The Intensive English Program is offered three times per year.
Fall: September to December (14 weeks)
Spring: January to May (14 weeks)
Summer: June to August (7 weeks)
Students from all over the world study in the MEI intensive English program. Most MEI students are university age,18-28 years old. (You must be at least 18 years old to join our intensive English program).
The intensive English program is a non-credit program offered three times per year. The fall term (September to December) and the spring term (January to April) are each 14 weeks long. The summer session (late June to the early August) is seven weeks long. Fall and Spring term classes meet daily, usually between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm, with 21 instructional hours and two hours of a structured extracurricular workshop per week (Summer term classes are different, see Summer Intensive English Program for more details.
The intensive program has five levels ranging from beginning to advanced. On the first day of the semester, each new student takes an English proficiency test. Students are placed into classes based on their test scores.
In the program, students study reading, writing, grammar, listening, and speaking with a semi-integrated skills curriculum. They take part in many communicative and experiential activities such as discussions and group projects. Students who do the assignments generally make a great deal of progress during the semester. Classes are generally small, with an average of 15 students. The small class size allows lecturers to give students plenty of individual attention and to review assignments very carefully.
Tuition must be paid on the day after the English placement test. MEI staff will help new students go to the Bursar's Office at the university to pay. Tuition must be paid by cash, check, or a major credit card. Checks should be made out to the University of Maryland.
At the end of the semester, students who pass their classes with an average of at least 70% will receive a Certificate of Achievement.
After they are admitted to MEI, new students come to MEI on the first day, check in, and take the placement exam. After they complete the placement exam, they are given their schedule for the following day, when they will participate in an orientation to the program, the institute, and the campus.
Students in the MEI intensive program may apply to participate in a program called Speaking Partners. In this program, the MEI student is matched with a highly proficient English speaker. The partners meet for an hour each week outside of class for informal conversation. The Speaking Partners program is offered only in fall and spring terms. It is not offered in summer.
In the fall and spring semesters, students are invited to a weekly coffee hour, which provides an opportunity to meet and converse with members of the greater campus community. You can find more information on the IES International coffee hour page.
Each semester, one all-program field trip and one class field trip are offered to sites of interest in the Washington, D.C. area.
MEI policies are described for students in the MEI Student Handbook.
Admission to the Maryland English Institute (MEI) does not constitute admission to any other program of the University of Maryland. Applicants to the Maryland English Institute must not expect that admission to the University of Maryland is automatic upon completing their course of English. Those who wish to apply to the University of Maryland must do so through a separate application process. MEI offers assistance with the application process to students in the MEI Intensive Program who wish to apply to the University of Maryland.
Students who attend MEI generally hold F-1 visas, with I-20s issued by the University of Maryland. MEI offers assistance to students with questions about their visa status and requirements. The university's Office of International Services (OIS) also assists MEI students with visa issues.
MEI students may use the UM libraries, the Campus Recreation Services (swimming pools, tracks, weight rooms, basketball courts, etc.) Dining services are available across the campus, including the Stamp Student Union and the UM Health Center.
MEI students may use the UM Shuttle Bus service. The Shuttle Bus has a robust system of routes around the campus, through the surrounding community, and to several neighborhing Metro stations. The Washington, D.C. area metropolitan transportation system has several routes to Washington, DC and areas in Maryland and Virginia.
All MEI students holding J-1 visas must have health insurance. All others are strongly advised to have health insurance. If you do not already have health insurance valid for use in the U.S., you may apply for coverage through the University Health Center. Information will be provided to you when you arrive.
On campus student housing is very limited. MEI students usually live off campus. It is very important to begin the search for housing shortly after the student is admitted to MEI. There is more Information about housing on MEI's Housing information page. .
EducationUSA is a global network of more than 450 advising centers that offer accurate, unbiased, comprehensive, and timely information about educational institutions in the United States. An EducationUSA booklet is available with information about full-time English language programs in the United States. This booklet is translated into Arabic, French, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.
You can visit an EducationUSA center to speak with a professional advisor who has first-hand experience studying in the United States or who has received State Department-approved training about United States higher education and the advising process. Visit their web page to find the center near you.