The Program

The ESL Summer Institute at WPI is an intensive five-week program specifically designed for international students planning to study engineering, technology, or science in the United States. The classroom instruction integrates reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and pays special attention to the everyday use of spoken English in a technological academic setting, such as at WPI.

There are two intake dates when students may enroll in the ESL Summer Institute. Students may choose to enroll for the full 5 weeks or start with the second intake. Conditionally admitted undergraduate students, however, must enroll for the full five weeks.

The second intake date is especially designed for any student looking for a 3-week head start to the fall semester (Terms A and B). Also, international graduate students who will become Teaching Assistants are especially encouraged to enroll on this second date.

In addition to classroom lessons and individual computer-assisted instruction, the program includes:

  • Tutorials in technical writing
  • Oral presentation workshops
  • Computer workshops
  • World Wide Web instruction
  • On-site visits to local high-tech companies
  • Cultural excursions to Cambridge and Boston
  • Discussions on U.S. culture
  • Cross-cultural issues
  • Note-taking strategies


  • Intensive, full-time, non-credit program
  • Computer workshop, personal e-mail accounts,instruction on use of the World Wide Web, Microsoft Office,Powerpoint, etc.
  • High intermediate and advanced levels of ESL instruction
  • Use of audio/video tape in instruction and computer-based language labs
  • Small classes, special workshops on oral presentation skills, technical writing tutorial programs, etc.
  • ESL support for international students during the academic year
  • Cultural excursions to Cambridge, Boston and other urban centers
  • Weekly field trips to high-tech sites in area


ESL Summer Institute students have the opportunity to participate in social and cultural activities, both on and off campus, such as meetings with American students and members of the community, tours of Cambridge and Boston, visits to museums, galleries and exhibitions, and attendance at lectures, concerts and American cinemas, in addition to our area's many other attractions.

Every week, students make one mandatory visit to an area high-tech firm for a tour and talk. Students are expected to participate in all activities. Written reports are mandatory after each visit.

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