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    English as a Second Language Program

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    •  Welcome to ESL at Capital 

      Welcome to the Capital University ESL Program website. We are pleased that you are considering Capital as a place to improve your English language skills, learn more about American culture, and experience university life on a small and friendly campus in the center of the U.S.

      Capital’s ESL Program has been helping students from all over the world master English since 1992. Our mission is to prepare you to meet the English requirements for admission to a U.S. university or to advance your international communication and business interests.

      If you have questions as you read the information that follows, please email me.

      Louis W (Bill) Holschuh
      Director, ESL Program


    •  ESL Program Overview

      Overview: The ESL Program provides intensive instruction English, with a focus on using English for academic or professional purposes. Most students in the program plan to begin undergraduate or graduate study in an American college or university after they complete their English program. Some students are admitted to Capital for ESL only, while others are admitted conditionally to an undergraduate academic program at Capital but need to complete English study before they can begin their academic coursework.

      Instructors: Your instructors are experienced and qualified teachers of English language. Most have been teaching for more than 10 years and many have taught English in other countries. All ESL faculty hold master’s degrees or higher in teaching English as a second language or a related field. 

      ESL Calendar: The ESL Program at Capital operates on the semester system. The fall and spring semesters are each 16 weeks. Classes meet daily, Monday through Friday, for five hours each day (25 hours each week). The summer semester is 12 weeks long, also with five hours of class each day. Course are offered at four proficiency levels: elementary, intermediate, high-intermediate, and advanced.

      Previous English Study: You should have previous study of English before you come to Capital, at least two years in high school (secondary school) or a full year in university within the past five years. Students in Level 1 (Elementary) must be able to speak, understand, write, and read simple English sentences before coming to Capital. If you are not able to do this, you will be advised to find another program in which you can be successful. Please contact the ESL director  if you have questions or concerns.

      See the ESL Student Handbook (link pdf) for more detailed information.

    • ESL term dates

      Summer semester 2015
      • May 6-7: Orientation
      • May 11: Classes begin
      • May 25 and July 3: No classes
      • July 24: Last day of class
      • July 27-28: Final exams

      Fall semester 2015
      • Fall semester 2015
      • August 18-19: Orientation
      • August 24: Classes begin
      • September 7: No class
      • November 25-29: No class
      • December 4: Last day of class
      • December 7-10: Final exams

      Spring semester 2016
      • January 6-7: Orientation
      • January 11: Classes begin
      • January 18: No regular classes; special workshops and activities
      • February 27-March 6: Spring break; no classes
      • March 24-27: Easter recess; no classes
      • April 26: Last day of class
      • April 27-May 3: Final exams
    • Curriculum

      New students take the English Placement Test (EPT) and write a sample composition before they begin classes. The results of these tests and an oral interview determine which level in the program is the best placement.

      The ESL curriculum is divided into four levels: Elementary, Intermediate, High-intermediate, and Advanced. Each level lasts one semester (16 weeks; 12 weeks in the summer). At each level, students attend daily classes in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, Grammar, and Special Topics. Classes meet five hours each day Monday through Friday, for a total of 25 hours of class each week. In the summer, because the semester is only 12 weeks, classes meet an additional hour each day but without Special Topics, for a total of 25 hours each week.

      Level 1: Elementary Students at the Elementary Level can communicate with English speakers, but with difficulty. They can read and write in English at a basic level. The Elementary classes emphasize the grammar of English sentences and English vocabulary as well as increasing fluency in reading, writing, and speaking.
      Level 2: Intermediate Students at the Intermediate Level can communicate with English speakers in many social situations, but they need to improve their fluency and control in both speaking and writing. Classes emphasize using English in academic settings, with continued focus on understanding and using grammar and vocabulary effectively. 
      Level 3: High-intermediate High-intermediate: Students at the High-intermediate Level are approaching readiness for academic study but still have difficulties using their English skills. Emphasis at this level includes development of both accuracy and organization in writing, increased sophistication of reading skills, and the integration of all language skills to interpret, synthesize, and report information. 
      Level 4: Advanced Students at the Advanced Level are nearly ready to begin academic study or participate with confidence in professional settings. Advanced Level classes place heavy emphasis on using English for academic purposes: organizing, paraphrasing, summarizing, and synthesizing English in both speaking and writing.

      Occasionally, based on student need, a Basic Level (pre-Elementary) is offered. Details descriptions of all ESL classes can be found in the ESL Student Handbook


    • Activities and student life

      In addition to regular ESL classes, a number of specialized ESL workshops and fun activities are offered each semester, including field trips and a Conversation Partner Program. In addition, an active International Student Association regularly sponsors events for the international community.

      There are many opportunities for ESL students to participate in various organizations and campus activities, providing interaction with American students. Capital has over 100 student organizations and clubs, something for everyone.

      Capital is located in the middle of a growing and exciting city, Columbus, Ohio, the fifteenth largest city in the U.S. Columbus is a center of arts, sports, and business. There is virtually no end of exciting possibilities for the ESL student.
    • Housing

      ESL students can live in one of the university dormitories or apartments, or they can live off campus. On-campus dormitories are most appropriate for students 17-23 years old. Space is limited, so it is important to apply early. There is no University housing for married students.

      For details, see Housing and Transportation or the section on Housing in the tab below, After you are admitted.
    • Applying to ESL

      You can apply to study in the ESL Program only, or you can apply for conditional admission. Conditional admission means that you have been accepted to study in a Capital undergraduate academic program, but must first study English for one semester or more before you can begin.

      There is a $25 application fee for Capital University; in addition, there is a fee for sending your I-20 overseas by express service.

      Application deadlines: If you are applying from overseas, it is important to apply early. For full consideration, it is best to apply by the following dates:

      • June 1 for Fall Semester (August – December)
      • March 1 for Summer Semester (May – July)
      • November 1 for Spring Semester (January – May)

      If you are applying from within the U.S., we should receive your application at least one month before the beginning of classes.

      To apply for admission, go to International Student Application Process.

    • Tuition and fees

      If you wish to study on an F-1 (Student) visa, you must be enrolled full time. If you have a different immigration status, it is possible to study part time. However, please note that all classes meet five days a week, Monday – Friday.


    • Tuition for the full-time program (25 hours/week) is $6,200 each semester in fall and spring. Tuition for an individual 5-credit course is $1,240. A full-time student takes 5 courses each semester fall and spring

      In the summer, because the semester is shorter, students take 4 courses. Tuition for the full-time summer semester is $4,960.

      If you wish to study on an F-1 (Student) visa, you must be enrolled full time. If you have a different immigration status, it is possible to study part time. However, please note that all classes meet five days a week, Monday – Friday.

      Students who need an I-20 must submit financial documentation for the length of their study. For example, students planning to study ESL for one semester need to show $12,661. Students planning to study a full academic year one year need to show $25,332:

      • Tuition 
        $6,200 (One semester)  
        $12,400 (Full year/2 semesters) 
      • Mandatory health & wellness fee (for use of Campus Health Center)
        $50 (One semester)
        $100 (Full year) 
      • Estimated living expenses (Room and Board)
        $4,711(One semester) 
        $9,422 (Full year) 
      • Estimated books, insurance, supplies
         (One semester)
        $3,400  (Full year) 
      • Total
        $12,661(One semester)  
         (Full year) 

      There is no tuition deposit or pre-payment required for ESL students before classes begin. However, payment is due the first week of the semester. A late fee is assessed for students who pay late.

    • What makes Capital a great place to study English?

      • Intensive instruction (25 hours each week) to help you make fast progress;
      • Special topic enrichment classes to complement your core study of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and grammar;
      • Experienced and friendly instructors to make your study both challenging and fun;
      • A rigorous curriculum that focuses on English for academic purposes; 
      • Classes in all the language skills: reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, and critical thinking;
      • Cultural and community field trips for a richer understanding of American life;
      • Optional conditional admission allows you to move easily from intensive ESL to an undergraduate academic program at Capital.
    • After You're Admitted 

      Congratulations on your acceptance! Once you are accepted to study in the ESL Program, there are a number things you need to be aware of. To help you prepare to attend Capital University, we will send you the Pre-Arrival Guide for International Students. It will tell you what to expect and how to prepare before you leave home.

      For more information, visit Office of International Education (link to And read the information that follows about the steps you now need to take before joining us at Capital.

    • Next Steps After You are Admitted
      • I-20 mailing options

        When your application has been approved, you will receive an email message from the Admissions Office asking how we should send your I-20 to you. Please reply to the email immediately. Choose one of the following options:

        1. Express mail ($40-$100, depending upon your country):

        • Quick delivery (3-5 business days) and with tracking option
        • Register with University Express Mail Services (UEMS) at and pay for the mailing cost. Use the above website; do not go directly to FedEx or DHL. UEMS will notify us when you have registered and paid a shipment. 
        • Pay with a credit card. UEMS will use FedEx, DHL, or UPS based on the origin and destination location.
        UEMS Logo

        2. Air Mail (no charge):
        • Slower delivery (4-6 weeks)
        • No cost to you
        • It will be sent to the mailing address you provided in your application.
        • Email if you would like us to use a different mailing address.

        3. Authorize a friend or a relative to pick up your 1-20 from the Capital University Admissions Office:
        • Send an email to 
        • In your email, be sure to give us:
          - Your name and student ID
          - Your friend’s or relative’s name and contact information.
          - A statement authorizing that person to pick up your document from the Admission Office. 
        • Your friend or relative must have a proper ID when they visit the Admission Office to pick up your document. 
      • SEVIS fee
        When you receive your I-20 or DS-2019 form, you must pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) I-901 fee before you go to your visa interview or apply for Change of Status.
        • For complete information please visit 
        • The SEVIS fee is separate and in addition to other visa application fees.
        If you are considered a SEVIS-transfer student, you do not have to pay the SEVIS fee again because you have the same SEVIS number. However, it is important to understand the USCIS rules and regulations related to transfers.
        • You must consult with international student advisers at both the old school and Capital University to make sure the F-1 transfer is handled properly.
        • You must transfer your record within a specific time frame. If you do not, you could lose your F-1 status.
        • SEVIS transfer students may leave and re-enter the U.S. However, you must re-enter with Capital’s I-20 and not the previous school’s document. You also must have a valid visa stamp to re-enter the U.S. If you plan to remain in the U.S., a new F-1 visa stamp is not required. 
      • Schedule the VISA interview
        If you are outside the U.S and do not yet have a F-1/J-1 visa, make an appointment at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
        • Go to for the location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest you.
        • Follow the instructions on the website.
      • Apply for housing
        On-Campus Housing
        If you plan to live on campus, sign up for housing as soon as soon as you are admitted.
        • Submit a housing application.
        • Create an account by clicking the “new Capital Students Click Here” link. 
        • On-campus housing is limited. Capital cannot not guarantee housing or apartment space, so apply early. It will be more likely that we can match your preferences.
        Living on a university campus is an important part of the university experience. It's a great way to make friends. For international students, it's also a great way to learn more about American culture.
        • Learn more about living on campus. 
        • Examine the residence Halls options.
        • Check Residential and Commuter Life to learn about early arrival request, what to pack and what not to bring. Or email Jennie Smith, director of Residential and Commuter Life at 
        Off-Campus Housing
        Affordable housing in Bexley is limited. However, the greater Columbus area has many types of accommodation available. Find information about apartments or houses for rent and people looking for roommates through the Columbus Dispatch Classifieds Ads.

        There are no university-owned apartments at Capital. If you're a married student or graduate student, you must rent a privately owned apartment or house.
      • Make your travel plans
        After you receive your visa, make your airline reservation with enough time to arrive Columbus.
        • Capital University is located in Bexley, a suburb of Columbus OH. 
        • You can fly directly to Port Columbus International Airport (CMH). This airport is conveniently located just a few miles away from the Capital main campus.
        If you will live on campus, the Office of International Education can make arrangements to greet you at the Columbus Airport. Please send your flight information to Jennifer Adams, Director of International Education. Include your arrival date, airline name, and flight number. Email this information as soon as it is available (at least two weeks before your arrival).

        You should plan to arrive in Columbus on or before the program starting date listed on your I-20 (item 5). Late registration is not available. If you cannot arrive in time to attend the orientation, please email and ask to defer your admission to the next available term.

        As you make your travel plans, remember that the university doesn’t permit students to move into campus housing until very close to the start of the term and the week before orientation.
      • Complete the student health form
        Health Insurance coverage is required for all international students enrolled at Capital University. Insurance coverage will be automatically included in your tuition bill.

        Please complete both Health Information and Immunization form and Confidential Emergency Contact Information Form and bring them with you to the new student orientation. If you do not have immunization records from your doctor (or school), you will need to get immunization shots when you arrive at Capital, which could cost you an additional $200-$500. All international students must show that they have tested negative for T.B. or take a T.B. test during orientation.
      • New student orientation and placement testing
        The two-day International Student Orientation is mandatory for all new international students. During this orientation, you will receive information about living and studying in the U.S., sign up for your campus ID and student account, take an English placement test, and review important information about maintaining your non-immigrant legal status. For dates, times, and location, visit the Office of International Education or contact Jennifer Adams, Director of International Education, or (614)236-6170.