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International Festival
CESL football game
CESL student group SIU
International Festival
CESL family

TUITION DISCOUNTS for all CESL 8-week Intensive English Program Students during 2023 and 2024 sessions!

Contact to apply now!

Are you interested in learning English as a second language?

We’ve been helping people do that
for over 50 years!

The Center for English Language (CESL) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the third oldest certified intensive English program in the United States, supporting generations of students in their multilingual pursuits.

What makes CESL special?

  • Affordable tuition.
  • Small classes so students receive individual attention.
  • Very experienced teachers.
  • Our academic focus prepares people for academic success in degree programs at SIU or anywhere.
  • Reasonable and convenient housing.
  • 80% of CESL graduates go on to degree programs at SIU.
  • A proud history.

SIU CESL Mac computer lab

View the 3D TOUR of the CESL facilities!

video play Watch the CESL tour.

SIU - your home away from home

We’re among the top 300 national universities in the U.S. and have many unique, nationally recognized programs, including aviation and automotive technology. CESL designs English language training programs for specific fields.

Set in America’s heartland, SIU offers:

  • All of the amenities of home in a beautiful place with lakes, forests and all four seasons.
  • Friendly, helpful people on campus and in the region.
  • Reasonably priced tuition in an area where the cost of living is low.
  • Easy travel around the Carbondale area.
    (Students with a Saluki Express pass can also ride the bus free to St. Louis and many other places.)

SIU offers conditional admission to applicants that meet all academic requirements but need to improve their English proficiency.

Take a VIRTUAL TOUR to learn more about SIU.

SIU Carbondale's Center for English as a Second Language is accredited by: 

Accredited by CEA logo

Member Of:


Our Success Stories

“I went from not being able to say a word in English to entertaining conversation in just one semester at CESL."

—Habiboulahi Keita

“I attended a course that lasted almost two months at CESL and it helped me a lot because I could improve the language and learn much more about the American culture.”

—Menucci Tatiana

It’s Happening Here

There’s always something fun to do at SIU Carbondale, and in the surrounding region. Enjoy great extra-curricular activities such as:

  • Maple Syrup Festival
  • Board game nights
  • Snow tubing
  • Holiday celebrations
  • Saluki athletics
  • Numerous other fun events

Check our Facebook page for announcements about upcoming events and photos of previous happenings.

CESL group outdoors