Intensive English (ESL) Students

Apply to the International English Language Institute (IELI)

The International English Language Institute (IELI), located on the campus of Humboldt State University, is a multi-level intensive English program designed for students planning to enter an American college or university. We offer 5 sessions of intensive English language instruction per year.

IELI helps students improve their proficiency in the English language in order to reach academic, professional, and personal goals.  In small classes taught by dedicated professionals, students are given individual attention to help develop their skills in taking notes, giving oral presentations, and writing.

Application Process

STEP 1: Apply Online or print a paper Application Form.

Application form and information in other langauges:

  • Be sure that your name is spelled exactly as it is on your passport. Check the starting date of the sessions you wish to attend.  If you fill out the paper form, you can mail it to our address below or email it to
  • To assist us in placing you in the proper level, please take the Cambridge Placement Test and report your score on the application.

STEP 2: Pay the US $55.00 Application Fee.

  • You may pay online using the link above, via international money order, or by a check drawn on a U.S. bank. Checks should be payable to HSU.

STEP 3: Submit Certification of Finances.

  • If you are sponsored, send evidence of your scholarship or bursary. 

STEP 4: Send photocopy of your passport.

STEP 5: Transfer Students (only if transferring from a U.S. school)

  • If you are already in the U.S. and transferring from another school or program, you must send us an IELI Notification of Intent to Transfer which shows that you are in status, and a photocopy of your I-20.

STEP 6: Submit Student Consent for Release of Information if you are an agent submitting an application on behalf of the student.

STEP 7: Send your application materials to or mail to

Center for International Programs
Humboldt State University
1 Harpst St.
Arcata, CA 95521-8299

Deadlines and dates
Session Dates Application Deadline
Fall 1 mid-August to mid-October June 15
Fall 2 mid-October to mid-December August 15
Spring 1 mid-January to mid-March November 15
Spring 2 mid-March to mid-May January 15
Summer mid-May to mid-July March 15

All sessions are 8 weeks. 

Insurance Requirement

 All students must have health insurance. You can buy health insurance when you arrive.
When you receive your I-20 and letter of admission, you should apply for an F-1 Student Visa at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

Time to Completion

IELI offers classes at the high-beginner through advanced levels. Applicants should have some basic knowledge of English (for example, they studied English in high school). Students can assess their language level using the Cambridge Placement Test to see if they are prepared for the IELI program.  The IELI English language program is suitable for students who score 7 or higher on the Cambridge Test. Students who have never studied English and are unable to take the test, or who score lower than 7 should apply to a program that offers basic English.

Please consult the table below to find out how long it will take you to finish the Advanced level at the IELI and become eligible for the Bridge Program.

TOEFL Score at time of entry* IELI Level Time to completion
Below 400 Intermediate or lower 1 to 1.5 years
400 - 450 Intermediate or High Intermediate About 1 year
450 or higher High Intermediate or Advanced 2 to 3 sessions (4 to 6 months)
500 or more Bridge 1 semester for undergraduate studies (6 months), 1 to 2 semesters for graduate studies (6 months to one year)

 *Note: these scores are only estimates for time to completion.  Student's level will be assessed upon arrival at the IELI.