Welcoming the Stranger is an educational non-profit that offers free classes in English as a Second Language (ESL), computer skills, and United States citizenship exam preparation to adult immigrants and refugees in the Philadelphia metro region.
Founded in 1999, Welcoming the Stranger has taught over 4,000 students from 104 different countries. Welcoming the Stranger is a fully independent, IRS-approved, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Financial support comes from individuals, places of worship, and local businesses, as well as grants from area foundations, which allows all programs to remain free of charge for students.
Using paid teachers and about 100 volunteers each term, we offer about fifteen to twenty classes each trimester. Classes are held both day and evening. Over the past several years, classes have been offered in Bensalem, Doylestown, Hatboro, Harleysville, Lambertville, Langhorne, Levittown, Morrisville, Newtown, Northeast Philadelphia, Southampton, and Warminster. Classes are often located in churches and community centers. Each year Welcoming the Stranger offers three 12-week terms of classes. Registrations for each term number approximately 300 students. There is no cost to the student for any of the classes.