For individuals wishing to bolster their English language study, there is no better program than the one offered at the International English Institute (IEI). Based in Nashville, Tennessee, IEI is predicated upon the belief that the best way to learn a language is to live among those that speak the language.
IEI has taught more than 7,100 students from over 110 countries since its opening in 1977. These students (whom IEI calls “family members”) enrolled in the program in order to improve their English language skills for acceptance into graduate and undergraduate programs, career advancement, or greater understanding of American culture.
In its nearly 40 years of operation, IEI has leveraged its independence, small class size, and exceptional staff to cultivate an intensive English language program that is academically oriented, yet highly customizable. IEI teachers have a strong background in methodology and teaching, holding master’s degrees in ESL or closely related fields. Moreover, since faculty members have lived overseas, they understand what it is like to assimilate into a new culture.
Since the goals of students coming to IEI are as varied as the countries they come from, “IEI maintains its independence from any one particular school, instead holding agreements with a number of schools that permit transfers without a TOFEL or IELTS score,” explained IEI Executive Director, Allison Cavopol.
An additional benefit of IEI’s small size is that the school can extend greater personalized support to its students at no extra charge. For example, the housing service will not only help arrange homestays, but will also pick up students at the airport and set up accommodations as desired. “We had one student who came with his wife and baby and we helped them find a car and secure an apartment,” shared Ms. Cavopol.
With an average class size of less than ten students, there is no shortage of individual attention or ability to tailor a class to specific goals. IEI has seen interest from many of its Latin American students who go onto business and engineering programs. The institute is therefore able to design a program that supports students who wish to move towards these degrees.
This ability to connect with international students’ needs has made IEI a first stop for English language learning. The close-knit community and well-traveled staff make a great family and home away from home.