A.C.E. - Associates in Cultural Exchange

Making the World Your Community

Associates in Cultural Exchange (A.C.E.), founded as American Cultural Exchange, is a not-for-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation headquartered in Seattle, Washington and established in 1973.

Since its founding, Associates in Cultural Exchange has been working to make the world your community by helping people and organizations around the world create new connections and build interpersonal networks with those of other language and cultural backgrounds.

A.C.E. Core Strategies Involve:

Language and intercultural education including:

  • Intensive English as a Second Language Curriculum
  • Cross-Cultural Orientation
  • Academic and Career Preparation
  • Tailored Training Programs
  • Conference Management
  • Educational Tours
  • Consulting Services

Key Partners in Education Exchange

Host campuses for A.C.E. Language Institute operations include Montana State University, Seattle Pacific University, and Saint Francis University (PA). A.C.E. Japan (Tokyo) collaborates with A.C.E. to develop and expand opportunities abroad for Japanese students and Japanese educational institutions. A.C.E. has collaborated with Gangwon International Language Institute since 2009 to provide teacher training for over 200 Korean teachers in the U.S. A.C.E. is also the North American Liaison for STEP Eiken of Japan and administers the Eiken Test on behalf of STEP Eiken in the Los Angeles area via the A.C.E. office in Torrance, CA. A.C.E. and STEP Eiken also jointly provide teacher training for Japanese K-12 teachers in the U.S.

A.C.E. Offices

A.C.E. has offices in Seattle, WA, Bozeman, MT, Loretto, PA, and an Eiken office in Los Angeles, CA. A.C.E. is also represented by affiliate field offices in Olympia, WA, Bellevue, WA, and Tokyo, Japan.

A.C.E. Annual Reports


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A.C.E. Services

ESL for College-Bound Students - The A.C.E. Language Institutes provide comprehensive academic and career-readiness language education throughout the year on university campuses. These institutes are attended by 200 students from over 40 countries each year.

Group Language and Culture Study Programs for Youth and Adults - Over 150 adults and youth each year visit the U.S. for short term language, culture, and enrichment programs conducted by A.C.E.

Community Programs - Funded programs have been developed to enable children, youth, and adults to gain access to education programs. A.C.E. has offered over $1,000,000 in tuition waivers through scholarships donated to individual participants, Lions International, the Ethnic Heritage Council, Seattle Sister Cities, and international organizations. Some of our community programs include Language Works and Access for Autistic Youth.

Consulting and Facilitation Services - We provide liaison and training services in Seattle for institutions in the Middle East, Asia, and Central Asia. We facilitate conferences and training on business and global issues including environmental stewardship, digital applications to education, intercultural themes, and many specialized fields.

International Study Tours - Targeted bench-marking and exploratory group visits to less familiar areas of the world with expert preparation and guidance by A.C.E. professionals.

Language Works! - Language Works! brings our world communities together by offering opportunities for individuals to learn and connect.

A.C.E. News and Press

Keep up on all the latest news at the A.C.E. Blog and our Facebook Page.

A.C.E. News

June 2014 - A.C.E. Culminates 40th Anniversary Celebration at NAFSA
Friends and staff of Associates in Cultural Exchange commemorated the A.C.E. 40th Anniversary at NAFSA 2014 in San Diego. The luncheon event was a celebration of the dedication, friendship, and hard work committed to our organization by the friends and family of A.C.E. over the past four decades. Click here to read more.

November 2013 - All A.C.E. Language Institutes Receive Accreditation
The recently established A.C.E Language Institute at the University of Rhode Island received branch accreditation by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) on November 4, 2013. The A.C.E. at URI program received this achievement following the A.C.E. Language Institutes at MSU and SPU, which received CEA accreditation on August 3, 2013. The recently established Intensive English Program at Saint Francis University administered by A.C.E. has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Click here to read more.

August 2013 - A.C.E. Language Institutes Receive CEA Accreditation
The two largest and oldest A.C.E. Language Institutes received initial accreditation by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) on August 3, 2013. In reviewing a program, the Commission seeks to determine that the mission and educational objectives are being met, and that the program is organized with adequate resources to support student achievement. To receive CEA accreditation, A.C.E. faculty and staff completed a rigorous multi-year process featuring a one-year self-study followed by a site visit from the CEA review team to A.C.E. at Montana State University and A.C.E. at Seattle Pacific University. Click here to read more.

September 2012 - The Run About the World - 5K Fun Run/Walk
A.C.E., in partnership with Fuerte Fitness, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Bank, Seattle Rotary, The Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, and The Wellness Playbook, will raise funds for A.C.E. World Language & Culture Ambassadors (WLCA) in the The Run About the World 5K fun run/walk event. Click here to read more.

May 2012 - A.C.E. Language Institutes Partnership with Saint Francis University
LORETTO, PA and SEATTLE, WA - May 2, 2012 - Saint Francis University has entered into a partnership with Associates in Cultural Exchange (A.C.E.) of Seattle, Washington, to help international students prepare for academic English through the new intensive English program on its Loretto, Pennsylvania, campus. Beginning in Fall 2012, A.C.E. will collaborate on the administration of the intensive English program designed to help language learners improve their English fluency before entering as full-time students at Saint Francis. Click here to read more.

August 2011 - New A.C.E. Language Institute the University of Rhode Island
KINGSTON, R.I. and SEATTLE, WA - August 10, 2011 - The University of Rhode Island has entered into a partnership with Associates in Cultural Exchange (A.C.E.) of Seattle, Washington, to help international students prepare for academic English through the new A.C.E. Language Institute on its Kingston, R.I. campus. Beginning in January 2012, the A.C.E. Language Institute will offer intensive English courses designed to help language learners of any level improve their English fluency before being matriculated as (full-time students at URI. Click here to read more.

July 2011 - North American Partnership Launched by STEP and A.C.E.
The Society for Testing English Proficiency (STEP) and Associates in Cultural Exchange (A.C.E.) are pleased to announce a cooperative agreement regarding U.S. based efforts for educational exchange. Beginning from April 2011, A.C.E will handle college outreach for STEP in the greater North American region, facilitate communication between institutions in the U.S. and Japan, and develop scholar/ student exchange programs between cooperative institutions. A.C.E. will also manage North American promotion of the EIKEN test, the leading English- proficiency assessment in Japan. Click here to read more.

February 2011 - Articulation Agreement with Bastyr University
Bastyr University and A.C.E. signed an articulation agreement in February to enable qualified international students to smoothly transition from the A.C.E. Language Institute system into Bastyr University's world renowned degree programs in natural health sciences, such as in naturopathy and nutrition. This agreement will take effect in September 2011 and will add a new pathway into innovative degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels for students coming to the U.S.

September 2010 - PARSA Grant for Persian Language Camp
In the spring of 2010, A.C.E. was awarded a $10,000 grant by the PARSA Community Foundation to provide a summer camp on Persian language and culture through the World Language Programs division. A.C.E. staff, lead by Shahrzad Shams, recognized Persian instructor from the University of Washington, along with 3 teaching assistants from the Western Washington area, held daily classes and activities over a 3-week period in July. The camp took place in Bellevue and included 17 children, from both Persian heritage and non-Persian heritage families. The camp was considered a great success by the parents of its participants, who helped promote and support the program, and as a result a Persian class was launched on Saturdays during the fall of 2010. A number of Persian community organizations and groups contributed to the success of the program.

February 2010 - Teacher Training Programs
Eighty Korean teachers of English as a foreign language were hosted by A.C.E. in Seattle and Everett, WA, during the months of December, January, and February 2009-2010. One group of trainees were sent by the Gyeonggi-do Institute of Foreign Language Education for a four-week course and were based on the Trinity Lutheran University campus. The other groups of trainees were sent by the Gangwon International Language Institute, both of which were based on the Seattle Pacific University campus for an eight week period. All eighty trainees were provided teacher training, English fluency training, and team teaching opportunities in 20 local K-12 schools and within non-profit organizations such as the YMCA.

May 2009 - A.C.E. 35th Anniversary
A.C.E. celebrated its 35th anniversary in September 2008 and will continue marking the occasion throughout 2009. The 35th Anniversary International Symposium was held on May 23rd at Seattle Pacific University's Gwinn Commons.

May 2009 - WLP Gets a Grant from Startalk
A.C.E. World Language Programs, through a grant from STARTALK, is offering free two-week Arabic, Urdu and Persian summer language camps. Children age 10-14 are eligible. Classes start on July 13th and end July 24th.

March 2009 - Oman Study Mission
From March 14 to 17, A.C.E. President David Woodward took a team of leaders from around Puget Sound on a Study Mission to the Sultanate of Oman. Continue...

October 2008 - A.C.E. Offers TOEIC Testing
The A.C.E. Language Institute at Seattle Pacific University is the FIRST to offer the new internet-based TOEIC® Speaking and Writing Tests in the greater Seattle Area through its affiliation with G2nd Systems, an ETS Preferred Vendor. A.C.E. Language Institute also offers the institutional, TOEIC Listening and Reading Test through G2nd Systems.

June 2008 - A.C.E. Coordinates Visit to Seattle by Senior Abu Dhabi Officials
The week of June 2, 2008, A.C.E. was in the unique role of facilitating the visit to the Seattle area by two senior officials from the United Arab Emirates. Continue...

A.C.E. Press

A.C.E. President David Woodward Discusses the Nuclear Agreement with Iran
KING5 News

International students bring the world to MSU
Bozeman Daily Chronicle

The buck starts here: Young Russian students learn American banking on Queen Anne
Queen Anne News & Magnolia News

Businesses seek to close language gap in order to compete
Puget Sound Business Journal

Language Learning in a Global Context
Russian-American Education Forum

A.C.E. and MSU Quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education on Current Middle East Issues
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Global companies find cultural training is more than etiquette
USA Today

English-language School Thrives
Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports on A.C.E. at MSU.

Making the World Your Community: A.C.E. International Symposium at Seattle Pacific University, Dr. Ahn Dong Gyu, Hallym University, Korea, participates as a panel member
By Media Hankook

Spanish Class Students Taking Cultural Immersion Trip
By Ric Hallock, Gig Harbor Life

Learning Arabic from Head to Toe
A review on A.C.E. World Language Program's Arabic Language Camp.

Abu Dhabi official visits Seattle to strengthen ties with University of Washington
Recent efforts (since 2005) to assist the University of Washington and the UAE Academy to establish programs in Abu Dhabi jointly.

Article on Wang Foundation by Woodward
2005 article in International Educator on initial plans of the Wang Foundation to launch a summer service learning program in China in partnership with U.S. universities.

A.C.E. Partners

Primary Collaborating Institutions

American Cultural Exchange of Japan

The Eiken Foundation of Japan

Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)

Montana State University

Saint Francis University

Seattle Pacific University

University of Washington

Collaborating Organizations

Northwest Language Academy and Cultural Center

NorthWest Student Exchange (NWSE)

Pacific Northwest Advisors

Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle

Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Studio Classroom English Teaching Magazine

Study Washington

Washington State Coalition for International Education

York-Benimaru Foundation
Read our letter of congratulations from York-Benimaru Foundation.

Key Associations

American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP)

American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Association of Washington International Student Affairs (AWISA)

Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA)

Global Washington
Blog article about A.C.E.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

A.C.E. Media

A.C.E. 40th Anniversary

A.C.E. Language Institutes Overview

A.C.E. Group Programs Overview

A.C.E. World Language & Culture Ambassadors (WLCA) Overview

A.C.E. 35th Anniversary

A.C.E. Language Institutes Student Testimonials

Click here to watch videos to hear what our students have to say.

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