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


​The English Language Institute (ELI) of the University of Houston-Downtown offers an Intensive English Program and a Business English tutoring service.

Intensive English Program: Our Intensive English Program is a full-range English language-training program that accommodates the needs of international students and Houston community residents with academic objectives and basic language acquisition. 

Business English Program: Our Business English Tutoring Program addresses the unique needs of companies interested in training their employees, and international professionals who need specific business English skills that will help them meet their professional goals.​

Instructors a​​nd Staff​​

ELI Instructors are professionals in the field of English language instruction. All instructors and staff members care very deeply about the quality of our ELI program, and are committed to making each student's experience positive and rewarding. Many of our ELI staff members have been with the ELI program more than 20 years and have devoted their lives to cross-cultural issues and situations.

All ELI instructors:

  • have degrees in language teaching and related fields
  • 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 to adjust, solve problems, and learn quickly
  • give students extra help after class
  • receive high evaluations from students


We have approximately 120 students study in the ELI each session. 

ELI students:

  • enter the program with all levels of English skills, from beginner level to advanced English
  • come from all over the world; 5% percent are male and 45 percent are female
  • are 17 through 64 years old; the average is student is 25 years old
  • study for academic or career goals and work to improve their language daily
  • 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
  • ​say these things​ in their evaluations of our program

ELI students 

ELI Student Home Countries ELI Student Home Countries
The Americas 29%The Americas27%
Middle East37%Middle East32%

ELI Laboratories and Support Equipm​​ent

ELI students have daily access to three laboratories: ELI lab

  • The Sanako Computerized Language Laboratory: Students use this lab to practice the basics of pronunciation, listening and speaking
  • The Multimedia Laboratory: Students use this state-of-the-art lab in their spare time to improve their language skills, practice typing in English, build vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation skills, and work on test preparation.
  • The Computer Laboratory: This lab is available for students to take classes, practice writing, view digital displays and manage other classroom tasks.


luauWe understand that our ELI students need more than class to have a successful term of study. Students can make new friends, discover new cultures, visit areas of interest and relax a bit, too. All our activities help students with these needs..

Some of our ELI Student Activities include:

  • Special classes to allow students to meet one another
  • Fairs that introduce ELI students to UHD student organizations
  • University activities that entertain and help ELI students increase their circle of friends
  • Afternoon activities, such as meetings and movies, that entertain and encourage English practice
  • Volunteer programs that place students with English speakers
  • Fieldtrips to take ELI students to interesting sites like the zoo and museums
  • Special meals and parties to reflect a variety of cultural events
  • Fun class trips to areas of interest in town

NASA activity 

Orien​​tations 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 Handbook contains:

  • 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 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.

Safety Benefits in Houston:

  • Special programs make city streets safer
  • The Houston police force is helpful and friendly

Safety Benefits at UHD:

  • 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. Private insurance policies are not accepted. For resident students, insurance is optional.

Houston Health Benefits:

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

UHD’s Student Health Center:

  • Provides medical services to students; services vary
  • Provides referrals to doctors for special problems

UHD’s 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

Note: Health care costs have risen and students must be prepared to keep their health insurance active.

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

UHD Academic Affairs Webmaster
Last updated 9/23/2016 6:33 AM