UKIC / Office of China Initiatives / Academies / Language


About the Academy

This Academy offers English language classes and special activity opportunities. Throughout the Academy, students learn about and experience American culture first-hand. All learning takes place in a hands-on, interactive environment. The main Academy classes are in English and students may then choose one of our special activities: basketball, horse riding, art, or public speaking & debate! Sessions in a student's chosen special activity occur on 3 afternoons, for about 9 total hours, during the Academy. At the end of the Academy, students visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University in Boston, and Columbia University in New York City (NYC). Students also take city tours of Boston and NYC!


  • Kathryn T. Bliss, OCI Coordinator,
  • Academy Location: Lexington, Ky.
  • East Coast Tour features university visits and tours of Boston and NYC!
  • Cost: Academy price available upon request

English Classes

English Reading & Writing Class 

An expert UK English instructor presents lessons tailored to student needs to help improve skills in reading and writing English. This class supports development of skills useful in academic and professional life, such as applying to graduate schools at American universities and completing employment applications.

English Listening & Speaking Class

English speaking and listening comprehension are also essential parts of academic and professional life, such as interviewing with American universities or for a future job at the international level. Taught by an expert UK English instructor and customized to student needs, this class helps strengthen listening and speaking skills, while deepening understanding of American culture.

Special Activities

Activity participants receive a tour of and play basketball in the $30 million state-of-the-art practice facility of the UK men’s and women’s basketball teams—the UK Wildcats!

Horse Riding
Students join this activity to learn about horse safety, riding equipment, and how to ride a horse from our equine experts! This activity accepts a maximum of 20 students. Riding gear, specifically boots and a helmet, is also required and is not included in the Academy price. Experts will provide guidance on purchasing gear.

An expert art instructor teaches photography, painting, and drawing in a hand-on environment. Students will produce pieces during lessons to take home as tokens of their experience! Art supplies and materials will be provided and are included in the Academy price.

Public Speaking & Debate
Students participate in this activity to strengthen their public speaking skills and their ability to develop sound arguments. Our expert instructors help students to learn how to analyze and adapt to various audiences by developing speech content appropriate to different settings. The instructors will also help boost student confidence to effectively address live audiences!

Cultural Activities in Kentucky

  • Visit Kentucky Horse Park or the Kentucky Aviation Museum   
  • Visit Lexington Farmer’s Market
  • Attend a Lexington Legend's Baseball Game
  • Participate in a Trail Ride on Horseback 
  • Shop at Simpsonville Outlet Mall
  • Shop at Fayette Mall in Lexington, Ky.

The East Coast Tour

At the conclusion of this Academy, students tour well-known universities and cities on the East Coast of the United States. During the tour of Boston and New York City, they will visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, and Columbia University. Students will also visit sites of both famous U.S. cities, such as Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall in Boston and the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building in NYC.

Academy Cost

Academy Price Includes:
• Academy tuition
• Housing on the UK Campus
• Transportation for UK activities
• 4-5 meals on the UK Campus
• 2 banquets
• State-of-the-art UK Campus facilities
• Ticket to Lexington Legends baseball game
• Entry to the Kentucky Horse Park or to the Aviation Museum of Kentucky
• Flight tickets from Lexington to Boston
• 4 nights hotel accommodation
• 3 hotel breakfasts, 1 Boston-style lobster dinner

• Tour guide and Chinese tour assistants
• Tours of MIT, Harvard University & Columbia University
• City tours of Boston & New York City
• Bus transportation during East Coast Tour
• Airport pick-up and send-off

Academy Price Excludes:
• Travel insurance & health insurance
• Academy t-shirt
• Access to the UK Johnson Center Gym
• Meals not noted in the sample itinerary
• Visit to Whispering Woods Riding Stables (Horse Riding)
• Baggage fees for flights from Lexington to Boston
• Gratuities for East Coast Tour bus driver and tour guide