ESL Links

ESL: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to bring a laptop computer?

It is not necessary, but many students find it convenient. Other students take advantage of Coe College's excellent computer labs and free e-mail accounts. You may need to modify your computer's hardware slightly to fit into Coe's system.

How will I get money?

There is an ATM (banking machine) on the Coe College campus and a bank (U.S. Bank) within walking distance. Some students find using a credit card the most convenient way to get money. Other students bring their money in traveler's checks. (Do not bring large amounts of cash.) Get advice from your local bank before you come.

How should I bring my money?

In traveler's checks. We do not recommend bringing more than $100 in cash. (see question above).

What are the extra costs for students attending Coe College?

Excluding international transportation and vacation travel, our estimated costs for extras are as follows:

Personal Expenses:
$1,800 ($200 per month x nine months)

Do I need to bring a suit, a party dress or a yukata?

It is not necessary but there are events such as the President's Ball, the Culture show, and the International Student Banquet where students may need more formal clothes. In class, students at Coe wear more casual clothes than is common in Japan (jeans, sweatshirts, T-shirts).

What kind of clothes do I need for the weather?

Buildings are centrally heated and air-conditioned. Bring a warm winter parka, a scarf, gloves and a hat. These items can also be purchased at one of the local shopping malls, outlet mall or stores in the area.

What kinds of shops and restaurants are around Coe College?

There are several fast food restaurants (KFC, McDonald's, Arby's and Wendy's) very close to campus, a few 24-hour convenience stores, a supermarket and an Asian Supermarket all within walking distance.

Who will be my roommate?

You will be roommates with an English-speaking Coe College Student.

Is Cedar Rapids a safe city?

Cedar Rapids is a safe, small Midwestern city and our students have never had problems with safety in the 28-year history of our program.

Where will I wash my clothes?

There are washing machines and dryers on the lower level of each dormitory. Students pay a $28 laundry fee each term. They may then use the machines for no charge whenever they need to.

Can I get Japanese food in Cedar Rapids?


Can I cook in the residence halls?

Yes. There are stoves for students to use in the dormitories.

What is Coe's Academic yearly schedule?

Fall Term 2008

New Student Orientation Aug. 17-23 (Mon.-Sun.)
Registration for entering students Aug. 21 (Fri.)
Classes begin/Returning students change of course Aug. 24 (Mon.)
No classes (holiday) - Labor Day Sept. 7 (Mon.)
Homecoming Weekend Oct. 3 (Sat.)
Fall Break Oct. 13-14 (Mon.-Tues.)
Thanksgiving Recess Nov. 24-30 (Tues. after last class - Mon 8 a.m.)
Final Exams Dec. 10-15

Spring Term 2009

Classes Begin Jan. 12 (Tues.)
Spring Recess Mar. 5-Mar. 14 (Fri. after last class-Sun.)
Residence Halls Close Mar. 6 at noon (Sat.) - Mar. 14 at 8 a.m. (Sun.)
Classes End Apr. 28 (Fri.)
Final Exams May 1, 4-6 (Fri., Mon.-Wed.)
Baccalaureate May 8 at 3 p.m. (Sat.)
Commencement/Residence Halls close for graduating students May 9 (Sun.)

May Term 2009

Classes Begin May 10 (Mon.)
Classes End June 4 (Fri.)

How can I practice speaking English and learn about American Culture?

  • Visit an American family for a week-end home stay
  • Meet with an English-speaking conversation partner every week
  • Join a club at Coe College
  • Be active in International Club with many local student members
  • Participate in or attend traditional college activities such as variety shows, Homecoming & other dances, theatre productions, art exhibits, sports events, musical productions, lectures
  • Join Coe Friends, a volunteer group with frequent projects with a local elementary school
  • Present aspects of Japanese culture to local middle schools and nearby colleges
  • Participate in community walk for cancer
  • Volunteer at nearby hospital
  • Interview faculty and staff at Coe College about a range of topics
  • Visit local religious groups
  • Becoming involved with the Coe Writing Center

What student services or campus facilities are available for ESL students?

ESL students may use all student services and campus facilities available to regular Coe students. They include:

  • a beautiful library with computer labs
  • an art gallery
  • a video theatre and study space
  • a 40M, 8-lane swimming pool with diving well
  • an indoor racquet center with tennis
  • racquetball and squash courts
  • running tracks
  • weight room
  • exercise machines
  • rock climbing wall
  • a theatre
  • an International Student Advisor
  • a tutoring service
  • a very helpful Writing Center

Will I need to bring blankets?

No. You will receive a new set of sheets and a pillowcase. We will help you find a reasonably priced comforter (about $30) and pillow (about $5).

How can I make friends?

Students very often make friends with: their roommates, their classmates, their conversation partners, their host families, members of clubs they have joined or started and even teachers. The more activities that students take part in, the more friends they often make. Students find the environment at Coe College very friendly.