About Us

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is an Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The English Language Programs (ELP) was established in the 1960s. For over half a century, we have offered courses in English as a Second Language as well as dynamic cultural experiences.  

The ELP is a top English language program with a CEA-accredited Intensive Program. We offer open-enrollment programs in Academic, Business, and General English as well as provide programs to matriculated Penn students in areas such as business, dentistry, and law. We offer teacher training, cross-cultural training, and testing. Custom programs and consulting services are available for foundations, multinational corporations, universities, and government agencies.

The ELP allows students to experience the US university life while being immersed in the language and culture of the US. Each year 2,000 students from 35 countries study at the ELP as part of the active university community.

How We Are Different

  • Part of the Ivy League: Penn is a top-ranked major research and teaching university with superior faculty and staff and a diverse student body. ELP students receive an official university ID and all students can use Penn’s libraries, museums, and computer labs.
  • High-quality instruction: The ELP employs highly-trained and experienced instructors. All full-time instructors hold graduate degrees in TESOL or similar areas of study, and many contribute to the field as researchers, presenters, and authors.
  • Urban location: Penn is located in Philadelphia, a lively and diverse city of 1.5 million people. The city is rich in culture, history, art, nature, shopping, and entertainment. Philadelphia is located between New York and Washington, D.C., and within easy travel distance to Boston, Baltimore, and the East Coast beaches.
  • Comprehensive student services: The ELP provides support services and organizes social and cultural opportunities for students. ELP staff encourage students to get involved at Penn and in Philadelphia; in addition, students receive help adjusting to academic and cultural challenges.
  • Unique University Connection services: The ELP has a dedicated counseling team to help students prepare to and apply for US universities. University Connection Services include workshops, advising, orientation to US university culture, and networking opportunities with university admissions representatives.
  • Availability of university lectures: The ELP students can attend open lectures on campus to practice their English skills. At the advanced levels, students can also apply to take a credit course with Penn undergraduates. Many ELP programs include guest lectures by professors from The Wharton School of Business or other academic departments at Penn.
  • Cross-cultural exchange with American students: At the ELP, students can participate in Penn clubs, activities and events. The ELP’s Conversation Partners Program is another great way to meet Penn students for language and cultural exchange. 
  • Well-equipped classrooms: Penn is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, free internet access, and modern computer and language labs.
  • Smaller class sizes: Class sizes at ELP range from 12-16 students so that each student receives individualized attention based on their language needs. 


The English Language Programs opens the door for students to study English at a top-ranked US university.