Journalism. My favorite experience was the networking events because it was the first time for me that I had the opportunity to work in the field of public relations and events and I'd always wanted to.

  • Grace

    Grace

    Taiwan

    Chicago is a great city to live and experience new diverse culture. My English skills improve a lot through the classes that Stafford House provides. Now, I'm in TOEFL class, where we get solid practice in the class every day. I feel that my English is a lot better now than on the first day of class. The teacher provides us with different materials, not only from the textbook but also CNN news, TED, etc., so we learn more than rules from the textbook. We learn to prepare for TOEFL from real world examples and situations. It's a great class!

  • Jessica

    Jessica

    Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

    TOEFL class not just helps you to get a high score in the test, it is also a great opportunity to improve your skills in reading, listening and speaking. The teacher will give you all the tools to recognize all kind of questions that you will see in the test and will give you different techniques which would help you to improve your abilities and make you faster and efficient. 

  • Malai

    Malai

    Thailand

    I didn’t have any knowledge about Project Management so I was really nervous before I studied in this class. But I realized that the teacher and classmates help me a lot. The class was really pleasant and it was not only useful for my career path and daily life but also it was a good chance to work with other international students. I practiced how to present in public places, how to do a project, how to communicate, etc. Moreover, the friendships that I have made with staff, teachers, and other students from Stafford House make them my lovely family in the United States.

  • Natsuko

    Natsuko

    Japan

  • Nikki

    Nikki

    Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of

    As part of the Project Management Program not only did I enjoy the course and the challenges it posed, but the program has significantly increased my knowledge and in turn my confidence. Studying in a multicultural environment has enhanced my communication skills, enriched my life experience, reinforcing my personal growth. Every class, professor and classmate has contributed to my rich education. I am thankful for what Stafford house stands for and I have no hesitation in recommending this course to others considering undertaking it.

  • Polyana

    Polyana

    Brazil

    The most beneficial part of participating in the Career Preparation Activity was learning how to work abroad and learning English in a different way. This experience will help me be confident when I apply to companies in the future.

  • Riku

    Riku

    Japan

    I am a college student from Japan. I took a year off from my university to study abroad. I am taking Professional Certificates as regular classes along with CPA elective. I chose CPA to improve my resume and to experience an American workplace. I think it will help me when I look for a job because I wish to work for an international company in the future and it is good to know what American workplace is as well as how a global company works.

    Through this working experience at Blackstone Group, I learned a lot. My tasks were not the same everyday. They gave me many different tasks with different people so that I could do wide range of work and interact with many people. I also appreciate their supportive attitudes. They brought me interesting tasks and gave me helpful feedback on my work such as report writing and email to clients. Also when I was in marketing class at intrax someone in the market department shared their marketing plans with me and when I was in project management class I was working with a project team so I could make connections between what I learned in class and what is happening in the actual business world.

  • Ryota

    Ryota

    Japan

    I work for a pharmaceutical company in Japan and study in Chicago for several months to improve my English. The reason why I applied CPA program is because I wanted to practice English more with native speakers and to have a working experience in an American company or organization. As I work for the pharmaceutical industry, I looked for a company or organization related to healthcare. Although there were few options, I got a opportunity to work with Imerman Angels fortunately. My ordinary responsibilities were to support management of donation, the list of volunteer contact, and brochure requests from people who are interested in our activities. Coworkers are very kind and they accepted what I wanted to do. I asked them to let me join some social events (Brunch Run/Walk 5K, Sweet Treat Socials, Wings of Hope Gala, and Lunch & Learn). Especially in the events called "Socials" in our organization, I visited some hospitals and talked with some healthcare professionals and many cancer fighters and caregivers. I'm impressed by their mission and activities. These experiences must be helpful to work in the healthcare industry around the world.

  • Severo

    Severo

    Spain

    I’m Spanish graduated in Business Management and Marketing, with 10 years of professional experience in Sales, Marketing and PR areas. I took the CPA program because I wanted to improve my English in a real professional English environment.

    I had the opportunity to work on a variety of dynamic projects, observing numerous aspects of Marketing, PR, and Communication. From preparing presentations for potential investors, researching information about hospitality groups in Chicago and different conferences and workshops around US, updating their partner database thru phone calls, writing articles about actuality issues related with entrepreneurial and law aspects, preparing possible questions for different speakers in workshops, writing a welcome letter to participants upcoming events and taking part in different internal and external meetings. At the same time, I had the possibility of learning about the US professional culture and the differences respect to Europe. But, now, the most important thing to me is all of these things have increased my self self confidence and adds important value to my resume.

  • Yuichi

    Yuichi

    Japan

    Chicago is a diverse city, so I had many chances to communicate with people who have different backgrounds. The knowledges that I got there helps me to be more active in classes at University now.

 
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Our Courses

We have a range of programmes to suit all english levels. You can count on our experienced teachers to empower and guide you through your journey in English, they go the extra mile to immerse you in their language and culture.

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Sample Timetables

The Standard programme consists of the Core Course in the morning or afternoon. The school will choose which time you will study at.

Morning Schedule: Mon-Thurs
AM Lesson 1 AM Lesson 2 AM Lesson 3 Break Lesson 4 Lesson 5
8:30-9:20 9:20- 10:10 10:10-10:45 10:45-11:05 11:05 – 11:55 11:55 – 12:35
Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course
OR Afternoon Schedule: Mon-Thurs
PM Lesson 1 PM Lesson 2 PM Lesson 3 Break PM Lesson 4 PM Lesson 5
14:10-15:00 15:00-15:50 15:50-16:25 16:25-16:45 16:45-17:35 17:35-18:15
Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course

Intensive General English, Business and Exam preparation programmes consist of the Core Course in the morning or afternoon plus one module.

Morning Schedule: Mon-Thurs
AM Lesson 1 AM Lesson 2 AM Lesson 3 Break Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Break Lesson 6
8:30-9:20 9:20- 10:10 10:10-10:45 10:45-11:05 11:05 – 11:55 11:55 – 12:35 12:35-13:05 13:05-14:05
Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Module Course
OR Afternoon Schedule: Mon-Thurs
PM Lesson 1 Break PM Lesson 2 PM Lesson 3 PM Lesson 4 Break PM Lesson 5 PM Lesson 6
13:05-14:05 14:05-14:10 14:10-15:00 15:00-15:50 15:50-16:25 16:25-16:45 16:45-17:35 17:35-18:15
Module Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course

Super Intensive General English, Business and Exam preparation programmes consist of the Core Course in the morning or afternoon plus two modules.

Morning Schedule: Mon-Thurs
AM Lesson 1 AM Lesson 2 AM Lesson 3 Break Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Break Lesson 6
8:30-9:20 9:20- 10:10 10:10-10:45 10:45-11:05 11:05 – 11:55 11:55 – 12:35 12:35-13:05 13:05-14:05
Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Module Course
+ Friday
AM Lesson 1 AM Lesson 2 AM Lesson 3 Break Lesson 4 Lesson 5
8:30-9:20 9:20- 10:10 10:10-10:45 10:45-11:05 11:05 – 11:55 11:55 – 12:35
Module Course Module Course Module Course Module Course Module Course
OR Afternoon Schedule: Mon-Thurs
PM Lesson 1 Break PM Lesson 2 PM Lesson 3 PM Lesson 4 Break PM Lesson 5 PM Lesson 6
13:05-14:05 14:05-14:10 14:10-15:00 15:00-15:50 15:50-16:25 16:25-16:45 16:45-17:35 17:35-18:15
Module Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course Core Course
+ Friday
AM Lesson 1 AM Lesson 2 AM Lesson 3 Break Lesson 4 Lesson 5
8:30-9:20 9:20- 10:10 10:10-10:45 10:45-11:05 11:05 – 11:55 11:55 – 12:35
Module Course Module Course Module Course Module Course Module Course