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Intensive English Program at University of Colorado Boulder

Friday | March 1, 2013 | by WES Advisor

International English Center Students [Source: University of Colorado Boulder]

The International English Center (IEC) at the University of Colorado Boulder offers students from all parts of the world a unique opportunity to learn English in a stimulating academic atmosphere, which is at the same time friendly and welcoming. It offers English skills and college preparation classes for beginning to advanced students. As an IEC student, you will have many opportunities to explore the Boulder community and your new life in the United States. The year-round program features five eight-week sessions of intensive English as second language (ESL) instruction, combined with an orientation to university customs, academic preparation, and an introduction to life in the United States.

Session Schedule

  • Spring 1: Early January to early March
  • Spring 2: Early March to early May
  • Summer: Early June to late July
  • Half Summer: July
  • Fall 1: Mid-August to mid-October
  • Fall 2: Mid-October to mid-December

Intensive English Program

The IEP is a well-attended program at the heart of the International English Center. In this year-round program, classes are offered at seven levels: Basic 1, Basic 2, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Intermediate 3, Advanced 1, and Advanced 2. The academic year is divided into five eight-week-long sessions, and students typically attend four to five classes each session, advancing to a new level each session. When they arrive, students are tested and placed into classes which most closely match their English proficiency. Students who have lower-level English skills should expect to spend at least one year and up to one and a half years in our program before entering a university. The different classes include:

  1. Applied structure (grammar)
  2. Listening/speaking
  3. Reading
  4. Writing
  5. Electives
  6. CU-Boulder courses

The Intensive English Program at the International English Center requires significant effort from the student. For every hour that you have class at the IEC, you should plan on studying an hour on your own time. Your teachers will give you homework assignments for you to do at your home after class. You are expected to complete all your homework assignments in addition to coming to class.

University Admissions and Test Preparation

Most US universities require international students to attain a certain score on one of two English proficiency tests: the TOEFL or the IELTS. Students may also be required to take standardized tests such as the SAT (undergraduate study) or the GRE/GMAT (graduate study). The curriculum in the IEC’s Intensive English Program is designed to prepare students for these proficiency exams.

In addition to offering advice and assistance to our students who wish to apply to a university or college, the IEC provides a bridge to the CU-Boulder. Though the IEC does not offer conditional admission to CU-Boulder, IEC faculty and staff work closely with the CU Office of Admissions to facilitate the process for our students, and every session CU admissions officers meet with students who want to apply.

International Student Services

The IEC’s Student Services Office is available to help students acclimate to life in the US. The staff is available to answer questions regarding visa and immigration issues, housing, insurance, banking, and more. When a student has been accepted for admission to the International English Center, the IEC issues the necessary Form I-20. The student must submit this form to the American Consular Office to obtain a student visa for entrance into the United States and attendance at the IEC. The Student Services office also organizes cultural and recreational activities for IEC students each session.

IEC Admissions Process

  1. Complete the Personal Information section.
  2. Choose the course sessions for which you are applying.
  3. Determine your housing options (university dormitory or university apartment).
  4. Provide a statement or letter verifying the availability of funds from a bank or supporting agency. (You will need to show available funds for EACH session for which you are applying.)
  5. Pay all application fees (application processing fee, express mail fee, and optional housing fee).

CU-Boulder IEC is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA).

Links and Resources:

Go to Part 1 – Campus Spotlight: University of Colorado Boulder

WES Advisor is an initiative of World Education Services, a non-profit organization with over 40 years of experience in international education. We provide tips and advice for international students and skilled immigrants to help them make informed decisions about education, employment, and immigration opportunities in the U.S. and Canada.