Program Details

Welcome to the Intensive English Program

Hello and welcome to ILI’s Intensive English Program!

We are happy to help you on your English learning journey. We create a relaxed environment in class so that you feel comfortable speaking and practicing English right away.

You will learn English using lots of different tools and methods: videos, books, pictures, texts, games, gestures, real-life situations, music, natural repetition, and free conversation. Our classes include pair and group work, active participation, and lively activities that focus on communicating in English.

Our location of Downtown Northampton offers both the fun of a city and the friendliness of a town. As a student, you not only learn language and cultural skills but also join a warm, welcoming community.

For details on start dates and program fees, please click on the Dates & Fees tab.

Program Info

Tuition Fees From $375/week
Language levels A1 (Beginner) and up
Location ?


In-person lessons take place at our campus in downtown Northampton, MA and require your physical attendance.

Minimum age 17
Frequency Starts every 4 weeks

Group Size

Average 10
Maximum 13

Course Timings

Duration From 4 weeks up
Study time 21 hours per week

Our teachers

Four ILI English teachers in front of the school on a sunny day.
Four ILI English teachers in front of the school on a sunny day.

Our teachers are professionals with Master’s Degrees or TESOL certificates and a minimum of one year teaching experience in creative and student-centered teaching. ILI has been teaching languages and training teachers since 1984, bringing students the best learning experiences.

ILI instructors are skilled at collaborating with each other to create dynamic and engaging curriculum and materials based on student feedback and goals. Our teachers stay current with innovative teaching techniques and methodologies through professional development and conferences.


“I dedicate this poem to IEP…

Title: In this vibrant classroom

In a classroom where worlds collide,
Cultures blend and dreams abide,
Friends from lands both near and far,
Guided by our shared, guiding star.
From Dominican beats to Brazil’s sway,
American dreams, Taiwan’s day,
Teachers with wisdom’s light,
In each lesson, we take flight.
Laughter echoes in the halls,
Friendship’s bond never stalls,
Corridors tell stories bold,
In unity, our tales unfold.
With Google Translate, dictionaries in hand,
Bridging languages, we understand,
International jokes, a teacher with cats,
In this vibrant classroom, we’re all diplomats.
Though small we stand in the world so wide,
Learning breaks walls of ignorance, a tide,
With respect, our knowledge has grown,
In this journey, our strength is shown.”

Woman looking at the camera smiling.
Kari Ribeiro originally from Brazil, was a Richard Martin Memorial Scholarship student in ILI’s Intensive English Program.


You’ll have a total of 21 hours of English lessons per week on the Intensive English Program here in Northampton. Here’s an example timetable:

  • 9 – 12pm | Monday to FridayEvery morning we focus on communicative English, and look at the grammar and vocabulary you need to help you speak to others.
  • 12 – 1pm | Monday to FridayLunch
  • 1 – 2:30pm | Monday to ThursdayIn the afternoons we integrate and apply your skills to more specialised areas, like writing, reading, and academic English. Friday afternoons are free.

Please expect to spend a couple of hours each day in private study, to make sure you keep revising and reinforcing what you learned in class.

Good reasons to choose ILI

Here are just some of the benefits of taking your intensive English program with us at ILI. We hope to see you soon!

  • Highly interactive student-centered ESOL classes
  • Caring and highly qualified English instructors
  • Certificate of completion with CEFR level (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) of ESOL proficiency
  • Free academic counseling to find and apply to college and university
  • Free extra speaking opportunities with our Volunteer tutor program.
  • Conditional acceptance for qualified students to 12 regional colleges and universities through our University Pathways program
  • Google Classroom makes it easy to communicate with your teachers and classmates and stay up to date 24/7.
  • Great location with a convenient downtown and lovely natural landscape for hiking and sports close by.

Program Info

Tuition Fees From $375/week
Language levels A1 (Beginner) and up
Location ?


In-person lessons take place at our campus in downtown Northampton, MA and require your physical attendance.

Minimum age 17
Frequency Starts every 4 weeks

Group Size

Average 10
Maximum 13

Course Timings

Duration From 4 weeks up
Study time 21 hours per week

Dates & Fees

Choose Your Dates

Here are our 4-week blocks of course dates for 2024. You can stay for as long as you like, but it’s best to start your time with us on one of our program start dates:

  • Intensive English Program dates 2024
  • Jul 08 to Aug 02, 20244 weeks
  • Aug 05 to Aug 30, 20244 weeksNo classes Sept 02‒Sept 06 | Vacation week
  • Sep 09 to Oct 04, 20244 weeks
  • Oct 07 to Nov 01, 20244 weeksNo class Oct. 14 | Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • Nov 04 to Dec 20, 20247 weeksNo class Nov. 11 | Veterans’ Day and Nov. 28-29 | Thanksgiving Day
  • Jan 06 to 31, 20254 weeksNo class Jan. 20︱Martin L. King, Jr. Day
  • Feb 03 to 28, 20254 weeksNo class Feb. 17︱Presidents’ Day
  • Mar 03 to 28, 20254 weeksNo classes Mar 31-April 04 | Vacation week
  • April 07 to May 02, 20254 weeksNo class April 21 | Patriots’ Day
  • May 05 to 30, 20254 weeksNo class May 26 | Memorial Day
  • June 02 to 27, 20254 weeksNo class June 19 | Juneteenth
    No classes June 30 to July 04 | Vacation week
  • July 07 to August 01, 20254 weeks
  • August 04 to 29, 20254 weeksNo classes September 01 to 05 | Vacation week
  • September 08 to October 03, 20254 weeks
  • October 06 to 31, 20254 weeksNo class October 13 | Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • November 03 to December 19, 20257 weeksNo class Nov. 11, 27, 28 | Veterans’ Day Thanksgiving

Typical Fees

A 4-week program costs a total of $1,850, which includes:

  • $1,500 course fees for 4 weeks
  • $200 registration fees
  • $150 materials fee (you only pay this once)

Insurance, accommodation and other fees typically come to a further $850, bringing the usual total to $2,700 for the first 4 weeks.

Additional Weeks

For each additional 4 weeks, the cost is typically $2,225 per month, which includes tuition, and housing without meals and insurance. You are welcome to add partial months if you wish.

And see below for the full breakdown of fees which may apply.

Program fees

  • Registration fee:$200Payable once with every registration
  • Tuition fees for 21 hours per week:$1,500(for 4 weeks)
  • Materials fees $150(a one-time fee)

Accommodation fees

  • Homestay placement fee:$125(non-refundable)
  • Homestay without meals:$165 per week
  • Homestay with meals:$265 per week

Excursions & activities

  • Optional day, weekend and evening activities may be offered for an additional fee:From $5/activity

Visa fees

There is a fee to pay when you apply for an F1 Student Visa

  • SEVIS I-901 fee:$350(paid online before your visa interview)

Airport transportation

  • Hartford airport transportation:
    $85one-time, one-way from Bradley International, Hartford, CT
  • Boston airport transportation:
    $200one-time, one-way from Logan International, Boston, MA

Other options and fees

Once paid the following fees are generally non-refundable:

  • Express mail fee for I-20 visa applicants:$75recommended
  • Wire transfer fee:$20(when you pay by bank wire)
  • Health insurance:$65 per month(this is required if you do not have a policy)

Cancelations and Refund Policy

Please refer to our Cancellations and Refunds Policy page for more information regarding applicable fees and procedures.


When you arrive at our English school in Massachusetts, we will give you an assessment test to place you in the best class for your level.

You will find yourself in a class with other students of a level similar to yours, with everybody working together to reach individual English goals.

Our English language level system at ILI

The six Intensive English Program levels are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The learning goals of your IEP classes help you reach proficiency in your current level so that you can move on to the next level.

Tier 1: Basic English in Use 

A1 Beginner Level : IEP classes teach you basic vocabulary and short phrases for survival in everyday situations. You learn the fundamentals of building sentences and questions and naming important objects, places, people, and activities.

A2 Elementary Level: IEP classes help you engage in simple conversations, give short presentations, make longer sentences, and write short paragraphs about familiar topics. You improve basic grammatical structures, pronunciation, and vocabulary to communicate about travel, school, and daily life using general English.

Tier 2: Intermediate English in Use

B1 Intermediate: IEP classes teach you how to communicate appropriately and clearly in most social, work, and school situations with greater ease. You work on correcting grammatical errors, using some academic and business English, and revising longer pieces of writing. You expand your knowledge of most common grammatical structures, while incorporating some idiomatic language into presentations and texts.

B2 Upper Intermediate: IEP classes help you communicate effectively about both familiar and unexpected topics in most social, business, and university situations with less strain and greater detail. You expand your academic and business English skills while reading authentic articles, composing essays, and conversing with a large degree of independence. Students on the University Pathways Track may receive a recommendation for an ILI Partner School upon achieving competency in B2 CEFR, which correlates approximately to TOEFL iBT 80+ and IELTS 6.5+. 

Tier 3: Advanced English in Use

C1 Advanced: Classes prepare you to speak, write, read, and listen in collaboration with native speakers in most professional and academic situations with relative ease. You enhance interpersonal skills to advance your career in an English speaking country, fixing minor grammatical errors and incorporating a wide range of grammatical structures, idioms and nuanced expressions to persuade, clarify, and elaborate.

C2 Proficiency:  Classes support you as you master the ability to understand, synthesize, and analyze virtually everything heard or read. You enhance your knowledge of slang and jargon, perfect complex grammar and idiomatic language, and polish your communication skills for any professional or academic setting with consistent ease.  

Students who show satisfactory progress and attend at least 80% of classes receive a Certificate of Completion, which states your CEFR English proficiency level (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) and number of weeks you studied. Your Certificate of Completion enhances your resume, CV, and college application. Plus, your Certificate of Completion travels home with you as a souvenir of your amazing experience!

Your Progress in English

One big question you might have is how long you need to study English until you reach your goals. The answer is not simple. Many factors affect the rate of your progress in English, such as:

  • Your start level in English.
  • Your learning pace and style of learning.
  • Your commitment to homework, self-study, and using English outside of school.
  • How well you cope with English-only instruction in the classroom and how comfortable you are joining in with classroom activities.
  • Your native language. It’s a fact that native speakers of some languages, like Spanish or French, may make progress faster than speakers of other languages, such as Arabic or Chinese.

Here is an approximation of how long it takes to go from Beginner level to each of the following levels:

  • A0 – A1 | Beginner to Elementary2-3 monthsThe learning journey from Beginner to Elementary takes about 2 to 3 months on average.
    Elementary is TOEFL iBT 0 – 20 | IELTS 0 – 2
  • A1 – A2 | Elementary to Upper Elementary3-5 monthsIt takes about 3 to 5 months to go from Beginner to Upper Elementary.
    Upper Elementary level is TOEFL iBT 20 – 40 | IELTS 2 – 4
  • A2 – B1 | Upper Elementary to Intermediate 6-8 monthsIt takes about 6 to 8 months to go from Beginner to Intermediate level in English.
    Intermediate is TOEFL iBT 40 – 60 | IELTS 4 – 6
  • B1 – B2 | Intermediate to Upper Intermediate8-9 monthsIt takes approximately 8 to 9 months of lessons and language immersion to go from Beginner to Upper Intermediate English.
    Upper Intermediate is TOEFL iBT 70 – 95 | IELTS 6 – 7
  • B2 – C1 | Upper Intermediate to Advanced9-10 monthsIt will take around 9 to 10 months to go from Beginner to an Advanced level of English.
    Advanced is TOEFL iBT 95 – 110 | IELTS 7 – 8
  • C1 – C2 | Advanced to Proficiency11 months +It will take at least 11 months to go from Beginner to Proficiency, with a considerable amount of time and effort in and out of class.
    Proficiency is TOEFL iBT 110 – 120 | IELTS 8 – 9


Welcome to Northampton!

ILI English language school is located in downtown Northampton in a historical building with easy access to Main St. shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries.

Northampton is the cultural center of Western Massachusetts with a lively community of 30,000 inhabitants. Fourteen colleges and universities contribute to the rich cultural atmosphere of this area, commonly called the Connecticut River Valley.

It has all the cultural, business, and educational amenities of an urban area surrounded by a beautiful, rural landscape with incredible recreational opportunities. Northampton is known as the #1 small arts town in the U.S.



If you are studying with us in the intensive English program, we can arrange host family accommodation for you.

All of ILI’s hosts are carefully screened and enjoy hosting international students. Homestays are within walking distance of the school or on a bus route.

A $265 per week fee includes a room with meals or $165 per week fee includes a room with kitchen privileges. Your host family may be a couple with or without children or they may be a single person.

Please give us at least 2 months’ notice that you need a homestay, and please note that you may have more than one homestay family during your time at ILI.

If you decide to rent a car, there will be more housing opportunities for you, a little out of town.

Bed and Breakfast & Hotels

We can arrange for you to stay at one of the many comfortable hotels and Bed and Breakfasts nearby.

Selected FAQs

There are many advantages to living with an American host family during your stay with us. The most important benefit is the improvement you will make in your English. You will learn about American culture in a friendly atmosphere where you can ask questions.

Host families can also be a great connection to community resources like local colleges or the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Students often visit local points of interest with their host families. You really become a part of the household during your stay, and often a lifelong friend.

Our host families have been carefully selected. They are friendly, caring people who are interested in knowing more about you and your culture. There is no typical family in the USA. You may live in a traditional family with two parents and children, or there may be a husband and wife, but no children. You may live with a single woman and her children. We also have some households with two women or two men living together, some of them with children. The parents may both have full-time jobs outside the home. Many families in Northampton have diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.

We would like students to be treated as a member of the family and be included in activities when appropriate.

Depending on which option you have chosen, a room with meals includes breakfast and lunch (which are usually light meals that the students can prepare themselves) and dinner (usually with the host and/or family). A room without meals means the student has access to the kitchen to prepare their own meals and to store their own food. In both cases we ask that the host provide a private bedroom (and bedding) with a desk or table, good light for studying, a good chair and an area for clothes storage, and most of all a warm and friendly atmosphere. Our prime concern is to make our students’ experience in the US enjoyable and memorable.

Because students are a part of the household, we encourage them to interact with the family and offer to help with simple household chores. They will keep their rooms clean and discuss with their host the details of house rules. Students should fix their own breakfast and bag lunch. The evening meal is usually spent together with the host. Students should always let their host know of their daily or weekend plans, especially if they will not be home for dinner.

The Housing Coordinator, Amy Ben-Ezra, matches students with their hosts in order to ensure a successful homestay. Students also receive a handbook with further guidelines. The Housing Coordinator is available to hosts and students to answer questions or solve problems. We also encourage ongoing feedback from the host and the students and offer support as needed.

We invite hosts to participate in as many school activities as they are able to, including field trips, special events, and annual host gatherings.

Airport transportation

We’ll help you get from your point of arrival in the United States, safely through to your new home in Northampton, Massachusetts. We can arrange an airport transfer from Bradley International Airport in Hartford, and Logan International Airport in Boston. You can book your transfer when you complete your application form.


Getting the right visa

If you are from outside the United States of America and you wish to attend a language training program, you will require an F-1 visa.

Here’s how to apply for this visa.

  1. Get started by submitting your Intensive English Program application to ILI. You will need to pay a non-refundable $200 registration fee with your application.
  2. Submit a copy of your passport (picture page) and financial documents showing you have the funds available to pay tuition and living expenses in the U.S. You must show $2,815 available for a 1-month program, and an additional $2,665 for each additional month you register for. EXAMPLE: for a 3-month program, you must show $8,145; for a 6-month program, you must show $16,140. If the bank statement is not yours or a parent’s, you must also submit a sponsor letter of support.
  3. ILI will issue your acceptance packet containing your I-20 and acceptance letter and send it to you.
  4. You must then complete the DS-160 (online visa application) and pay the $185 fee and schedule your visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest you.
  5. You are also required to pay a $350 I-901 SEVIS fee before your visa interview. You can pay this fee on the I-901 website.
  6. During your visa interview, the Consul will ask you about your reasons for coming to the U.S., why you chose this school, how you will pay for it, and what your plans are after you finish your program.
  7. If you successfully get your visa, you are allowed to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before your program start date. Homestays will be available 1-2 days before your program start date.

Personal support, whenever you need it

At ILI, we are committed to providing you with the support you need.

  • You will be assisted individually, so that your transition into our community is as comfortable as possible.
  • The team is available for personal support, in addition to academic and cultural counseling.
  • Extra help is available to all students through our volunteer tutor program, which pairs students with community members for additional conversational practice and individual help.


Got a question?

We’re here to help make it as easy as possible for you to get from where you are now, to studying English in Massachusetts with ILI.

Here are some questions other students have asked us:

Selected FAQs

The minimum age for ILI students is 17 years, however many are already pursuing their careers and tend to be older. Students come from all over the world and from a wide variety of backgrounds with diverse ethnic and religious beliefs. Students enrolled in the Intensive English Program often need to prepare for university studies in the US and need to improve their English skills. Some need to learn English for business purposes, or perhaps they are just here for the experience of living and studying English in the US.

Students enroll in the intensive program for 21 hours a week or more. The typical schedule is Monday through Thursday from nine in the morning to two thirty in the afternoon, nine in the morning until twelve noon on Fridays (There are no classes on Friday afternoons). Some students like to spend the afternoons in our computer lab or with new friends exploring the town, while others may go home and study.

There are many advantages to living with an American host family during your stay with us. The most important benefit is the improvement you will make in your English. You will learn about American culture in a friendly atmosphere where you can ask questions.

Host families can also be a great connection to community resources like local colleges or the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Students often visit local points of interest with their host families. You really become a part of the household during your stay, and often a lifelong friend.

Lots! Our students come from around the world with a variety of backgrounds and goals. While the minimum age is 15, most of our students are adults interested in English for personal, business, and academic purposes. In the past several years our IEP students have come from Japan, Brazil, Turkey, Chile, Italy, Ivory Coast, South Korea, France, Venezuela, Ukraine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Mexico, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Belarus, Columbia, Switzerland, Dominican Republic, Chad, among many others.

One month or four weeks.

Ask Macey a question about our Intensive English Program

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Refund Policy

Intensive English Program Cancellation & Refund Policy

  1. If you withdraw prior to the start of class, we will refund any tuition and any refundable fees paid in advance. However, nonrefundable fees including, but not limited to, the registration, SEVIS, homestay placement, wire transfer and express mail fees will be retained by ILI. (See list of non-refundable fees here.) Your refund will be processed within 30 days of your cancellation date
  2. In case of rejection of applicant or visa denial, same as above (refund will be issued within 30 days of notification.) However, non-refundable fees will be retained by ILI.
  3. If you postpone your course, you must notify us at least two weeks in advance of the starting date. If you cancel your course after you have postponed it, ILI will retain all non-refundable fees including, but not limited to, the registration, SEVIS, home-  stay placement, wire transfer and express mail fees.  However, any tuition paid will be refunded.  A new application with full payments and a new set of non-refundable registration, SEVIS, homestay placement, wire transfer and express mail fees must be completed if you need to postpone for more than three months.
  4. If you cancel prior to the course start date but after arrival in the US, or after approval of Change of Status on an ILI-issued Form I-20, ILI will charge (or retain) tuition and accommodation charges equal to the first 4 weeks. In addition, ILI will keep all non-refundable fees (including registration, and homestay placement)
  5. If you withdraw at anytime during the program,  ILI will keep the first four weeks of tuition and the above-mentioned non-refundable fees. ILI will refund any additional tuition paid, minus the first four weeks, minus additional weeks during which you attended, and minus any partial week during which you attended at least one day. Refunds will be issued within 30 days of notification (or the date which ILI withdraws the student administratively due to failure to meet attendance, academic, behavioral or financial requirements).
  6. If you leave due to a personal emergency, but plan to return to ILI within 12 months time, the unused portion of that month’s tuition will be credited toward your returning to the school.  However, a new application with a new set of non-refundable registration, SEVIS, homestay placement, wire transfer and express mail fees must be completed if you need to postpone for more than three months.
  7. If course is cancelled by ILI, all fees (including non-refundable charges) will be refunded.
  8. If you withdraw from the home-stay program before the agreed upon departure date and do not give two weeks notice, ILI will retain 2 additional weeks of housing fees and refund any remaining balance you paid. 
  9. There is no monetary compensation made for instruction lost because of emergencies or bad weather occurring during the program, however additional sessions may be offered on Friday afternoons to compensate for lost class time.

Complaint Procedure

Students are encouraged to voice their opinions during feedback in class and directly to the instructor. If a student has further concerns about the class or program, English students should contact the Director of English Programs, Macey Faiella by email.  Further concerns should be brought to the attention of the Executive Director, Caroline Gear. Contact information is below. Students will receive a confirmation of receipt of complaint within 7 days. The final step in resolving a complaint is to contact ACCET, the agency that accredits the school. You can find the ACCET complaint procedure here.

Macey Faiella:

Caroline Gear:

ILI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, gender identity, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical handicap, political belief or affiliation, membership or non-membership in any organization, or veteran status in any aspect of the administration or treatment of students or in employment. ILI is committed to ensure that all of its services are accessible to qualified persons with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

ILI is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training and the International Association of Language Centres and a member of the American Association on Intensive English Programs

Ready to get started with our Intensive English Program?

Registering for the ILI Intensive English Program couldn’t be easier! Simply follow the steps below to get started:

  1. Register for our intensive English program by filling in the form
  2. We’ll contact you personally to go through your needs
  3. You book and pay and we support you as you plan your trip.

Still not sure?

Not a problem! If you are searching for more information you can:

The ILI Promise

At ILI, we believe that all our actions should stem from grace and loving kindness.

Portrait of Caroline Gear - Executive Director
  • We operate as an equal opportunity organization.
  • We nurture relationships beyond the classroom.
  • We are committed to providing the highest quality language instruction and teacher training.
  • We promote intercultural understanding and celebrate the diversity in our local communities.
  • We work collaboratively to build and sustain the communities we serve.
  • We believe in life-changing teaching and learning.

Other ways to learn

Private English Lessons

Male student writing about first US experience.

Choose Private English Classes for exclusive one-on-one time with your teacher, or add them to your Intensive English Program for an extra boost.

English for the Workplace

A large group of ESOL students who work in a hospital.

Workplace English boosts English language communication skills in your place of work. Individual or group, online or face-to-face, it’s all possible.