Hello! Ahoj! 여보세요! ¡Hola! 你好! Hambalyo! مرحبا! Oi! こんにちは!

English as a Second Language

Welcome! The ESL program provides intensive English language instruction to students and professionals who want to improve their language skills quickly. All classes are taught by professional faculty, and class sizes average 5-10 students to ensure one on one attention.

Admission Requirements

International students must also submit the following:

  • Official Bank Statement and Sponsor Guarantee form
  • Copy of passport and current visa

The ESL program accepts students from the high-beginner to advanced levels. At a minimum, students must have a 353 TOEFL PBT (21 iBT, 2.0 IELTS) to enroll. Students are required to take the ESL placement test at the program start. Conditional admission is available to students that meet academic requirements but still need additional language training to be successful in a U.S. classroom. As students near the end of the ESL program, we create a “bridge” to an academic program of interest by allowing students to take some regular classes or content-based courses alongside their ESL classes. Once students complete the ESL program, they are eligible to transition fully into their academic program.

ESL Session Dates

Session Placement Testing & Orientation Classes Begin Classes End Final Testing Session Ends
Fall 2020 Online August 24 December 4 December 5 December 5
Spring 2021 January 8 January 11 April 23 April 24 April 24
Fall 2021 August 16 & 17 August 23 December 3 December 4 December 4

New students must arrive before their Testing & Orientation days. Students who arrive after the testing and orientation days may not start until the next session.


Students who wish to attend the ESL program at Otterbein pay tuition and fees at levels established especially for this program. The current tuition rate is $340 per credit hour ($6,000 per semester for full-time students; $4,080 summer). International students are also required to obtain insurance provided by the university, which costs approximately $106 per month.

Tuition includes access to:

  • Otterbein library
  • Computer labs, technology and free printing
  • Gymnasium and weight training center
  • On-campus events and activities such as theatre and arts, athletics and student organizations

ESL students are required to pay the account balance in full by the second Friday of the start of the term or two weeks from the date of arrival on campus, whichever is later.  Failure to pay by this date will result in Otterbein dropping the student’s classes and cancelling the student’s SEVIS record (where applicable).  Students will be issued an official warning letter at the end of the first week of classes if they have not yet paid their bill.

I felt a heart-warming kindness from all the faculty. I can tell Otterbein is different.

Joolhee, ESL Student, 2017