UNT's Intensive English Language Institute, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the longest-standing program of its kind in the North Texas region and one of the most prestigious for learning academic English in the U.S.
In addition to teaching academic English at UNT, IELI has partnered with an on-campus program at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan and regularly welcomes high school and college students to UNT during the summer months for an American culture and communications program. IELI also is responsible for testing and training UNT's international teaching assistants.
The institute hosted IELI Day with current students and IELI alumni during International Week in November.
Since IELI's inception, more than 15,000 students have completed the intensive English language program at UNT. Thousands of students continued on to graduate with UNT degrees.
Ahmad Ramin was a student at IELI one year after the institute's launch in 1978. His daughter, Lilly Ramin, currently the instructional technologies librarian at UNT, says, "He loved the program. The style of teaching really impressed him."
Lilly's family emigrated from Iran two years after her father studied at IELI. She joined UNT Libraries shortly after attaining her master's degree. Now, she engages with the same vibrant community her father experienced four decades ago.
"International students add value to the educational experience of American students," says Carol Ogden, interim director of IELI. "We are proud to play a small role in promoting global understanding and fostering personal and professional relationships at UNT."