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ELP Foundations

Northwestern University brings students and scholars from around the world to engage in research, graduate studies and intellectual exchange. For nineteen years, The International Summer Institute (ISI) eased the transition to life at Northwestern for international graduate students. Beginning in Summer 2019, English Language programs will transition the International Summer Institute to a new program, ELP Foundations. 

ELP Foundations is a hybrid course that pairs online instruction in the summer before students arrive on campus with in-person experiences in Evanston and Chicago in September. ELP Foundations will provide linguistic, emotional, academic and practical support to entering Northwestern PhD and MFA students through online content on using American English and practical advice on integrating into an American university and the local culture. Students will begin to build their new support network over the summer online and then have the chance to meet their classmates in person in September to explore Chicago together.

If you are a student who has been offered admission to a PhD or MFA program at Northwestern for Fall 2019, and you would like to participate in ELP Foundations, please contact your department representative and ask how to be nominated. Or contact Brian Hampson, our program coordinator, at 

Are you a prospective student who has been emailed an offer to attend ELP Foundations 2019? You can download our 2019 Factbook with the password from your email.

If you are a faculty member or department representative who would like to nominate students for ELP Foundations in Summer 2019, we are now taking nominations and admitting students to ELP Foundations 2019. Please contact Program Coordinator Brian Hampson at for an extra copy of the call for nominations or to nominate students.  

Current PhD and MFA students, please consider becoming an Online Peer Mentor and/or Event Guide for ELP Foundations 2019. See our position description form for full details. Applications are due Friday, May 3 at 5pm for the Online Peer Mentor Position.