Top U.S. ELI programs leading to elite universities

“Just learning to think in another language allows you to see your own culture in a better viewpoint.” – Gates McFadden

In a progressively globalized, digitized and interconnected society, emphasis on the importance of learning the English language has never been more prominent.

With the rise of international mobility, the growth of global business, our increasing dependence on the internet and the ascent of universal higher education, having a confident grasp of what is now fully-accepted as the worldwide lingua franca has never before been tied to so many amazing opportunities.

“The need for an international language has always existed,” Michael Rosen writes for the BBC. “In the past it was about religion and intellectual debate. With the technologies of today it’s about communicating with others anywhere in the world in a matter of moments.

Image courtesy of the University of Auburn at Montgomorey

“…Millions of young people across the world have grown to like the sounds of English-speaking bands. Sub-titled films from Hollywood have given millions of non-English speakers the chance to imitate James Cagney, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Di Nero and Harrison Ford,” Rosen concludes.

That being said, why choose to study the English language at a U.S. university? 

Well, considering that the Land of Opportunity has maintained its position as the world’s favourite study abroad destination, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals choose to study in this region every year – 974,926 students last year, to be exact. According to the same Open Doors report, five percent of America’s total international student population in 2015 opted to pursue an intensive English language education.

Many students choose to study this language in the U.S. simply to get a ‘taste’ of traditional American life; while others come to boost their expertise in order to advance their career back home. But one of the most cited reasons for people seeking English training in this region is to prepare themselves for entrance to a prestigious U.S. university.

Take Lucas Jose Marini, for example; an international student – originally from Brazil – currently enrolled on an English Language program at a reputed institution: “Through the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), I gained more confidence and vocabulary to be able to speak more fluently,” he says.

“The course helped me a lot. Talking to people in English became much easier and also prepared me to start my studies in Engineering,” Jose concludes, and without the comprehensive training provided by TCNJ and other schools of its kind, Jose may never have gained the skill nor self-esteem to be able to pursue his dream of becoming a qualified engineer.

Image courtesy of the College of New Jersey

There are a wealth of leading-edge U.S. universities providing this type of education, getting students ready to thrive as an integral part the American higher education system, with many globally respected English Language Institutes being set at the center of the nation’s most popular universities.  

If you seek to broaden your horizons through comprehension of the English Language and the pursuit of higher education, here are 5 top U.S. ELI programs that lead to elite universities:


Auburn University at Montgomery is ranked among the top universities of the south by U.S. News and World Report, and was also named one of the best colleges in the southeast by the Princeton Review. Frequently selected as the region’s most esteemed university, Auburn Montgomery instils students with in-depth knowledge, while granting them hands-on practical experience from industry professionals.

Auburn Montgomery provides a variety of exciting English as a Second Language (ESL) services and courses, specially-designed to attend to the needs of the international student community. Through student-focused instruction from leading language experts, non-native English speakers are able to improve their verbal and written communication skills professionally, personally and academically. Auburn Montgomery’s ESL programs include: Intensive English Program, ESL Community Program, TESOL Certificate and IELTS Testing Center.

At Auburn Montgomery, high academic and social standards come together with one-to-one personal attention to create an outstanding educational experience.


The University of Central Florida, founded in 1963, is the second-largest university in the United States. UCF and its 13 colleges provides opportunities to 63,000 students, offering 210 degree programs from the main campus, hospitality campus, health sciences campus and 10 other regional locations.

Image courtesy of the University of Central Florida

The UCF English Language Institute is the most exciting and diverse place to study English in the sunny state of Florida.  Hundreds of people are welcomed with open arms each semester into a transformative world where international students and professionals learn together to build their futures.  Students enjoy all the benefits of the beautiful UCF campus, with full access to the 14,000 m2 Recreation and Wellness Center, the Student Union, the library, and community shuttle services for enhanced transportation.

The Intensive English Program (IEP) at the UCF English Language Institute is a four-semester program of study, specially designed with the needs of international students. It prepares students to develop the language skills necessary to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees at UCF. The UCF English Language Institute achieves this by offering a diverse portfolio of courses (including IELTS and TOEFL preparation) and cultural activities that allow students to systematically progress and attain competency in English.

The UCF English Language Institute is committed to providing students the means to participate in the culture of the United States by offering unique opportunities to experience the community through field trips and other activities. 


Since its founding in 1855, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) has welcomed a diverse student body, offering a broad range of degree programs and outstanding opportunities.

International students receive a warm welcome at TCNJ, and English learning opportunities are supported and encouraged. The Institute for English as a Second Language and American Studies (ESLAS) provides communicative language teaching and recognizes the importance of sharing and interaction among students. Students can choose from a range of English language programs, including an English for Academic Purposes Program, language preparation camps for pre-university students, and ELL Partnered Pathway Programs with other universities.

Excellent facilities and a supportive environment ensure that TCNJ provides students with a safe and secure home during their time at university. TCNJ has a state-of-the-art library, an award-winning student center and dining facilities, as well as more than 20 academic computer laboratories to help students complete their studies. The college offers a combination of tradition and modernity, meaning that TCNJ is a first-class choice of study destination for international students looking to gain English skills and experience a university education in the U.S.

Image via Shutterstock


Set in the midst of vibrant Central Virginia, Liberty is a liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, providing world-class programs in fields such as education, counseling, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, business, and more.

Liberty’s English Language Institute (ELI) allows the international student community achieve the language proficiency needed to succeed in an academic English environment.

The Institute fully appreciates the challenges foreign students face living and learning in an unfamiliar language and climate, and seeks to provide a friendly, Christian environment where students can learn, grow and ultimately belong, before going on to achieve academic success at a university of their choice.


Chico State University has been named a Top-10 regional public university in the West by U.S. News and World Report since 1998, when the respected rankings were first established, highlighting the esteemed reputation of this U.S. institution.

Set on the exquisite campus of Chico State, ALCI Chico offers five, seven-week sessions of intensive English language instruction per year for international students of all levels and abilities, from beginning right through to advanced.

ALCI Chico facilitates a transition from an intensive English language program to an academic program at Chico State or any other college or university in the United States. The program provides both specialist and general English language skills to aid students’ professional and personal.

Feature image courtesy of The College of New Jersey

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