english language institute

Intensive English Program

Learn English at North Central College

The English Language Institute (ELI) is a full-time intensive English program designed to prepare international students for admission to a U.S. college or university by developing academic, professional and social English language skills. The institute is located on the campus of North Central College, a four-year comprehensive liberal arts university in Naperville, Illinois.

As a student, you will experience:
  • 20 hours per week of classroom instruction
  • Full access to North Central computer, recreational, cultural, and health facilities
  • Free campus Internet access
  • Participation in the International Club, one of the most active clubs on campus
  • Friendship family program
  • Special culture courses and area excursions
  • Convenient housing in campus residence halls with U.S. undergraduate students
  • Daily opportunities to interact with U.S. undergraduate students
  • Walking distance to downtown Naperville and to the commuter train to Chicago

When looking for an intensive English program, it is important to choose the program that best fits your needs.

Why choose the ELI?

High-Quality Classes and Programming

Classes are taught by professional ESL instructors with advanced degrees in teaching English as a second language. As a student in the ELI, you will be immersed in classes that will help you develop the academic and cultural knowledge and skills you need for undergraduate or graduate school in the United States.  

Professor in class

Small, Personalized Classes

In the ELI, most classes have less than 10 students. Having small classes enables our highly trained instructors to get to know you not just as a student, but as a person. We care about your success, and we work to create classes that are challenging and help you meet your academic goals quickly.

english language institute class

Safe, Accessible Location

All ELI classes are held on the North Central College campus in Naperville, Illinois, just 45 kilometers from Chicago, Illinois. Naperville is one of Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live" and has easy access to Chicago O'Hare International Airport. We are also walking distance to the Chicago train station and to downtown Naperville. Students enjoy easy access to the big city while living in a safe, beautiful town.

north central college campus

Academic Excellence

North Central College has a history of excellence in academics. Forbes magazine recognized North Central as one of "America's Top Colleges" and Princeton Review ranked North Central as one of the "Best in the Midwest."

Founded in 1861, the College is committed to developing leaders who are prepared for the global workforce. Similarly, the ELI is dedicated to student success and preparing students to be leaders in the classroom and beyond.

professor and student talking

A Pathway into North Central College Undergraduate Degrees

The ELI is an excellent pathway into an undergraduate degree at North Central College. If you apply to your degree program and meet all academic requirements except English language proficiency, you may be eligible for conditional admission. Students in the upper levels of the ELI may also start North Central College classes. This option enables you to adjust to College culture, develop your English, and work your degree at the same time.

students at commencement

Outstanding Student Services

As an ELI student, you have full access to all North Central services, and there are many ways for you to be part of the campus community. We hope that you take advantage of our library and tutoring services, clubs, gym and recreational facilities, and the health and wellness center.

students talking

Outstanding Staff

The staff in the ELI, Center for Global Education, and Admission are all dedicated to your success. We work together to ensure you are able to transition from the ELI into your undergraduate, graduate degree, or next professional stage. We are also here to help you answer questions and solve problems. We want to help you succeed, and we want your time at North Central to be happy, productive, and memorable.

professor portrait

Calendar & Costs

The English Language Institute (ELI) offers intensive English courses year round. In all ELI programs, students are accepted on a rolling basis - there are no official application deadlines. We recommend that ELI applications are sent at least eight weeks before the start of each term so students have enough time to complete the visa application process.

student studying online


The English Language Institute has five 8-week terms during the calendar year. Students have five entry points at which they can start their studies.  Our academic year terms align with the North Central College semester calendar. Students have full-time and part-time study options. For more information, please see our calendar and cost estimates listed below. Please note that the cost information listed is an estimate and should be used as a guide to help you plan for your education.

students walking on campus

Calendar Overview for ELI Terms
Term Length Airport Pick-Up Day Orientation Class Dates
Spring B 2020 8 weeks March 5, 2020 March 6, 2020 March 9-May 1, 2020
Summer 2020 8 weeks June 4, 2020 June 5, 2020 June 8-July 31, 2020
Fall 1 2020 8 weeks August 17, 2020 August 18-21, 2020 August 24-October 15, 2020
Fall 2 2020 8 weeks October 15, 2020 October 16 and 19, 2020 October 20-December 15, 2020
English Language Institute Cost Estimates: Fall 2019-Spring 2020
Costs: Fall A 2019-Spring B 2020 (8 week terms)
Tuition $3,000.00
Room & Food $2,945.00
Activity Fee & Books $145.00
Personal Expenses $225.00
Medical Insurance $240.00
Total (per 8 week term) $6,555.00
Fall A 2019-Spring B 2019-2020 Per Course Fee (8 week term)
Tuition $750.00
Book Fee $25.00
Total Cost Per Course $775.00

Interested? Learn How to Apply today!

To learn more about the requirements for admission or how to submit your documents and to view a full application checklist, click the link below!

Old Main Tower