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Old Dominion University (ODU)

English Language Center [Norfolk, VA]


  • Practice for the TOEFL and GRE with optional preparation courses.
  • Participate in the University's many diverse clubs, activities and sports events.
  • Enjoy Norfolk's warm climate and close proximity to beautiful Virginia Beach.
  • Information
    • About the ESL Program
    • Established in 1981, the English Language Center (ELC) has provided high-quality English language instruction to thousands of international students from all over the world. Instructors at the ELC are continually improving their skills to meet the demands of current ESL trends through research, scholarship and professional development. The ELC's mission is to develop students’ academic English skills, cultivate critical thinking, and expand intercultural understanding of the United States and cultures around the world. Additionally, the ELC encourages its students to further develop their English education by utilizing books, media, TOEFL and GRE preparation materials, and graded readers found in the comprehensive ELC student library.

      The ELC is a proud member of both UCIEP (University and College Intensive English Programs) and EnglishUSA (AAIEP), both of which recognize the ELC for its high professional standards and quality English language instruction.
    • Fast Facts
    • Affiliation : Public
      Establishment : 1981
      Membership/Accreditation : SACS, UCIEP, EnglishUSA (AAIEP)
      Enrollment : 150/session
      Average Class Size : 12-15
      Airport Pickup : Yes
      Tuition : Low
      Community Type : Urban
      Transportation : Bus, Light Rail, Taxi, Private Car, SAFERIDE and escort services
    • A Message from School
    • Hi from sunny Virginia!
      The English Language Center (ELC) is located on the main campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, which is conveniently located just minutes from Virginia Beach and within a few hours’ drive of major cities such as Washington, DC and New York City.

      We offer a full range of courses in English as a second language, and we pride ourselves on our experienced and highly qualified faculty who will help you to reach your personal, career, and/or academic goals through your study of English.

      Studying English in the United States is an exciting journey, and we look forward to supporting you along the way.

      We hope to see you at ODU soon!
      David H. Silvis
      Director, English Language Center
    • English Language Center
      Old Dominion University

      1108 Dragas Hall
      Norfolk, VA  23529-0086  U.S.A.
      TEL: +1 757-683-4424
      FAX: +1 757-683-4640
  • More Details
    • Housing
    • Students attending the ELC during the summer or for a full academic year or more are eligible for on-campus housing. Additionally, the ELC will assist its students in finding off-campus private apartments as well as assist in arranging utility and telephone service, bank accounts and other arrangements necessary to helping students get settled. Off-campus apartments offer students more privacy and the chance to interact with people in the community outside the campus environment. For more information, please contact ELC@ODU.EDU.
    • Surrounding Area
    • Old Dominion University's campus is situated on 157 attractive acres in a residential area of Norfolk, Virginia. Named the "South's #1 big city to live in" by Money Magazine, Norfolk is one of the five cities of an area in Virginia known as Hampton Roads. The region is a major southeastern Atlantic Ocean port, a commercial and banking center and home to important research facilities focusing on aerospace, modeling and simulation, nuclear physics and oceanography. A 30-minute drive from the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay's spectacular beaches, Norfolk is identified as one of Virginia's most lively cultural centers with its renowned galleries, museums and performing arts theaters scattered throughout the city's downtown.

      The Mid-Atlantic location of this historical seaport city offers a pleasant and temperate climate with an average yearly temperature high of about 30°C and average low at approximately 9°C. The greater area surrounding Norfolk offers wide ranging opportunities to experience something different such as whale or bird watching, winery tours, fishing, camping in state parks, horseback riding on nature trails and walking in Virginia's beautiful and colorful autumn leaves. Only a 3 hour drive from the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and 6 hours from New York City, Norfolk allows its residents to experience the best of both worlds – the serene quiet of the countryside and access to thriving, lively cities. The area is served by Norfolk International Airport which is a 20 minute car ride from campus.
    • About the College/University
    • Established as a public institution in 1969, Old Dominion University (ODU) is Virginia’s forward-focused public doctoral research university. ODU is a fully accredited, public state university located in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. The University enrolls over 24,000 students, including 1,200 international students from 113 countries, and offers nationally ranked degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels in many fields including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), business, liberal arts, and more. ODU has excellent faculty, small class sizes, advanced research, and technology centers. ODU’s top quality education has received recognition from Entrepreneur Magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News & World Report.

      ODU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
    • Conditional Admission / Credit Courses
    • Old Dominion University offers conditional admission to undergraduate programs and certain graduate programs. Students can be conditionally admitted to Old Dominion University prior to satisfying the university’s English proficiency requirement. Conditionally admitted students can join the ELC's Monarch English Transition (MET) Program (formerly known as the Bridge Program).

      Conditionally admitted students may enter the MET by successfully meeting the level 5 exit requirements of the ODU ELC's Intensive English Program or by scoring a 500-547 on the TOEFL ITP, 61-78 on the TOEFL iBT, or 5.5-6.0 on the IELTS.

      Programs combine two English language support courses with one to two courses in the student's academic field. Successful completion of the semester-long MET Program satisfies the University's English proficiency requirement.
  • Study Options
    • Intensive English Program

    • Overview
    • The English Language Center’s rigorous full-time Intensive English Program is designed for students who want to develop the academic English proficiency necessary to succeed in ODU’s undergraduate and graduate programs. Full-time students enrolled in the Intensive English Program study 20 hours per week learning and practicing the fundamentals of English grammar, reading/vocabulary, speaking/listening, and writing. Students will improve their English language skills, gain confidence, develop critical reasoning skills, learn about American culture, and prepare for university-level academic courses. The ELC offers six seven-week sessions each year with program start dates in January, March, May, June/July, August, and October.

      The ELC offers six levels of classes from basic to advanced. At the beginning of their first session, students take the ELC’s placement test and are then assigned to the appropriate level of English instruction. Students will receive progress evaluations at the end of each session. Advancing to the next level typically requires two 7-week sessions (one semester). Additionally, for the students’ benefit, an institutional TOEFL is administered four times per year. Upper level students can take extra courses designed to help prepare students for the TOEFL and GRE exams. Students who wish to continue their studies at ODU must apply separately to the university and submit their TOEFL scores.

      The ELC also offers a unique opportunity for international students to be paired with Americans so that they can practice conversational English in a casual setting through the ELC-sponsored Conversation Partners Program. The ELC also offers numerous social activities, such as trips to the beach, aquarium, baseball games, the opera and bowling.

      Interactive classes are emphasized. The average class size is 12-15 students. Every effort is made to keep classes at an ideal size for effective English language instruction. Every instructor has a Master’s degree in TESOL or related field and most have lived and worked abroad.
    • Data
    • CLASS SIZE: 12 - 15 students
      CLASS LEVELS: 6 levels + Undergraduate & Graduate Monarch English Transition
      COURSE LENGTH: 7 weeks minimum; Total length may vary from 7 weeks to 20 months
      MINIMUM AGE: 17 years old
      REQUIREMENT: High school diploma or equivalent
      VISA INFORMATION: I-20 issued upon request
      HOUSING: Off-campus Apartment/
      On-campus dormitory available for students staying during the summer or for a minimum of 1 academic year.
    • Dates
    • 2021
      7 WEEKS:
      6/21 - 8/68/23 - 10/1510/18 - 12/10
    • Costs
      Free of Charge
      TUITION FEE (2021)
      7 WEEKS US$2,200
      14 WEEKS US$4,400
      21 WEEKS US$6,600
      28 WEEKS US$8,800(1 Academic Year)
      7 WEEKS N/A See Below See Below
      14 WEEKS N/A ? ?
      21 WEEKS N/A ? ?
      28 WEEKS N/A ? ?
      Airport Pickup Service
      Free (Available Mon-Fri from 8am to 5pm with 24 hours’ notice)
      Estimated Living Expenses
      $2,650 (It includes housing fee per one 7-week session)
      Health Insurance
      $225 per month
      One-time New Student Fee*
      $125 upon arriving at the ELC
    • Remarks / Other Information
    • *Dates, fees, and other expenses are approximate and may change without notice.
      *One-time new student fee is non-refundable.
      *All new students will need to report to the English Language Center one week before the start date for placement testing and orientation.
  • Location
    • United States Norfolk, Virginia
    • Location
      English Language Center
      Old Dominion University

      1108 Dragas Hall Norfolk, VA  23529-0086  U.S.A.
    • Getting To Your School
    • From Norfolk International Airport:
      The English Language Center provides free airport pick-up service on Mondays through Fridays from 8AM until 5PM. Taxis are available for students arriving at night or on weekends. A taxi will cost approximately US $30 and will arrive on campus in 20 minutes. There is an on-campus hotel, Springfield Suites by Marriott, where students can stay temporarily. Cost is currently US $110 plus tax per night.
  • Student Reviews
    • Academic Quality: 4.3
      School Environment: 4.4
      Helpfulness of Staff: 4.1
      Activities and Social Life: 3.7
      Accommodation: 2.9


    • There are 15 reviews for this school

    • Kim, Hyungjun
      [ Seoul, South Korea, Age 24, Male ]
      5 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
      Why Should You Go Abroad?
      You might consider studying abroad as a means to improve your foreign language skills. However, I thought about it differently when I decided to go to America. I wanted to experience different cultures and conventions that only those countries have. People who have gone through different life stories are at the center. Old Dominion provided students with many activities and they were challenging for me as my English started off rather poor. ODU presently provides quite a great school environment for students. In addition, the quality of class is quite good because there are many teachers who have taught English for a long time. Therefore, I hope you consider how to improve not only your English skills, but also life skills that are helpful in the future.
      Was this review helpful to you? Yes  No 

      [ 서울, 한국, Age 35, Female ]

      Manon Revel
      [ Chambery, France ]

      [ DENIZLI, TURKEY, Age 19, Male ]

      [ sao paulo, Brasil, Age 41, Male ]

    • Below you will find additional reviews in other languages.
    • ApplyESL claims no responsibility for errors in, or the quality of, machine translations provided by Google Translate.

      [ 吉林, 中国 ]
      1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
      觉得还好, 教师素质还是很高的, 相当不错, 环境也还行。

      Fang Yu Yang
      [ Taipei, Taiwan, Age 23, Female ]
      Teachers that teach level 2 are very hard working, and the teaching quality is very good! The ELC also helds some parties when there comes some festivals.

      [ 台北, 台灣, Age 25, Female ]
      1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.

      [ 台北市, 台灣, Age 27, Female ]

      [ 서울, 한국, Age 25, Female ]
      6 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
      다시 가고 싶은 ODU_! ^ ^
      ODU는 정확한 커리큘럼을 가지고 있는 학교라고 하고 싶네요. 짜여진 체계가 탄탄한 만큼 레벨별 학생에 대해 비교적 우수한 잣대(?)로 수업을 진행하는 것 같아요.
      음, 그리고 단점을 꼽자면.. 한국 학교랑 연계가 되어있기 때문에 주기적으로 한국 애들이 와요.. 그래서 한국 사람이 좀 많지만, 이건 미국 전 지역 어딜 가나 다 그래요.. 어학연수 가니까 가서 한국 애들이랑 놀지 말아야지.. 이런 생각으로 가시면 현지 친구 사귀는 데도 많이 힘들답니다. 전 여러 한국 친구들 덕분에 외국 친구들도 많이 사귀고 좋았어요.. 그리고 가장 좋은 점은.. 물가가 싸다는 거예요.. 미국은 주별로 텍스가 다른데요.. 버지니아는 정말 싼 편이예요. ^ ^

      어학연수 가고 싶으시다면 ODU 적극 추천해드려요 ^ ^

      [ 神奈川, 日本, Age 28, Female ]
      7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.

      青山 円
      [ 静岡, 日本, Age 23, Female ]
      7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.

      Estudiante Anterior
      [ Madrid, Spain, Age 25, Male ]
      3 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
      La escuela ofrece un muy buen programa intensivo de ingles y prepara a los estudiantes para obtener el TOEFL.

      La universidad cuenta con muy buenas instalaciones, un gran profesorado, pero lo mejor es el ambiente, la mezcla cultural te hace crecer mucho tanto academica como personalmente.

      [ DAEGU, KOREA ]

      [ 광주, 꼬레아, Age 29, Male ]
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