Reaching out to the world

Because of Chico Family, my life got bigger and better.

Over the past 25 years, 887 teachers and 139 university students have journeyed from South Korea’s Chungcheongbuk Province to Chico State.

They come for an English immersion program known as one of the best. In 1990, it was named outstanding professional development program for English educators in Korea. 

The experience is so welcoming that the South Korean visitors have named it the “Chico Family” program. They have fun exploring Northern California and getting to know their host families. But they also return to South Korea ready to teach English—an indispensible skill for many in the country.

“Because of Chico Family, my life got bigger and better,” says Kyoung Il Heo, a 2013 participant.

The Chico Family program is just one of many ways the University’s reach extends far beyond Northern California. Students from 46 nations attend Chico State, and more than 300 students each year study abroad. In 2012, for the fifth year in a row, Chico State was ranked third in the United States for the quality of its study abroad program by the Institute of International Education.

Also, about 150 more international students are on campus at any given time, learning English through American Language and Culture Institute’s intensive seven-week program.

Other students experience various cultures without leaving Chico. On-campus opportunities include an international fraternity, International House dorm, and International Festival put on by student multicultural organizations. 

Chico State’s American Language and Culture Institute students celebrate the University’s 125th anniversary with Willie the Wildcat.
Chico State’s American Language and Culture Institute students celebrate the University’s 125th anniversary with Willie the Wildcat.