Intensive English Program

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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 of the English Language Institute, 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.  

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.

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 trainstation and to downtown Naperville. Students enjoy easy access to the big city while living in a safe, beautiful town.

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.

A Pathway into North Central College Undergraduate or Graduate Degrees

The ELI is an excellent pathway into an undergraduate or graduate 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.

Outstanding Staff and 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.

The staff in the ELI, Office of International Programs, 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.


The English Language Institute has three 10-week terms between the months of September and June. The English Language Institute also has an 8-week summer term in the months of July and August. Eligible students can also study part-time in the English Language Institute and pay a per course fee.

Cost estimate information for the 10-week terms, the 8-week term, and the per course fee is listed below. This information should be used as a guide to help you plan for your education.

2018-2019 Costs (10-week term)
Tuition $3,930.00
Room & Food $3,811.00
Activity Fee & Books $160.00
Personal Expenses $280.00
Medical Insurance $365.00
Total (per 10-week term) $8,546.00
Per Course Fee (10-week term)
Tuition $975.00
Book Fee $25.00
Total Cost Per Course $1,000.00
Summer 2018 Costs (8-week term)
Tuition and Fees $3,600.00
Room & Food* $2,360.00
Personal Expenses $200.00
Medical Insurance $219.00
Total (for 8-week term) $6,379.00
Summer 2018 Per Course Fee (8-week term)
Listening & Speaking Course $1,350.00
Reading & Writing Course $1,350.00
TOEFL or Culture Elective Course $900.00