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English Language Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the ELI? 

To apply to the ELI, you must submit the following:

  • A completed application https://www.usm.edu/english-language-institute/.
  • Attach a picture of your passport to the application
  • Submit financial support documentation (3 consecutive months of bank      statements)
  • Pay the $50.00 Application fee and $100 Tuition Deposit

Additionally, all applicants will participate in a virtual meeting with Assistant Director Kacey Cole. This meeting will serve as an interview to determine the applicant's English proficiency as well as give the applicant an opportunity to ask questions about the ELI, USM, or Hattiesburg. 

How old must I be to enroll in the ELI?

Students must be 18 years old at the time of their arrival to campus in order to enroll at the ELI.

Must I have completed high school prior to enrolling in the ELI?

No, you do not have to have completed high school, but you must be 18 years old by the time classes begin.

What is the deadline to apply?

The deadline for Fall admission is June 1, while the deadline for Spring admission is November 1. We currently do not offer summer courses. However, we do recommend that you submit your application as early as possible to allow ample time to obtain a visa interview appointment. 

How to I obtain a Visa?

If your application to the ELI is accepted and you are admitted, you will be sent an I-20. Once you receive the I-20, you will need to submit your nonimmigrant visa application (DS-160) online and pay the necessary fees. (During this application process you will schedule an interview for your visa at the US Embassy in your country or a nearby country.)

How long does it take to get an I-20?

Once you are admitted to the ELI, you should receive your I-20 within two weeks.

How do I transfer to the ELI from another school?

If you would like to transfer to the ELI from another school, simply follow the instructions for applying to the program, but also email eli@usm.edu to obtain our transfer form. Your current DSO will have to return this form to the ELI so that your SEVIS record can be transferred properly.

How is my English level determined? 

Your English level will be determined by our placement test on or before your arrival to the ELI. Currently, we use the iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency) test as our placement instrument. This internet-based test is given to all admitted students.  

What is the length of the program?

The length of our program depends on your English level upon arrival, as well as your desired results. We offer semester length sessions (approximately 14 weeks) beginning in August and January.

Will I receive university credit for my coursework? 

No, you will not receive university credit for ELI coursework.

What classes will I take at the ELI?

Students will have classes in Reading/Vocabulary, Grammar, Writing, and Listening Speaking.

Are there TOEFL and IELTS preparation courses available?

There are no specific test prep classes, but all of our courses serve as preparation for any proficiency exam.

Are ELI students required to live on campus? 

The on campus housing requirement is dependent upon the age of the student. Beginning in Fall 2022, there is now a 1st year Live-On Requirement for students under the age of 20. For more information about the requirement, visit the Department of Housing and Residence Life

Does the ELI offer scholarships? 

No, the ELI does not offer scholarships.

How can I pay my fees? 

Tuition, Housing, and Meal Plan fees are paid directly to USM via cash, check, or credit card. Cash and check payments may be made directly to USM at the Business Office in Forrest County Hall. Online Payments are made via each student’s SOAR account. Application Fee, Tuition Deposit, and Insurance payments should be paid directly to the ELI. Cash or check payments can be made to the ELI Administrator via the ELI CashNet store.

Does the ELI require health insurance?

All International Students on an F-1 visa are required to have health insurance. The health insurance plan is selected by the university and all students have the same coverage. Students are not allowed to choose their own health insurance coverage.

What health requirements are there to attend the ELI?

All new international students are required to have 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, a chest x-ray, and TB test. The chest x-ray and TB test must be conducted at the Moffitt Health Center on USM’s campus. Additionally, students who have previously received the MMR vaccine must provide proof via a vaccination record. 

Does USM offer conditional admission for International students? 

No, USM does not offer conditional admission for international students.

What is USM’s English Proficiency requirement?

The University of Southern Mississippi requires an internet-based TOEFL score of 71 or higher, an IELTS bandscore of at least 6.0, or an iTEP score of 4.0.

What will we do during Orientation? 

During Orientation students will fill out paperwork, take a tour of campus, visit the health clinic, and take placement tests.

What kind of activities does the ELI offer? 

In non-COVID times, the ELI often has events for students including game nights, field trips, meals with other international students, and other fun events to encourage our students to get involved on our campus and in our community.

Are classes online because of COVID-19?

Classes at the ELI are currently meeting in person with the capability of transitioning to online studies as needed. We are excited to be able to offer classes using a traditional method while taking the necessary health and safety precautions.

Contact Us

English Language Institute
201 International Center (IC)
118 College Dr. #5065
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

WhatsApp: +1.601.270.6322

LINE: southernmisseli

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 Email
eliFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.4340