English Language Institute

English Language Institute

Learn More than Words

Woman holds many leiLei are common gifts for graduation. Studying English in Hawaiʻi offers an amazing experience to students! Students learn more than just the English language from their professors, they learn from:

The natural environment

The Big Island, where UH Hilo is located, has 10 of the world’s 13 climate zones, an active volcano, a tropical rainforest and a 4,000 meter mountain! This living laboratory gives students the chance to do hands-on study and research in the ocean, land and sky.

The multicultural community

With a long history of people from many cultures living together, Hilo is a safe town for international students. Hilo is a friendly community, with warm weather and delicious food from around the world. As you walk down the street, people will smile and say hello!

The small class size

The average class at UH Hilo is 22 students, so students are always able to ask questions and get help when they need it. In the ELI, the average class size is 12 students, so each student can get the individual attention they need to succeed.

The aloha spirit

We give students many opportunities to become a part of the Hawaiʻi community, so you can create life-long friendships. The aloha spirit makes Hawaiʻi a special place to make your second home.

The English Language Institute (ELI)

One of our philosophies is that you will improve your English most quickly if you have many opportunities to meet native-speakers of English. Students who are enrolled in ESL classes are regular UH Hilo students, so they can take select undergraduate classes at the same time as ESL courses and they have access to all of the UH Hilo facilities.

ELI Mission

The mission of the English Language Institute (ELI) is to provide non-native speakers of English with the linguistic tools necessary to transition successfully to 100-level courses at an American university, and to promote global understanding within the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and the local community by offering opportunities for cross-cultural communication and interaction.

ELI Courses

The ELI offers classes in reading, writing, grammar, listening/speaking and pronunciation. Our courses are designed to prepare students for the types of assignments and activities that they will be expected to do in an American university. The ELI offers classes at the intermediate, high-intermediate and advanced levels. The ELI does not have a beginning level. If you have below intermediate skills, it may take you longer to complete your ESL courses.

ELI Faculty

Our faculty all have advanced degrees plus years of experience in both teaching and living in different countries. Most importantly, the instructors truly love teaching, so classes are engaging and challenging.

ELI Students

You will not only learn from your instructors, however, but also from your classmates. Studying with other students from all over the world will allow you to learn about different cultures around the world as you improve your English.

Students stand on the Hilo Bay breakwall at dawnStudents stand on the Hilo Bay breakwall at dawn

Alternative format available by contacting the ADA Coordinator .