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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Questions

Do I need the TOEFL to study in the University of Houston-Downtown’s English Language Institute (ELI) programs?

No. You will be tested when you arrive to determine your level.


Do I need the TOEFL to study in the University of Houston Downtown’s academic program?

Yes. You need a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 on the written test, 213 on the computer based test, or 80 on the internet-based test. However, if you graduate from the English Language Institute, you do not need a TOEFL score to study at UHD.


Can I take only one session of English instead of two sessions?

Yes. You can transfer to another school after one session with no penalty other than the Refund Policy as it applies to your case. If you transfer before completing one session, there will be a transfer fee of $200.  Of course, any student may stay one session and then return to their home country. The I-20 will be terminated and the student will have to reapply for another I-20 if a return to U.S. study is planned for the future.


Can I just apply now and bring my documents when I come?

No. This is not possible, even if you have an educational consultant who is applying for you.


Must I send original documents?

The application must be original. Documents such as bank letters and affidavit of support can be scanned and emailed. School records must be originals.


Can I send my documents by fax?

No. You can use a faxed application form to fill out. Just send it back to us by mail or scan it after you fill it out and email it to us.


How long will I study English?

We have seven levels of English in the Intensive English Program. You will be tested and placed in the appropriate level. You can finish one level each session (six levels in a year).  We also have a prep level for those students who arrive with no English whatsoever and/or no knowledge of the English alphabet.


Can you meet me at the airport?

No. You can easily go from the airport to your housing without help. However, we work with a private company, Student Transportation Service, which arranges airport pick-up and other services for a fee. To contact Student Transportation Services for more information, please complete the Transportation Form available on Homestay Houston.


What should I do about housing?

We work with a private host family program. We also suggest that you find an apartment locator. If you cannot find housing, call us for basic assistance.


Can I get a scholarship now for studying English?

No, not from this University, the ELI program does offer a scholarship but it is competitive and only available during certain levels of study. Other UHD scholarships become available to you after you enroll in credit classes. There are outside organizations that offer scholarships and financial aid to students. A good place to begin your search is at College


If I am a resident or US citizen, can I get financial aid?

No. Financial aid is not available until you take credit courses at the University.


What happens if I have to leave unexpectedly?

A student who has a family emergency may return home for a session or two. Please take a moment to read our refund policy. We also apply tuition to other sessions if you are returning.



For additional information, please call 713-221-8047 or email us at




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Last updated or reviewed on 2/25/15

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