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English Language Institute - About ELI

Welcome to the University of Houston-Downtown's English Language Institute (ELI), where specialists in the English language teach English language to non-native speakers for university study and professional life.

The Programs

Currently we offer a variety of English courses. Our Business English program trains international business executives and employees in continuous programs. Our Intensive English program prepares international students who wish to enter U.S. universities.


Business English trainees are professionals who take individual courses as scheduled or arrange for private courses. Courses are offered year-long.


Intensive English students can enroll for any of six sessions a year and have the option to study for a single session or choose a two-session, discounted block. Tuition rates vary, depending on which option a student chooses.

Instructors and Staff

ELI Instructors are professionals in the field of English language instruction, care very deeply about the quality of our ELI program, and are committed to making each student's experience with us the very best possible. Many of our staff members have been with the ELI program for twenty years or more and have devoted their lives to cross-cultural issues and situations.


Additionally, our instructors:


  • Have degrees in language teaching and related fields (usually Masters degrees)
  • Know the latest theories and practices in language teaching
  • Possess extensive experience teaching university and professional students from all cultures
  • Taught credit courses both at UHD and 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

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



We have approximately 240 students study in the ELI each session. If you have a question you would like to ask a current student, all you have to do is send us an email!


ELI Students:

  • Enter the program with all levels of English skill, from no English to above TOEFL ibt 80 proficiency
  • Come from all over the world - 55% are male and 45% are female
  • Are 17 through 64 years old, with the average student age of 25
  • Study for academic or career goals and work to improve their daily language
  • Enter the ELI program 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


Fall 1, 2014 Statistics
Fall 2, 2014 Statistics
ELI Student Home Countries ELI Student Home Countries
Africa 9% Africa 10%
The Americas  29% The Americas 27%
Middle East 37% Middle East 32%
Russia 6% Russia 6%
Asia 18% Asia 24%
Other 1% Other 1%


ELI Laboratories and Support Equipment

ELI students have daily access to three laboratories: ELI lab

  • The Sanako 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 their spare time to improve their language skills, practice typing in English, and build vocabulary, grammar, reading, listening, writing, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, and pronunciation skills. Students can use computers with Internet access Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Our materials reflect our commitment to serve a broad range of student interests and needs.
  • Computer laboratory where students take classes, work on paper writing, view digital displays and manage other classroom tasks.


luauWe understand that our ELI 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 need to be able to relax a little, too. All our activities are designed to help students with these needs.

Some of our ELI Student Activities include:

  • Special classes to 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
  • Field trips take ELI students to interesting sites like the zoo and museums
  • Special meals and parties reflect a variety of cultural events
  • Class trips to court or areas of interest in town add to the fun!

NASA activity

Orientations and Handbooks

Our Student Orientation

  • 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

  • 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
  • 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, and 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 - we have the best safety record of any university in the Houston area
  • 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


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

  • Allows students to use the Student Health Center
  • 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)
  • Health care costs have risen and students must be prepared to keep their insurance active
  • Students must purchase university health insurance. Private insurance policies will not be accepted.


If you have any questions, or need additional information, please contact us at:


English Language Institute

University of Houston-Downtown

One Main Street, Suite S417

Houston, Texas 77002 USA


Telephone: 1-713-221-8047

Fax: 1-713-223-7477



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Last updated or reviewed on 11/26/14

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