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Career Preparation Activity

Stafford House offers you a global professional experience with the Career Preparation Activity. Develop your resume and interview skills and progress with confidence towards your career goals by spending time in an American company.

Benefits

  • Practice English with American colleagues and experience an authentic work environment
  • Learn industry-specific vocabulary and the casual English used in the workplace
  • Apply your skills and knowledge to host company projects and tasks
  • Learn interview skills and build confidence for your placement and future job searches

Outcomes

  • Stafford House Career Preparation Activity Certificate
  • Reference letter from an American host company
  • International experience for your resume
  • Network of international contacts

Course facts

Visa
F-1 student visa
Course
Intensive (25 lessons per week)
Level
Upper-intermediate
Course length
Minimum 12-48 weeks
Age
18+
Course start dates
Jan 4, Feb 29, May 2, Jul 5, Aug 29, Oct 31

How it works

Part one:
4 weeks: career preparation module

1. Take a minimum of Intensive course for 4 weeks that includes a Career Preparation Module

  • Prepare your American style resume
  • Learn about American office culture and etiquette
  • Practice interview techniques
  • Research the host company

2. One to one meetings with the Career Preparation Advisor to discuss your goals, experience and career objectives to find the best host company for you

3. Stafford House Career Preparation Advisor schedules an in-person interview with a host company

Part two:
week 5- 12+ : career preparation activity

4. The Career Preparation Activity is an unpaid host company placement. Your placement is part-time (10-15 hours per week) and takes place in the host company alongside your Stafford House lessons either morning or afternoon depending on your schedule

Learning

CPA host company placements

Our placements are in small and medium sized host companies, start-ups, and even a few well known brand names, but the most important factor is that that students are involved in meaningful company activities and tasks and learn from business owners and leaders.

In these carefully chosen companies, you will practice speaking English with American professionals, increase your confidence and boost your professional development. Career Placement Advisors match you with American host companies according to your interests, and abilities and where you will have an experience that will benefit your future careers.

*Placements are not to be considered employment or training in your area. Once accepted on the program a placement is guaranteed, but we do not promise placements in specific areas or companies.

Placement areas:

  • Business Administration
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Social Services (NGO)
  • Hospitality

A few of our favorite host companies:

Mosser Hotel San Francisco | Hosteling International Chicago and Boston | Young at Art (Children’s creative Institute) San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego | San Diego Habitat for Humanity San Diego | Digital Strategic Marketing San Diego The San Hose Group Chicago | Asian Art Museum San Francisco | ISX World Boston

Testimonials

  • Carelly

    Brazil

    Student

    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.

  • Charles

    France

  • Chia-Tzu

    Taiwan

    Student

    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.

  • Claire

    Taiwan

  • Flavie

    Belgium

    Student

    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.

  • Luke

    Taiwan

  • Patty

    Taiwan

    Student

    I have to say my Career Preparation Activity exceeded my expectations. The company was very generous and my co-workers are very friendly to me.

  • Polyana

    Brazil

    Student

    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.

  • Rachel

    South Korea

    Student

    On the first day in Career Preparation Activity, my boss asked me what do I wanted to do and I said something about marketing. Then she gave me whole marketing projects related to the company.

  • 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

    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

    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.

  • Tsubasa

    Japan

    I enjoyed my experience in the CPA program and was placed at Marriot San Diego. This experience is precious for me because I could talk with a lot of native speaker. Because of this school, I could improve my English skill and also get many friends from all over the world.

 
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How to enroll

Take our Online English test to check your English level - www.staffordhouse.com/online-english-test

(An official Stafford House placement test must be taken before acceptance on the CPA activity is guaranteed).

  • Choose your start date: Jan 4, Feb 29, May 2, July 5, Aug 29 Oct 31
  • Complete and submit our Application Form

Quick Quote

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Use the fields above to estimate course fees.

Sample timetable

Week 1

Course

Intensive or Super Intensive*
General English
Business English
Test Preparation TOEFL / Cambridge
Professional Certificates

* Super Intensive module taken on Friday mornings

Module

Activity introduction and meetings with the CPA Advisor

Week 2

Course

Intensive or Super Intensive*
General English
Business English
Test Preparation TOEFL / Cambridge
Professional Certificates

* Super Intensive module taken on Friday mornings

Module

Meeting with CPA advisor about placement and resume preparation

Week 3

Course

Intensive or Super Intensive*
General English
Business English
Test Preparation TOEFL / Cambridge
Professional Certificates

* Super Intensive module taken on Friday mornings

Module

Research the Host Company and learn about American office etiquette.

Week 4

Course

Intensive or Super Intensive*
General English
Business English
Test Preparation TOEFL / Cambridge
Professional Certificates

* Super Intensive module taken on Friday mornings

Module

Practice Interview techniques

Week 5-12+

Course

Intensive or Super Intensive*
General English
Business English
Test Preparation TOEFL / Cambridge
Professional Certificates

* Super Intensive module taken on Friday mornings

Activity

Placement begins in the Host Company

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FAQ's - Your career preparation questions answered

Q: Can I book a Career Preparation Activity after I arrive?

A: Yes, you may register for the activity after you arrive providing you have an F1 student visa and that you can start the programme on the official start date with a minimum of 12 weeks available for the full course.

Q: Can I request a certain company?

A: We will do our best to match you with a host company according to your interests, and abilities and where you will have an experience that will benefit your future careers. It is important to note that the purpose of the Activity is to give you the opportunity to practise speaking English in the American workplace.

Q: Can I do a full time placement after my course ends?

A: No, you must be a full-time student of Stafford House to take this course. This means you must take a full time programme of 25 lessons per week in addition to the Career Preparation Activity.

Q: Can I extend my course in order to do a longer Career Activity Placement?

A: Yes, as long as you are within your Visa allowance.

Q: Can I do the Career Preparation Activity on a Tourist Visa

A: No, in order to do a Career Preparation Activity with Stafford House you must study with a F1 Student Visa.

Q: Are placements guaranteed?

A: Providing you have an Upper Intermediate level of English and have been accepted onto the programme by a Career Placement Advisor, we guarantee that you will have a placement.

Q: Can I know my placement company before I arrive?

A: Placements are made during the 4-week Career Preparation Activity Module. During this you will meet with the Career Placement Advisor who will discuss your placement and expectations. They will arrange an interview with a company and help you to prepare for that interview. If the interview is not successful then they will arrange other interviews until you are accepted.

Q: Will I receive any payment during my placement?

A: No, the purpose of the placement is to give you experience speaking English in the workplace and should not be considered employment or training.

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