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English Programs for Internationals

Current Students

The students at EPI are very diverse. They come from a variety of countries and they represent a wide range of ages. All the students have come to EPI for one reason: to learn English in a top-quality intensive English program. However, the reasons that the students need to learn English are varied. Some will be attending a university in the United States or need English credit for their universities at home. Others come because they need English to compete in the job market. Some of the students are sponsored by various organizations. 

International Student Services - EPI students can also take advantage of programs and services offered by USC's International Student Services office.  

EPI students are eligible to make use of drop-in tutoring each week during their EPI term at no additional cost. It is a good idea for students to have prepared a homework assignment or specific language questions to discuss with their tutor before arriving at the meeting.  

For the Spring 2022 terms, drop-in tutoring is available in the EPI Tutoring Center on the following days/times: 
*Schedule will be added as soon as possible*

There are a lot of opportunities to get involved at USC and in Columbia. Check them out below! 

Conversation Partners - EPI students can practice their English speaking skills when they talk with their native English-speaking conversation partners, coming from the university as well as the surrounding community. The Conversation Partners Program is a free option for EPI students. Conversation Partners meet for at least one hour per week. 

University Courses – Advanced-level EPI students observe university courses in various disciplines. They also participate in academic activities, along with American students, in such fields as Foreign Languages, Anthropology, and International Relations. 

University 101 - This is an undergraduate course addressing the specific needs of college freshmen adjusting to college life. EPI students have an opportunity to share their ideas with American college students when they visit University 101 classes. 

School Visitations - EPI students can learn about American schools, meet American students and teachers, and share information when they visit various public schools in the Columbia area. Usually, EPI students speak to school groups about their home countries. 

International Week - Students in EPI are given an opportunity to share their own cultures with American students, staff, and faculty of USC when they participate in International Week. 

International Hour - When EPI students attend the International Hour, they can meet Americans from the community. The International Hour is held in the Fall and Spring semesters, every Friday from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., and is sponsored by a different community group each week. The International Hour is organized by the Columbia Council for Internationals (CCFI), a community group serving internationals. 

President's Reception - Every year in the Fall the President of the University of South Carolina gives a reception in honor of all international students at the University. At this event, students can meet the President and tour his house and grounds. CCFI coordinates this event. 

EPI Trips - EPI students enjoy learning about various American cities and recreational spots when they go on EPI-sponsored short trips. EPI often takes students to Charleston, one of the most historic cities in the USA. EPI also takes students to visit various places in Columbia, such as the zoo, museums, the state capital, local schools, and recreational parks. EPI provides weekly shopping trips to Wal-Mart and two shopping mall trips per term. EPI also helps students organize their own trips by providing materials and assistance for students who want to make short weekend trips while studying in EPI. EPI students enjoy visiting Myrtle Beach, a resort town located at South Carolina's Grand Strand along the Atlantic Ocean, and going on camping and rafting trips in the Great Smoky Mountains. 

EPI Sports Activities - Students can participate in EPI and USC sports activities such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, and baseball. Students may also use the University's Blatt Physical Education Center and the Strom Thurmand Wellness Center. Some of the indoor facilities are handball, racquetball, basketball, and squash courts; a dance studio; a weight-lifting room; and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Outdoor facilities include football and soccer fields and tennis courts. 

Maintaining your status means: 

  • Fulfilling the purpose for why the Department of State issued you your visa. You came to study and that should be your first priority. 
  • Following the regulations associated with that purpose. If you have questions about this, please see Lilian Ortega-Bunch in office 670 of the Close-Hipp Building 

While studying in the United States you must: 

  • Attend and pass all your classes. If school is too difficult, speak with your DSO immediately. 
  • If you believe that you will be unable to complete your program by the end date listed on your Form I-20, talk with your DSO about requesting a possible program extension. 
  • You must take a full course of study each term; if you cannot study full-time, contact your DSO immediately. 
  • Do not drop a class without first speaking with your DSO. 

The mission of EPI Student Services is to enhance your time studying at EPI by providing opportunities and support to both you and your family. The staff provides housing support, organizes field trips, and personal and cross-cultural counseling. 

EPI Student Services offers a variety of services and programs including orientation, weekly shopping trips, off-campus trips to local sites and other cities, and assistance with insurance, housing, and off-campus living. 

Student Services Staff 

  • Chris Reid, Coordinator of Retention and Integration Services, Close-Hipp 470 
  • Julia Ferillo,  Off-Campus Student Services Coordinator, Close-Hipp 470 
Contact EPI Student Services

The EPI Student Service office is located in Close-Hipp 470. 
The Student Services desk can be reached at 803-777-0831. 
EPI Student Services Emergency Line is 803-777-4802. 
Student Services staff may also be reached by email at 

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