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Southern Illinois University
Center for English as a Second Language

Fast Facts

ESL programSince 1966, Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) has been a successful intensive English program with a well-established international reputation. Students enjoy small class sizes and individualized attention in a beautiful natural environment. Located on the modern campus of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC), the study environment is wholesome and peaceful, and students enjoy a world-class recreation center. Most students enjoy the beautiful forest and lake on campus, in addition to outdoor hiking, boating, camping, baseball games, sports, and contact with the friendly people of southern Illinois. Bordered by a 270,000 acre national forest and surrounded by several fishing and boating lakes, the city of Carbondale was named ‘The Best Small City in Illinois’ by Life in America’s Small Cities. Located in the ‘Heartland’ region of the U.S.A., residents enjoy a low cost of living combined with easy access to major cities like St. Louis, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Nashville.

Carbondale is a safe, friendly, academic community, and that is reflected in our classes. Classes are limited to 15 students and are comprised of between 15-21 nationalities, which makes for a global environment.

Admissions & Academics


Center for English as a Second LanguageAdmission is open to individuals who are willing to apply themselves to the demanding language-learning program, who have attained the age of eighteen or completed secondary schooling, and who have adequate resources to cover their expenses (CESL charges and living expenses) for the entire period of study at CESL.

To apply for the program, you must complete all of the following before being considered.

  • Fill out an application.
  • Complete a financial statement.
  • Pay a $50.00 non-refundable application fee.
  • Provide transcripts of your academic records.

There are 4 ways to fill out an application.

  1. Request application forms by e-mailing [email protected].
  2. Request application forms by sending a letter to the address below.
  3. Download the application as a PDF. (Acrobat Reader required)
  4. Fill out the on-line application form.

language learning programThe financial statement is included in the downloadable PDF. If you apply using another method, you will be instructed on how to provide financial information to complete your application process. Depending on your country of origin and upon other factors, an official letter from your bank may also be necessary.

The $50 application fee must be in the form of a check, draft, or money order payable to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


SIUC is ranked in the top 3.8% of US research institutions.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale offers over 200 Bachelor degrees, over 65 Master’s degrees, 4 Master of Fine Arts Degrees, and over 31 Doctoral degrees.

Information for International Students

International Student Services

CESL sponsors numerous cultural and social activities throughout the term. In addition, CESL helps students understand immigration policies and adjust to life in the US.


Upon arrival, students will be assisted in making arrangements for living accommodations. Most students prefer to live in dormitories near campus.


CESL Charges 8-week 6-week
Application Charge (non refundable) $50.00 $50.00
Class Charge $2000.00 $1850.00
Activities Charge $30.00 $30.00

Other Costs to Students

8-week 6-week

Health Service (approximate) - SIUC Health Service provides primary care and major medical insurance (non refundable)

$350.00 $300.00

TOEFL Test Fee (per test)

$25.00 $25.00

Recreation (non refundable)

$64.15 $64.15

Books (average)

$100.00 $100.00

Dormitory and Food (approximate)

$2000.00 $1800.00

Apartments ($400 - $600 per month)


Incidental Costs - Expenses for entertainment and incidentals amount to $35 - $50 per week for the average student.


Things to do/see

On campus, SIUC has a world-class recreation center, excellent guest lecturers, professional music, theater, and sporting events. Off campus, students enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, visiting the many small towns for cultural experiences, participating in local events.

Carbondale enjoys four seasons: a cool, green spring; hot summers; cool fall with trees that change from green to red, orange, and yellow; and snowy winters.

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

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