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About the ELI



At the ELI we offer a variety of English courses.  We offer six sessions a year.  Students can enter in any session.  You can study for a session or for a two-session discounted block. Read a summary of our course tuition.


ELI Instructors are professionals in the field of English language instruction.  You may meet our staff.

Do you have a question for our instructors?  Send us an email!

Our Instructors ELI lab instruction

  • have degrees in language teaching and related fields (usually Masters degrees)
  • know the latest theories and practices in language teaching
  • have extensive experience teaching university and professional students from all cultures
  • have often taught credit courses in the university
  • have taught in other countries
  • understand the problems of cultural adjustment and language learning
  • counsel ELI students in adjusting, solving problems, and learning quickly
  • give students extra help after class
  • receive high evaluations from students

Approximately 240 students study in the ELI each session.
Would you like to ask a current student a question?  Send us an email!


ELI Students

  • come with all levels of English skill, from no English to above TOEFL 550 proficiency
  • come from all over the world
  • are 55% male, 45% female
  • are 17 through 64 years old (25 years old, on average)
  • study for academic or career goals
  • study to improve daily language
  • come to learn about and experience American culture, business practices and daily living
  • study major fields ranging from computer science, medicine and business to the liberal arts
  • come to meet people from cultures all over the world and make lasting friends


ELI students


Spring 2012 Statistics
Summer 2012 Statistics
ELI Student Home Countries ELI Student Home Countries
Africa 13% Africa 11%
South/Central America/Mexico  15% South/Central America/Mexico  18%
Middle East 40% Middle East 45%
Russia 15% Russia 10%
Asia 15% Asia 15%
Other 2% Other 1%


ELI Laboratories and Support Equipment

ELI students have daily access to three laboratories: ELI lab

  • the Sanko computerized language laboratory, where students practice the basics of pronunciation, listening and speaking
  • the Multimedia laboratory with materials and state-of-the-art equipment (video, audio, audiotronic, textual, realia, and game) which students use in the afternoons to improve their language skills. Our materials reflect our commitment to serve a broad range of student interests and needs.
  • the Computer laboratory where students practice typing skills, vocabulary building, grammar, reading, listening, writing, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, and pronunciation.  Computers with Internet access are available Monday through Friday, 9:00a.m. to 5p.m.


luauELI students need more than classes to have a successful term of study. Students must make new friends, discover a new culture, visit areas of interest and relax a little, too. Activities at the ELI are designed to help students with these needs.

ELI Student Activities:

  • special classes allow students to meet one another
  • fairs introduce ELI students to university student organizations
  • university activities entertain and help ELI students increase their circle of friends
  • afternoon activities such as meetings and movies entertain and encourage English practice
  • volunteer programs place students with English speakers
  • fieldtrips take ELI students to interesting sites like the zoo and museums
  • special meals and parties reflect cultural events
  • class trips to court or areas of interest in town add to the fun!

NASA activity

Orientations and Handbooks

The New Student Orientation after the Placement Test

  • introduces the university and its amenities
  • describes the U.S. educational system
  • defines what instructors will expect of students
  • introduces ELI rules and procedures
  • explains immigration rules and procedures


The ELI Student Handbook (you may read the ELI Student Handbook, condensed, on the ELI blog)

  • contains information about the university and the ELI
  • gives an overview of Houston -- shopping, entertainment, housing, transportation
  • advises on common problems, such as getting a driver's license or finding a doctor


The International Student Office provides information:

  • immigration regulations
  • the academic class registration process
  • academic class rules and regulations


In general, safety in the United States is no different from safety in any other large city of the world. Students should be reasonably careful. We encourage students to follow some simple safety precautions, such as not carrying large sums of money. We present these simple safety tips in orientation and provide students with an illustrated safety pamphlet.

In Houston

  • special programs make the streets of the city safer
  • the Houston police force is helpful and friendly


At the University of Houston-Downtown

  • our student safety record is excellent
  • city buses and trains deliver students to our front door
  • shuttle buses deliver students from the parking lot to our front door
  • university security officers are ready to help students at all times
  • we have the best safety record of any university in the Houston area


Health is important, and medical care is expensive in the United States. All international students using a student visa (F1) are required to have UHD student medical insurance coverage. Other insurance policies are not accepted. For resident students, insurance is optional.


  • is world-famous for its medical center
  • has many specialists and doctors
  • has many doctors from other cultures who speak other languages


University of Houston-Downtown Student Health Center

  • provides some medical services to students
  • provides referrals to doctors for special problems


University of Houston-Downtown health insurance

  • costs ELI students $224.00 per two-session block
  • has no deductible when students are referred from Student Health Center
  • allows the use of any licensed doctor
  • covers most health issues (a brochure is available if desired)

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Last updated or reviewed on 5/15/12

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