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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
'America's finest city'
Boston
The education capital of America

Our Canada locations

Toronto
Dynamic multicultural metropolis
Calgary
Traditional Canadian Experience
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Chicago

Learn English in the third-largest city in the USA. Our Chicago English school centrally located in this 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
225
Classrooms
14
Lessons
45 minutes long
Student Computers
15
Students in class
Average 11 (max 15)

School Facilities

  • Student lounge
  • IT lounge
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Student kitchen
  • Self study area
  • Interactive whiteboards

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.

HOMESTAY

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.

  • Dustin Riedel

    Director of Studies

    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.

  • Elizabeth Meininger

    Student Enrollment Advisor

    Elizabeth is the Student Enrollment Advisor in Chicago and helps students with their questions throughout the enrollment process. Her passion for traveling and learning about different cultures has enabled her to engage communities in Colombia, Tunisia, and the Czech Republic in English learning. She is happy to continue helping people all around the world to achieve their English learning goals. 

  • 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.

  • 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.  

 
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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.

  • SAT

    17

    NOV 2018

    Pixel Art Workshop

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    Pixel Art Workshop

    Time: 1:00 pm | Price: Free!

    Meeting point: 400 S Peoria St

    Why go? Create your own pixel art game sprites--no programming experience required!

  • SUN

    18

    NOV 2018

    Toy and Game Fair

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    Toy and Game Fair

    Time: 10:00 am | Price: $7 - $15

    Meeting point: Navy Pier

    Why go? Expand your brains, get social, come out and play with us at the largest non-hobby toy and game fair in the country.

  • MON

    19

    NOV 2018

    Bowling

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    Bowling

    Time: 2:50 pm | Price: $15

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? After an amazing turnout, we return to Lucky Strike for another rousing game of bowling--don't miss out!

  • TUE

    20

    NOV 2018

    The Parthenon

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    The Parthenon

    Time: 1:30 pm | Price: Bring cash

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? To try those awesome varieties of Greek foods.

  • TUE

    20

    NOV 2018

    Christkindlmarket

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    Christkindlmarket

    Time: 2:50 pm | Price: Free!

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Looking for unique gifts for the holidays? Shop to your heart's content at this open-air market set at the Daley Plaza.

  • WED

    21

    NOV 2018

    Thanksgiving Lunch

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    Thanksgiving Lunch

    Time: 12:00 pm | Price: $5

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Gather for a traditional Thanksgiving lunch with delicious appetizers, savory desserts, and, of course, turkey! You MUST register at front desk.

  • THU

    22

    NOV 2018

    Thanksgiving Day

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    Thanksgiving Day

    Time:

  • FRI

    23

    NOV 2018

    Black Friday

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    Black Friday

    Time:

  • SAT

    24

    NOV 2018

    Turkey Trot Race

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    Turkey Trot Race

    Time: 9:00 am | Price: Free!

    Meeting point: Grant Park

    Why go? Gather your flock and join us for this Thanksgiving Day tradition--turkey costume not required.

  • SUN

    25

    NOV 2018

    ChillFest

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    ChillFest

    Time: 2:00 pm | Price: Free!

    Meeting point: 1600 N Damen Ave

    Why go? Don't miss the year's LAST music festival bringing over 60 musicians performing in storefronts through the Wicker Park neighborhood.

  • MON

    26

    NOV 2018

    Ice Skating

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    Ice Skating

    Time: 1:30 pm | Price: $13

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Experience “alpine in the city” on a ribbon of ice at Maggie Daley Park. Beginner or pro, all levels are welcome!

  • TUE

    27

    NOV 2018

    Three Arts Club

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    Three Arts Club

    Time: 1:30 pm | Price: Bring cash

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Hang here for coffee and a light bite or an extended lunch when you have nowhere else to be.

  • WED

    28

    NOV 2018

    Tango Class

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    Tango Class

    Time: 5:00 pm | Price: $10

    Meeting point: 332 S Michigan Ave Lobby

    Why go? Dance to beautiful music! Explore your passion for this captivating dance performed in Buenos Aires and around the world! Register at the front desk.

  • THU

    29

    NOV 2018

    Resume Writing Workshop

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    Resume Writing Workshop

    Time: 4:45 pm | Price: Free!

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Want to be more job-ready? Learn how to get an edge on the competition and improve your writing ability at the same time.

  • FRI

    30

    NOV 2018

    ZooLights

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    ZooLights

    Time: 1:00 pm | Price: Free!

    Meeting point: Student Lounge

    Why go? Stroll through thousands of lights in this holiday-themed celebration featuring luminous displays and seasonal activities throughout the zoo grounds.

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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 10 Nationalities

  • Brazilian
  • Chilean
  • Chinese
  • Colombian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Saudi
  • Taiwanese
  • Thai
  • Turkish

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.

Sample Timetables

The Essential programme consists of the Core Course in the morning.

Morning
TIME MON TUES WED THUR FRI
8.30 - 10.00 CORE COURSE
  BREAK
10.20-11.50 CORE COURSE

Standard General English, Business and Exam preparation programmes consist of the Core Course in the morning plus one module. There will be no classes on Friday afternoon

Students will be allocated one afternoon module class
TIME MON TUES WED THUR FRI
8.30 - 10.00 CORE COURSE
  BREAK
10.20-11.50 CORE COURSE
  LUNCH
12.30-13.30                                                        MODULE 1 FREE AFTERNOON

Intensive General English, Business and Exam preparation programmes consist of the Core Course in the morning plus two modules. There will be no classes on Friday afternoon

Students will be allocated two afternoon module classes
TIME MON TUES WED THUR FRI
8.30 - 10.00 CORE COURSE
  BREAK
10.20-11.50 CORE COURSE
  LUNCH
12.30-13.30                                                        MODULE 1 FREE AFTERNOON
                                                         BREAK
13.50-14.50                                                        MODULE 2

Super Intensive General English, Business and Exam preparation programmes consist of the Core Course in the morning plus three modules. There will be no classes on Friday afternoon

Students will be allocated three afternoon module classes
TIME MON TUES WED THUR FRI
8.30 - 10.00 CORE COURSE
  BREAK
10.20-11.50 CORE COURSE
  LUNCH
12.30-13.30                                                        MODULE 1 FREE AFTERNOON
                                                         BREAK
13.50-14.50                                                        MODULE 2
                                                         BREAK
15.10-16.10                                                        MODULE 3

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