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CESL student group SIU
International Festival
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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.

Are you ready to get started?

What makes our program 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.

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 us.

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 ride the bus free to St. Louis and many other places, too.

Accredited By: 

 CES Logo

Member Of:


UCIEP logo  NAFSA

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.

Comments from other alumni

It’s Happening Here

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

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

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

OUR STUDENT BODY INCLUDES PERSONS FROM OR SPONSORED BY