English Language Institute

Custom ESL Programs

The ELI is happy to design a program to meet the language needs of your educational institution, business, or government organization. Whether it's a one-week intensive program or a one-year immersion program, we can work with you to create an in-person, virtual or hybrid program that fits your budget, your schedule, and the goals and objectives of your curriculum.  We can even include tourist activities, sightseeing trips, or other field trips and experiential learning activities that would complement your curriculum.


Examples of Custom Programs

For more than 50 years, the ELI has worked for and partnered with many organizations to create custom English programs for their students or employees. Below is a sample of some recent work:

  • American Football Language and Culture Program
  • American Language and Culture Summer Program (sample program for Wuhan University)
  • Curriculum development for the English program at the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute
  • English as a Foreign Language for International Teachers (EFLPIT)
  • Intensive English Teacher Training Program (IETTP) for Korean teachers of English as a Foreign Language
  • English Communication for Chinese Bioethicists Program (part of “Building International Research Ethics Capacity in China with funding from the Fogarty International Center of the NIH - R25-TW009511)
  • English for Kazakh Medical Professionals Program
  • English for Saudi Police Officers Program
  • Intensive English Study Abroad Program for credit at the students' home institution

Requirements for Custom Programs

  • All participants must be high school graduates.
  • Custom programs are designed for groups of 15 or more. If the group is smaller than 15, the total cost of the program is divided by the actual number of students participating in the program.
  • For custom programs whose students enter the US on a tourist visa, classroom hours cannot exceed 16 hours per week.
  • The ELI may be able to issue an I-20 for an F-1 student visa for special programs that are at least 18 ESL classroom hours per week and are scheduled according to the calendar of our Intensive English Program or established 6-week summer programs. If the schedule of your custom program does not match these schedules, an I-20 for full-time study may still be possible if we are provided with at least 9 months' advance notice.


  • The cost of a custom program depends on many things, including:

    • the content, number of classroom hours, and length of the program, 

    • extracurricular activities and field trips included in the program, 

    • the total number of students in the program, 

    • type of housing and accomodations, 

    • and other factors.

  • Please contact us to discuss the needs of your group and determine pricing. 

Additional Benefits for Students in Custom Programs

  • Students who successfully complete a custom program will receive a certificate of attendance from the English Language Institute.
  • Students in custom programs who pay required University fees are part of the University of Pittsburgh community and can use University librariesrecreational/sports facilities and computing labs on campus.
  • The Pitt Arts Program provides students access to discounted cultural activities throughout the city.


Contact us for more information about a custom-designed program for your organization.