Immerse has been home to students from all over the world.  They come to study English or live on our campus while attending one of the colleges or universities in the region.  Here are the reasons to study English and live at Immerse:

  • At Immerse International, our teaching and housing team will make you priority #1. We are a small campus that emphasizes community, personal development, and individualized attention.

  • The Immerse university preparation program allows you to learn English from excellent professors, get personalized college and university admissions counseling, as well as TOEFL preparation to reach your educational dreams.

  • Our classes range in size up to 12 students, so you’ll get the individualized attention you need to succeed. Our classes are held on campus daily, with an excellent teaching staff who have Master’s degrees with training and experience in teaching English.

  • Our location is excellent, close to shopping malls, restaurants and the historic city of Lancaster, PA. Lancaster is a one hour train ride to Philadelphia, PA, 2.5 hours to Washington, DC, or 3 hours to New York City.

  • Global friends for life. Students come to Immerse from all over the world to live and study. Our community fosters connections for international students which includes U.S. citizens who live on campus as resident assistants, as well as some U.S. students.

  • Social and cultural activities are held regularly, from trips to popular tourist destinations to bowling, museums, restaurants, and sporting events.

  • Immerse is a low cost, safe location in a caring community. We know the value of education in an environment where you can thrive as a student. Our campus is safe and the Immerse team is committed to seeing you achieve your dreams.

“I like studying English at Immerse International because I would like to improve my English language and also our teachers are very great, and I feel very comfortable here in this class.” Violeta T. – Moldova
Ed McManness  -  Executive Director

Ed McManness - Executive Director

Troy Landis  - Director, Education

Troy Landis - Director, Education

Donna Zehr Keener  - Director, Program Development

Donna Zehr Keener - Director, Program Development

Joan McManness  -  Director, Bridge the Gap, Faculty Member

Joan McManness - Director, Bridge the Gap, Faculty Member

Cheryl Keiper  -  Director, International House

Cheryl Keiper - Director, International House

Marisa Biddings,   IELP Manager

Marisa Biddings, IELP Manager

I was born in Texas but spent most of school / college life in Pennsylvania.  I grew up in a family of 6 kids.  Married my high school sweetheart (Joan), we have 3 grown children, and two grandchildren that who you'll see hanging out with us at Immerse.  After college, I completed my Master's in Education at Towson University, studied at Fuller Seminary, and spent 3 summers doing post-graduate work at the Oxford Centre of Mission Studies in Oxford, England.  As a family we spent 13 years living in Indonesia where I taught and was chief executive officer of a non-profit organization.  I consulted at several universities before coming to Immerse and am a co-owner of The Stroopies Company in Lancaster.  I started working at Immerse in January 2016 as Executive Director.  My hobbies are skiing and road biking.


My family has deep roots in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  I grew up just across the field from where my father grew up, and just across the stream from where my grandfather grew up.  That rootedness has been a gift as I've followed the call of God to Bolivia for 7 months after high school and then to Indonesia for 6 years.  In between there, I got a degree in Anthropology from Temple University, and then, while in Indonesia, a Master's in Education from Morling College, Australia. I am grateful to live on the Immerse campus with my beautiful wife, Michelle and three young children. We are so enriched by the people we get to meet from all over the world. I love to be outside as much as I can, playing sports, riding bike or just soaking in the beauty of creation.


I grew up on a farm in rural upstate New York, but because my parents were hospitable life-long learners, the richness of the world came to our home. After completing a BS in Sociology from Eastern Mennonite University and a MEd from Marywood University, I worked at Heartsease Home in New York City for 18 years, developing and directing a life skills training program for young women. Our family then moved to Vietnam where I taught in international and Vietnamese schools. After 12 years we “re-entered” American culture. We travel back to Vietnam regularly where I assist in teaching Vietnamese church leaders. These rich life experiences have inspired my passion for building positive cultures for learning. Assisting the staff at Immerse with program development is a privilege. My husband, Gerry, and I now live in Lancaster, PA and have two adult daughters. 


I was born and raised in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.   I attended college in Southern Pennsylvania, and achieved my Master's from Eastern University in Multi-cultural Education and TESL.  I lived in Indonesia with my husband and 3 children for 13 years.  While living there, I learned about other cultures and made life-long friends. Now, after being back in the United States for 16 years, I enjoy teaching English to international students and spending time with my grandkids.


I grew up on a small farm in northern Pennsylvania along with my parents and 4 siblings.  Maybe it’s because of my upbringing that I love nature and animals!  After graduating from Columbia International University in South Carolina, I moved overseas and have lived in 3 other countries: France for 1 ½ years, Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa) for 10 years, and El Salvador (Central America) for 5 years. I enjoy outdoor activities, traveling, and continually learning about other cultures.


I’m a Pennsylvania native—born and raised outside of Philadelphia. I majored in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Lancaster Bible College. A few months after graduating from college, I moved to South Korea to teach English. After three years in South Korea, I moved back to Pennsylvania and began working at Immerse in September 2016. I love hanging out with Immerse residents, teaching them board games, and going on outings with them. In my free time I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, discussing good movies, and playing with animals.

  • Do I need a student visa to study at Immerse?

U.S. immigration law requires a student who intends to study English in the USA to have a student visa.  Immerse does not currently offer student visas (F-1).  However, if you are traveling on a tourist visa or have a visa waiver you may be able to join one of our non-intensive, part-time English courses.  

We are in the process of becoming an I-20 institute so that we may offer student visas.

  • What courses are offered at Immerse?

We offer full-time courses for U.S. residents, part-time courses for internationals in the USA on tourist visas (12 hours per week), and TOEFL preparation classes.  

All courses award a certificate of completion and some courses may allow for admission to several colleges and universities in the USA.

  • How far from my residence hall are my classes?

Our English classes are a short walk from your residence hall to the academic center where you will study English.  All of our facilities are on-site (indoor gymnasium, athletic field, dining hall, and administrative offices).

  • What about meals?

All meals can be eaten on campus. Our dining hall is in Old Main, where most of our students live.  A student kitchen is also available if you’d like to cook some of your own meals. Some meals are self-serve and allow you to eat according to your schedule.

  • What activities are offered when I’m not in class?

Lancaster is centrally located to some of the most exciting cities in the USA (Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, DC).  Besides social activities like bowling, game nights, pizza parties, and downtown Lancaster events, we offer trips to sporting events, historical sites in Washington, or big city trips to Philadelphia and the Big Apple: New York City.

  • How much does it cost to live and study at Immerse?

Costs depend on the English program in which you are enrolled and whether you are in a single or shared room.  To view our current prices please click HOUSING ON CAMPUS or ENGLISH PROGRAM.

  • How long do I need to learn English?

Most students need at least one session (8 weeks) to perfect their English for college or university enrollment, but this depends on your current level of English and your goals.  We offer 6 levels of English, each level lasting 16 weeks.  Once you complete a level you will be able to progress to the next level.


“I like studying English at Immerse International because it is such a good place. Teachers are amazing! And studying with students from all over the world is such an open-minded experience. Small classes are also an asset to learn in a good way.”
Laura C. – France