Springfield College offers an intensive English program in collaboration with the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI).

Classes are held at Springfield College as part of one and two-semester programs from September to December and January to May. Summer sessions are also offered.

The Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) can be a stand-alone study abroad program or an ESL pathway to a Springfield College degree program.

Why study through the Intensive English Language Institute?

  • Small Class Sizes
    • Each class size is between five to 15 students, allowing students individualized attention specific to their needs.
  • Excellent Teachers
    • Springfield College has collaborated with the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI) to provide certified teachers with years of experience teaching English as a second language. Our teachers are dedicated to preparing students for success in an American academic program.
  • Experience American Culture
    • In addition to classroom learning, IELI includes trips throughout the northeast to immerse its international students in American culture and tradition.
  • Great Location
    • Springfield College’s central location allows students the opportunity to visit great American cities in the northeast. Springfield College is located in Springfield, Massachusetts, less than two hours away from Boston, two hours from Providence, R.I., and three hours from New York City.

Application Requirements

  • A completed IELI application form
  • A photocopy of your passport (information page)
  • Official proof of graduation in English or translated into English (An official high school transcript for grades 9-12 or other proof of graduation from high school)
  • A completed Declaration of Finances and proof of your ability to pay


The IELI program helps students whose native language is not English to make the transition to undergraduate and graduate programs and professional work both in and outside of the United States.

The weekly classroom schedule consists of 21 scheduled hours a week (Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to noon, and Monday to Thursday 1-2:30 p.m.). On Friday afternoons students also can attend Language Lab where they will have the opportunity to practice English reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills using computer software programs.

Students also have access to Open Book online ESL tutorials and lessons to use anytime on campus throughout their study session. Each new student is assessed by a 45-minute BESTEL grammar test, a 30-minute writing sample, and a seven to 10-minute oral interview, which evaluates the student on a nine-level rubric. Upon completion of the program, the student is assessed again using different versions of the same three tests. The pre- and post-test results are compared and feedback is given to students on their progress according to the nine-level curriculum, which is available on request.

IEP Level Corresponding Score on the TOEFL iBT
1 (Low Elementary) 0-20
2 (Mid Elementary) 20-30
3 (High Elementary) 30-40
4 (Low Intermediate) 40-50
5 (Mid Intermediate) 50-60
6 (High Intermediate) 60-70
7 (Low Advanced) 70-80
8 (Mid Advanced) 80-90
9 (High Advanced) 90-120

The Intensive English Program approach is based on Jim Cummins’ theory of English proficiency. According to Cummins, there are two kinds of English proficiency: Basic Interpersonal Conversational Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). Levels 1-3 mainly focus on BICS and work on functional English for everyday survival and social situations, usually dealing with familiar topics. Levels 4-6 focus on both BICS and CALP, English for academic and professional situations often dealing with unfamiliar topics and authentic materials. Levels 7-9 focus mainly on CALP.

All of IELI's classes consist of 60-80 percent speaking. This is important to foster individual language production. Students develop not only academic skills to succeed in college, but also communication skills to be successful in their local community or campus. Students work toward becoming fluent in both the language and culture in which they study, work, and live.

Field Trips

IELI students participate in a variety of field trips throughout the semester in order to experience American culture. Field trips include visits to museums throughout the northeast, trips to regional festivals such as the Big E, local hiking trips, and more. Students have full access to all of the great trips and experiences offered to the Springfield College student population as well.


  • Tuition for each 15-week semester: $6,000
  • Tuition for each six-week summer session: $2,500

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be a part of the College?

Yes. IELI students have the status of a full college student at Springfield College. This includes full access to the Wellness Center, Fieldhouse, Learning Commons, Health Center, dining services, and more.

You may participate in clubs and intramural sports as well as other events on campus.

Will I finish the program in one semester?

All students are tested and evaluated at the end of every semester and upon reaching the designated level (with college-level skills in reading and writing) for undergraduate/graduate requirements, the student will matriculate into their degree program upon final evaluation and recommendation of the IELI instructor(s).

What happens after I finish IELI?

If conditionally accepted to a degree program at Springfield College, students will begin their program. Students will receive an English evaluation and a certificate of completion if done with their studies.

Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS?

Students do not need to take the TOEFL Test or the IELTS test to be admitted into IELI or to matriculate into Springfield College if they have successfully completed the IELI program.

How will I get my student visa?

The International Center will generate an I-20 for international students admitted to the IELI program once their application is complete with all supporting documents. The I-20 will be used to obtain a student visa from the applicant’s nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The International Center also can issue I-20s for students conditionally accepted to Springfield College degree programs who will start at the College in the IELI program.

Where will I live?

Springfield College is a residential college and does provide on-campus housing. Students will follow Springfield College guidelines concerning housing options.

What can I do for fun?

IELI students can participate in intramural sports, the International Student Organization, and any other clubs and activities on campus. Students can enjoy a variety of local restaurants and entertainment options in Springfield (Home of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame) as well.

Can I work?

There are no employment opportunities available for IELI students. Springfield College international students on student visas may work according to immigration rules (on the campus, 20 hours per week during school; 40 hours per week during school breaks).