ESL City Government Academy

  • Collage of ESL City Government Academy students participating in various activities

    The San Mateo Adult School and City of San Mateo are partnering to offer a unique opportunity to participate in the English as a Second Language (ESL) City Government Academy. The Academy is designed to expand participants’ awareness of local government, City services, and increase civic engagement, leadership, and volunteering.

    Participants will have an opportunity to: 

    • Learn how the San Mateo City government works.
    • Know about services and programs offered by the City and how to access these.
    • Understand how to participate and get involved in issues that affect the community.
    • Meet members of the City staff and City Council.

    Program Objectives

    1. Participants feel empowered and comfortable to access City services.
    2. Participants feel prepared to engage further with the City.

    Hours and Location

    The program is held Thursday mornings between 9am-12pm at different City facilities.

    Program Days

    Program days cover the following topics:

    • Fire
    • Parks and Recreation
    • Library
    • Police
    • Public Works
    • Community Development
    • Employment and Volunteering
    • City Manager / Finance / City Council / City Clerk / City Attorney
    • Geographic Information System Mapping


    Currently, this program is open only to those who are enrolled as ESL students at the San Mateo Adult School. Any member of the community can enroll in classes for free at the Adult School (learn more about how to register for classes). 

    The space, currently limited to 25 participants, will be awarded to those who submit the application, commit to attending the full program, and to completing assignments related to this program. When there are more applicants than spaces, preference will be given to City of San Mateo residents. 

    For more information about this unique program, contact Teacher Alesha in Room 23 or email her at


    City Government Academy in the News


  • Do you want to learn more?


    Information Session:

    • Wednesday, October 2
    • 12:15 to 1:15 pm
    • Room 25


    Talk to Teacher Alesha in Rom 23 or email her at


    This class is for students in High Intermediate and above.

    Comments (-1)

What Participants Are Saying About the Academy

  • "Before I took this class, I thought that it is not necessary that I know about San Mateo deeply because I am a temporary resident. However, through this program I visited many places, learned about San Mateo, and now I love San Mateo more and more. San Mateo became my second home town!"
    -student Haruka Sasaki

    "I learned the most important muscles of a firefighter is their heart."
    -student Gabby Ramos

    "I learned Parks & Recreation offer various classes for different ages, and they also provide community gardens where residents can plant vegetables and fruits."
    -student Anita Hsu

    "One of the most valuable things I learned is that the police do not want to know the immigration status of the person who needs help."
    -student Williams Avelino

    "In the future, if I need permits I can just go to City Hall and a Chinese translator will help me. I don't have to worry about the language obstacle."
    -student Grace Jiang

    "The wastewater treatment plant day was the first time in my life I learned that bacteria can help us purify the environment. It's amazing!"
    -student Andy Hoo

    "The police here are so different from what I imagined. They're so friendly and helpful."
    -student Grace Jiang

    " I honestly think I'm so lucky to live in San Mateo because the City organizes so many events and programs for the community. These kinds of programs help me integrate into the community here."
    -student Edwin Turuy

    Comments (-1)