Tutorium Mission and Vision Heading link
- Provide English language instruction enabling non-native speakers to acquire the skills necessary to meet their academic, professional, social, and personal goals.
- Support the profession of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) by contributing to the field and maintaining model English language programs.
Tutorium Accreditations and Memberships
- Our Intensive English Program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation, CEA, through the year 2027.
- The Tutorium is also a member of EnglishUSA, University and College Intensive English Programs (UCIEP), and NAFSA – the Association of International Educators.
Tutorium Programs Heading link
Tutorium programs offer non-degree courses under the UIC course subject code ELSI (English Language and Support for Internationals)
Intensive English Program
The Tutorium Intensive English Program (IEP) is a non-degree English program for speakers of other languages.
- There are three equivalent sessions per year (Spring, Summer, Fall).
- There are five levels of instruction, from beginning to advanced. (All levels may not always be offered.)
- A student completes one level per semester.
- Courses may be repeated once if the student is unable to reach the learning outcomes the first semester in the course.
- Class size averages 12-15 students per class to ensure individual attention.
Full-time students in levels one through four take two integrated courses (a Reading/Writing course and a Listening/Speaking course) that develop conversation, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, reading, composition, listening comprehension, academic preparation, and cultural awareness.
Students in level five take a series of eight modular courses focused on gaining the skills to complete academic and professional tasks. All courses are designed to enable highly motivated students to quickly and effectively acquire the language skills necessary to meet their professional, academic, social, and personal goals.
The program curriculum emphasizes learning strategies and language skills to meet the needs of adult students. All courses feature methods and materials that reflect current practice in second language teaching and are taught by experienced professional faculty with advanced degrees. For detailed descriptions of the learning objectives in each level, see “Descriptions of Attained Proficiency at the Tutorium” on our website.
English for International Professionals Series
The English for International Professionals Series (EIPS) provides evening, weekend, and asynchronous online courses, custom courses for UIC departments and external partners, tutoring and editing services, as well as test preparation and testing services. https://tie.uic.edu/esl-programs/ provides the most up to date information on EIPS courses.
Courses include evening, weekend and online Speaking and Writing Courses as well as daytime Listening/Speaking and Reading/Writing Courses. EIPS Test Preparation courses address the iBT and IELTS. EIPS courses change and develop to meet the specific needs of groups and individuals.
Students in these courses are typically citizen/residents, UIC undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate individuals. Those students connected to UIC will take the English courses as a supplement to their main courses or work at UIC. These students are not receiving an I-20 based on English study with TIE.
TESOL Professional Development Series
EIPS also offers a series of online TESOL Professional Development courses. This is a set of three online courses designed to prepare instructors to teach English to speakers of other languages.
- These courses include ELSI 061 Introduction to Applied Linguistics, ELSI 062 Language Teaching Methodologies, and ELSI 069 Practicum in Language Teaching.
- Admission requirements are a high school diploma, the ability to take class in English, and reliable internet access.
This program is for people with or without prior experience who hope to teach abroad, locally, or online. Upon completion of the program, trainees will be prepared to teach and tutor English as a Second or Foreign Language.
The full program takes approximately 135 hours to complete and requires a participant to find and complete a 10-hour teaching practicum. All courses are offered online every term. Students may select to take courses one at a time or simultaneously. If taken one at a time, it is best to take 061, then 062, with the practicum course last.
Undergraduate Accelerator pathway program.
The Undergraduate Accelerator program combines English language instruction, academic preparation, and degree coursework for students accepted to UIC through the pathway program.
Student Placement Heading link
Intensive English Program
All new students take the Placement Examination. This four-part examination helps determine which of the five levels is the best place for you to start. This examination measures multiple language skills: listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, speaking, and composition.
Student Level Preference
After the Placement Examination, we ask which level you feel is best for you. This helps the Tutorium make the best placement decision.
Re-Evaluation of Placement
All students are re-evaluated by the teachers during the first week of class to make sure that every student is in the right level. If you have any questions or comments about your classes, talk to your teachers. All level changes are made during the first two weeks of the session.
Student Assessment Heading link
Intensive English Program
- In each class, you will take a minimum of four exams (including the midterm and final).
- All exams are given only once.
- All students must take the exams on the scheduled day.
- Missing any of these tests may result in a grade of Unsatisfactory.
- Tests and other assessments given in each course (which may include writing projects, speaking activities, and presentations) are explained on each course outline.
If you receive a grade of Satisfactory, you pass that level and are ready to study in the next level for that class. A student who has made extraordinary progress may be invited by the Program Director to skip one level.
If you receive a grade of Unsatisfactory in a class, you must repeat that class if continuing at the Tutorium. If you do not successfully complete a class on the second attempt, you may not enroll again at the Tutorium without special permission. The Tutorium staff will help you find other ways to address your situation. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for counseling.
Halfway through the session you will review your grades and create a Midterm Action Plan for each course. You will use this when you have a one-on-one conference with your teacher. The goal is to ensure that you are aware of your individual progress and learn how to create a plan for success in your academic careers.
Final Grade Reports
At the end of the session you will receive a grade of Satisfactory (pass) or Unsatisfactory (fail) for each course.
In levels one through four, a student must have a Satisfactory grade in both of the skills in the course in order to pass. For example, if a student receives a Satisfactory in Reading but an Unsatisfactory in Writing, the student will fail the course. If you receive a grade of Unsatisfactory, you cannot advance to the next level in that particular course.
In level five, each of the eight courses has a single grade which indicates the final result.
Final grades depend on language proficiency. There are various aspects of proficiency for each course, and they are explained on the course syllabus. You will also receive an evaluation of your class performance, including homework and class participation. Level 5 students are evaluated on various academic and professional skills as well as language proficiency as outlined in the course syllabus.
Courses with a Satisfactory grade may not be repeated. Courses with an Unsatisfactory grade may be repeated once without written permission. To repeat a course more than once requires written permission from the Associate Director or Director of the Tutorium.
TIE generally does not offer a grade of Incomplete. To discuss very special circumstances, contact the TIE office, email@example.com.
For full-time students, a difference of one level for each course is allowed, such as Level 1 for Reading/Writing and Level 2 for Listening/Speaking. If a split-level student receives an unsatisfactory grade in their lower level, the result is a difference of more than one level for the next term. If you are in this situation, you must meet with the TIE Director or Associate Director to determine an appropriate study plan.
English for International Professionals
Assessment of student learning varies per course and is based on successful completion of tasks including tests and quizzes, discussion board posts, oral and written assignments, and projects. Tasks for each course are explained in detail on the course outline, syllabus, and Blackboard site.
Final Grade Reports
At the end of the course, you will receive a grade of Satisfactory (pass) or Unsatisfactory (fail).
Final grades depend on the evaluation criteria listed for the course and explained in the course syllabus. You will also receive an evaluation of your class performance and the progress you have made towards achieving the learning outcomes of the course.
There are no levels in EIPS courses, but an appropriate next course may be recommended to you based on your skills and level, as well as language and professional or academic needs.
Courses may be repeated, but we advise that you first contact the EIPS Program Chair or Tutorium staff to determine if repeating a course or taking a different course would be recommended.
The Tutorium generally does not offer a grade of Incomplete. To discuss very special circumstances, contact the EIPS Program Chair through the Tutorium office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
online TESOL Training series
Assessment of student learning is based on successful completion of tasks including discussion board posts, quizzes, assignments, and projects. Tasks for each course are explained in detail on the course outline, syllabus, and Blackboard site.
Final Grade Reports
At the end of the term you will receive a grade of Satisfactory (pass) or Unsatisfactory (fail) for each course.
Final grades depend on meeting course objectives, as shown by an average score of 70% or higher. In order to earn a certificate of completion for the 135-hour program, students must have a Satisfactory grade in ELSI 061, 062, and 069.
Courses with a Satisfactory grade may not be repeated, with the exception of ELSI 069. Courses with an Unsatisfactory grade may be repeated once without written permission. To repeat a course more than once requires written permission from the Associate Director or Director of the Tutorium.
The Tutorium generally does not offer a grade of Incomplete. To discuss very special circumstances, contact the TIE office, email@example.com.
Program Evaluation Heading link
Evaluation by Students
Near the end of every semester, students are asked to complete evaluation forms for their courses and for the program services.
- All evaluations are anonymous.
- Administrators and instructors are not allowed to view evaluation results until AFTER all final grades are submitted.
The Tutorium is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), which requires regular reports and site evaluations. Tutorium membership in organizations such as the Consortium of University and College Intensive English Programs (UCIEP) and EnglishUSA also requires continuing outside evaluation of the Tutorium.
F-1 and F-2 Students Heading link
Student Advising Heading link
Registering for Classes
Registering for Your Courses
Students must use the UIC system to register for their Tutorium courses. Near the end of every semester, you will be able to register for the next semester. The Tutorium will send you a reminder when it is time to register for the next semester, along with instructions on how to register.
Intensive English students
- Continuing students register for the next semester after grades are posted from the current semester.
- The Tutorium staff assists new students with registration during orientation week.
All Intensive English Program students register according to UIC’s registration ticket calendar. The IEP student classification is “Special Groups”.
EIPS students are provided with registration information via email.
Note to Students on F-1 Visas: If you plan to travel outside the United States between sessions, you must be registered as a full-time student for the next semester at the Tutorium to use the UIC OIS I-20 to re-enter the United States.
Special Letter Requests
The Tutorium office provides a variety of letters depending on your needs. You can request, at no extra cost, letters for :
- certificate of enrollment
- address verification
- fees paid
- transfer letter
- or a special letter written for your specific situation
To request a special letter, contact the Tutorium office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Records - FERPA
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that gives eligible students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:
- the right to inspect and review the student’s own education records,
- the right to protect against disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records (students must authorize or give consent first) except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent (this is the case with students on student visas),
- the right to request changes to education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights, and
- the right to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The student should first file a complaint with the head of the university unit that maintains the records in question. If, after exhausting all internal remedies available within the university, the student still thinks his/her rights have been violated, the appropriate address for sending a written complaint is listed below:
Family Policy Compliance Office
US Department of Education
400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
For more information, go to the FERPA Website at: https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/
Student Suggestions and Complaints (Grievances)
Who to Contact
If you have suggestions or problems at any time, you can:
- Discuss them with your teachers or contact the Tutorium office at email@example.com. You can discuss your classes, immigration, or personal issues.
- Schedule an appointment with the program Director, or the Associate Director by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Include your suggestions or concerns in the anonymous evaluations that all students complete at the end of every semester.
If you have problems with other people, we suggest you talk to, in this order:
- that person
- your teacher
- the Tutorium office
It is important that your problem or complaint is heard. Please don’t be afraid to talk about it. Most problems have a solution and talking about it is the best way to fix the problem.
The UIC Grievance Process
Very serious matters (formal complaints) may also go through the UIC Grievance process.
- Students should contact their instructor or the Tutorium for help.
- We will help you understand UIC policies and what other UIC offices can do to help you.
- The Tutorium grade appeal process is the same as the UIC academic grievance process.
For additional help, you can also go to the Office of the Dean of Students/Student Affairs: (312) 996-4857, 1200 W. Harrison St.|3030 Student Services Building.
Withdrawing, Dropping Classes, Changing Schedules
Please contact the Tutorium office (email@example.com) before making changes to your class schedule, dropping from a class, or withdrawing. It is important to speak with a staff member to discuss your situation because you must follow UIC policies: Registration Policies and Procedures | UIC Office of the Registrar.
If you do not notify the Tutorium office before making changes or you just stop attending:
- Payment will still be required. (Refunds are provided depending on the date of withdrawal.)
- You will receive a failing grade.
- You may not be allowed to return to the Tutorium in the future.
- You may lose your immigration status if you have an F-1 student visa.
Note to Students on F-1 Visas: Dropping classes is not really possible unless you are leaving the program. See Maintaining Full-time Status for more information.
Note to Sponsored Students: Students with sponsorship are encouraged to consult with their sponsoring organizations directly if considering changing schedule, withdrawing, or dropping.
If something happens and you must leave the program, you must follow UIC’s procedures: Registration Policies and Procedures | UIC Office of the Registrar. Students who wish to withdraw from classes or the program must understand the rules are different depending on the time in the semester at which you need to leave.
Notify the Tutorium office so we can properly advise you and assist you.
If you drop your class before the second week of classes (the Add/Drop deadline,), use my.uic.edu.
If you miss the Add/Drop deadline and drop or withdrawing from from your class anytime from the third week to the end of classes, you must contact the Tutorium at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign the withdrawal form so you can submit it to the UIC Registrar.
If you notify the Tutorium that you are leaving the program, fees are refunded according to the UIC refund policy.
Tutorium Code of Behavior Heading link
Students who engage in any behavior that results in the disruption of a class may be directed by the instructor to leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.
According to the Tutorium code of behavior, students are responsible for the following:
- attending class every day,
- being on time to class (arrive early so that you can start on time), and
- participating in class (part of participating is being prepared).
In addition, successful English language students are expected to:
- use English for many hours every day.
- do their homework carefully
- arrive on time to class with their books and homework, prepared to learn.
- understand that they are responsible for learning
- understand that learning takes a lot of time and effort every day
Your attendance is taken by instructors in all programs. Attendance is an important part of being a successful student; however, if you must be absent, you should…
- email your instructor in advance (before you are absent).
- If you know that you will be absent due to the observance of a religious holiday, you must tell your teacher in advance. Please refer to https://oae.uic.edu/religious-calendar/ to check the university’s official holidays.
- Do not plan appointments (doctor, advisor, etc.) during class time. When making appointments, tell the secretary the times that you are not free to come in. This is normal and expected for you to do.
- study any lessons you missed and practice any activities or assignments that you have missed.
- You should check Blackboard to find out what you missed.
- You can also ask any friends in class as well as your instructor.
- Please note that if you miss an exam, activity, or assignment, the instructor may decide that you are NOT able to take it at a later time, and you will receive no credit on that item.
After a significant number of absences as determined by your instructor, you will be asked to:
- discuss your absences with your instructor or the department; and/or
- read and sign a statement regarding absences and the consequences of being absent too often.
Note to Students on F-1 Visas: Immigration rules require students to attend class and show satisfactory academic progress. Student visas are granted on the expectation that students will, in fact, be in class studying. Please see the Maintaining Full-time Status section for more information.
Note to Sponsored Students: Students with sponsorship are encouraged to consult with their sponsoring organizations as some sponsoring organizations have different attendance reporting rules.
- email your instructor in advance (before you are absent).
In the U.S., students are expected to arrive early in order to start class on time.
If you are late, you disrupt the class, its teacher, and other students. You also may miss activities that will cause learning and participation issues.
Although you should not be late, if you are late to class, you should still come! You want to learn as much as you can.
Participation is essential for language development. Just as musicians, athletes, and video gamers spend a lot of time practicing, language learners must also practice all the time. Tutorium classes are designed to give students time to practice in a supportive environment. Participation helps your teacher know how to help you learn and gives you a chance to show what you have learned. Actively participating gives you an opportunity outside of exams to show you have achieved the necessary skills.
- being prepared
- completing homework
- completing important assignments like papers or presentations
- actively contributing in classroom activities
Use of Cell Phones in Classrooms
Because language learning requires interaction and concentration, phones can distract from your learning and the learning of your classmates.
Unless your instructor asks you to use your phone or gives you permission, you must turn off your cell phone before each class begins.
- If your cell phone disrupts class in any way, you may be asked to leave it with the instructor.
- For security purposes, phones are also collected on days in which exams are given or reviewed.
- A student may not bring a guest to a class without the prior permission of the department. This includes any special events during class hours.
- Sometimes observers from the Tutorium or other programs may visit classes. These observers are scheduled to help us improve the quality of the program and to provide service to the profession and community as part of our mission.
As a Tutorium student, you are expected to check and use your UIC email account. It is the official form of communication at UIC, and your teachers, the Tutorium office, and your classmates will use it to contact you.
Always use your UIC email when you:
- Email your teacher if you will be absent or late to class
- Email your classmates to ask about homework if you are absent
- Check and respond to important emails from your teacher or the office
Ask your teacher if you are having problems accessing your email.
The Tutorium expects all students to be honest in their academic work. This means that you are expected to do your own work. If you cheat, you will receive a failing grade. UIC Guidelines for Academic Integrity
Please take note of the following:
- Do not copy someone else’s homework
- Do not use information copied from the internet unless for a research paper and giving proper credit
- Do not get or give help to anyone in any form as related to an examination. Sharing exam information through screenshots, photos, or other forms is strictly prohibited.
- Do not look at dictionaries, notes, the internet or other sources during an exam when it is not permitted.
- Do not submit work that you have done in the past.
- On testing days and test review days, teachers may require that students leave their phones or other devices on the teacher’s desk.
UIC Code of Behavior Heading link
Student Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment Policies
UIC and the Tutorium are committed to providing and preserving an educational and work environment free from all forms of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct (collectively referred to as “sexual misconduct”).
Interactions between people of different genders are viewed in different ways in different cultures. However, regardless of cultural differences, we must all treat each other with respect at all times.
Sexual relationships which are not clearly agreed to by all the people involved are not good ones. If you feel nervous or uncomfortable in a relationship, get help. You can call 911 or UIC police for immediate help. You can go to the RA in your Dormitory. Tutorium staff can also help you.
Be sure that any relationships that you form are ones that both you and the other persons agree to. If someone is forcing you, please get help. UIC has many ways to help. If you don’t know where to go or what to do, the Tutorium staff can help you. Do not be afraid or ashamed.
UIC prohibits and will not tolerate sexual misconduct of or by students, employees, patients, applicants for enrollment or employment, or others in its education programs or activities. The UIC Sexual Misconduct Policy applies to sexual misconduct that is alleged to have been committed by a UIC student, student organization, faculty or staff member:
- On-campus, which includes the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System
- Off-campus, in connection with a University recognized program or activity
- Off-campus, in a manner that may pose an obvious and serious threat of harm or may have the effect of creating a hostile educational environment for any member of the University community
Reporting Sexual Misconduct
Immediately after a sexual assault, physical assault, stalking or attempted assault, get to a safe place as soon as you can, and consider using the “RAIN” Hotline to get help: 1-800-656-HOPE (24 Hours)
Smoking, Alcohol, Cannabis Policies
The Tutorium follows all UIC policies on smoking, alcohol, and cannabis as well as other drugs.
Learn more about UIC policies at Policies | Office of the Dean of Students | University of Illinois at Chicago
Specifics about alcohol and other drugs are at Alcohol and Other Drug | Wellness Center | University of Illinois at Chicago.
No Smoking Policy
There is a strict NO SMOKING policy at UIC. UIC is a tobacco-free campus, prohibiting all forms of tobacco.
Smoking is prohibited on all campus grounds, in all campus properties, and in all university-owned vehicles (e.g. shuttle buses), and in private vehicles while on campus.
You could receive a citation and pay a fine (money) from UIC police if you smoke on campus.
Alcoholic Beverages Policy
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Under-age drinkers may be arrested and required to pay a fine and/or appear in court.
If you are found to be under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance while on campus, you may face serious disciplinary measures from the Tutorium and UIC.
Although cannabis use is legal in Illinois and some other states, it is still considered illegal by the federal government. This is especially important to international students who are living in the USA under permission through federal laws.
In addition, the University prohibits the unlawful or unauthorized possession, use, distribution, sale, or manufacture of marijuana (cannabis) on University property or as part of any University activity. UIC’s marijuana prohibition applies to both recreational and medical use.
Student Handbook Chapters and Appendices Heading link
Handbook Chapters as downloadable PDFs
Message from the Director
Message from the Director
Welcome to the Tutorium in Intensive English! We are happy you have come to study here. We have prepared this handbook to give you important information that you will need while you are a student.
We encourage you to refer to this handbook throughout your entire time at the Tutorium and to use it whenever you need an answer. Some important topics you will find in the handbook are Tutorium services and policies, transportation, banking, immigration, and health. If you have a problem or question that the handbook does not address, please contact the Tutorium Office at email@example.com. Your teachers can also help you or tell you where to go for help. We are all here to help you, and we want your experience at the Tutorium to be rewarding. We want you to have a great experience. Good luck in your studies.
Jason Romano, Director
Tutorium Mission and Vision
The Tutorium has been offering English for speakers of other languages on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus (UIC) since 1978. Under the UIC course subject code English Language and Support for Internationals (ELSI), the Tutorium offers non-degree English courses through three programs: the Intensive English Program (IEP), the English for International Professionals series (EIPS), and the Undergraduate Accelerator pathway program.
The EIPS program provides evening, weekend, and asynchronous online courses, custom courses for UIC departments and external partners, tutoring and editing services, as well as test preparation and testing services. The Undergraduate Accelerator program combines English language instruction, academic preparation, and degree coursework for students accepted to UIC through the pathway program.
The mission of the Tutorium in Intensive English at UIC is to:
- provide English language instruction enabling non-native speakers to acquire the skills necessary to meet their academic, professional, social, and personal goals.
- support the profession of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) by contributing to the field and maintaining model English language programs.
The Tutorium, as a long-standing leader in English language instruction and support, will be an indispensable resource to the University of Illinois at Chicago and the larger international community by empowering learners to achieve their academic and professional pursuits.
Tutorium Accreditations and Memberships
The intensive English program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation, CEA, through the year 2027.
The Tutorium is also a member of EnglishUSA, University and College Intensive English Programs (UCIEP), and NAFSA – the Association of International Educators.
Chapter 1: Academic Life
- Program Description
- Placement Procedures
- Evaluation of Students
- Evaluation of the Program
- Student Responsibilities and UIC Policies
- Academic Expectations
- Student Suggestions and Complaints
- Classroom Guests
- Preparing for Study at American Universities or Colleges
- Tests of English Competency
Table of Contents
- University Identification Card
- New/Continuing Student Registration
- Social Security Number
- Field Trips
- Tutorium Publications
- Special Letter Requests
- Volunteer Opportunities
- SCAILAB Services
- UIC Netid & Email
- Student Records – FERPA
Table of Contents
SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System)
- United States Entry Visa
- Form I-20 (F-1 Students)
- Form I-94
F-1 Student Requirements
- Maintaining Full-time Status
- F-1 Students Transferring from Another US School
- Traveling Outside of the US for F-1 Students
- Program Extension for F-1 students
- Transferring to Another School for F-1 Students
- Reinstatement of Student Status
Chapter 4: Healthcare and Medical Insurance
All university students are required to have medical insurance to cover the cost of health care while at UIC. While you are studying away from home, you will be making many adjustments to food, language, the educational system, and a whole new lifestyle. You may even get homesick. All of these can make you more vulnerable to illness. So it is very important that you understand how to get health care in the United States
Health Care in the United States
The health care system in the United States is probably very different from the medical system in your home country. In the United States, there is no national system of free health care, and costs can be very high. Without health insurance, a daily charge for a hospital bed is about $2,000, and the average cost of having a baby in the hospital is about $18,000. Therefore, it is very important for you to get health insurance for yourself and your family.
Health Insurance Requirements from the University
All students who are in the United States while enrolled in our program are required by the University of Illinois to have health insurance.
Your proof of insurance must include these minimum requirements:
- Name of student
- Dates of coverage
- Sickness Minimum coverage of $50,000 USD per incident
- Injury Minimum coverage of $50,000 USD per incident
- In English
- U.S. contact information listed
The Tutorium Can Help Recommend Health Insurance
Unfortunately, our program does NOT offer health insurance; however, we can recommend different providers. Some questions you need to ask when choosing a health insurance plan are:
- What medical services are covered?
- Do I have to pay? How much?
- Are there forms to complete?
- Who can I call if I have questions?
- Where can I receive medical care?
The Tutorium highly recommends health insurance for F-1 students in the United States (not citizens or residents) that includes:
- Repatriation ($7,800 USD minimum)
- Expenses associated with medical evacuation ($10,000 USD minimum)
Important Advice Regarding Health Insurance
- Keep your insurance card in your wallet at all times.
- Get the telephone numbers of both your insurance company and doctor before you need them. If you are sick, you will be happy you already have the information and know what to do.
- Before your appointment, we strongly suggest you write down a list of your symptoms and bring it with you to the doctor’s office.
- In the case of a life-threatening emergency, dial 911.
For help or more information, contact the Tutorium office at 312/996-8098 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter 5: Housing and Transportation
- University Housing
- Homestay Program
- Private Student Dormitory
- Other Off-Campus Housing Resources
Vocabulary for Apartment Searching
- Campus Shuttle Bus
- Driver’s License
- Parking at UIC
- Parking near TIE Office
- Car/Ride Sharing
- Public Transportation
Chapter 6: Currency and Banking
Table of Contents
- Checking Accounts
- Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) & Debit Cards1
- Savings Accounts
- Banking at UIC
- Receiving Money from Another Country
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
Chapter 7: Safety
- Campus Safety Tips
- Report Lost or Stolen Items
- Campus Alarms
- UIC Police
- UIC Police Community Relations
- CTA Lost and Found
- UIC Campus Alarm Emergency Stations
- Campus Emergency Information
- Nighttime Campus Services
- General Safety Tips
- Dealing with People Who Ask for Money
- City of Chicago Phone Numbers
- Public Transportation Safety Tips
- Online Safety
- Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
Chapter 8: Cultural Adjustment
Table of Contents
- Culture Shock
- Understanding Americans
- Tipping in the United States
Chapter 9: Tutorium Students
Advice for Learning English from Students
Learning another language can be a very difficult and challenging task. There are many different techniques and strategies that can make the process of learning English easier and more enjoyable. We asked Tutorium students about their experience with language acquisition in order to help you with your studies at the Tutorium.
“I was usually shy in class and that is not good for practicing English. I met people from other countries that could not speak English very well because they were too afraid. But you have to speak English, then your English will improve. Do not speak your native language in class because it does not help your English practice. Find students from other countries to talk to and enjoy it!
In addition, you should not be afraid of American people because you can ask them anything and they are very helpful. Also, you should have a native speaker for a friend because it is good practice for you. When you are at home, you should watch English TV to help improve your listening. If you follow this advice, it can help your English improve.”
“Hi new TIE student!! Forget about your former schools with all the bad experience of common teachers and piles of boring homework, cause it is not a regular school. Here you will gain new experience in learning English within American University surrounded by the multicultural atmosphere. You have to remember that you will only learn English if you really want to. There’s no one here who is going to force you to learn. So, working regularly is a basic rule to be successful.
A good method that we practiced is to avoid speaking in your native language. Try to think in English, read in English, write in English, sing in English…. and dream in English. At the beginning, you will be fed up with it, but don’t give up and carry on!!! One day you will notice the improvement!!!”
The Best Way to Learn English
- Speak and listen.
- Don’t worry about mistakes.
- Speak English often.
- Listen carefully to people .
- Watch TV and listen to the radio.
- Read an enjoyable novel. Unconsciously, you can improve reading speed.
- Try not to use a dictionary. You do not have to care about every single word.
- Try to read fast.
- Do homework every time. It’s enough.
- Try to use new vocabulary when you write an essay.
- Listen to the radio (Chicago Public Radio FM 91.5; www.NPR.com), watch TV or movies.
- Watch the same show a couple of times.
- Listen to people’s daily conversations in public places.
- Speak without thinking about grammar mistakes.
- Make a chance to talk with a native speaker.
- Make a short sentence. You can reduce mistakes.
- Don’t be afraid of making language mistakes– people in Chicago are used to different accents
Tutorium on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
Become a friend of the Tutorium on social media! Follow along with what’s happening around the office and to keep in touch with your classmates. The Tutorium staff will regularly post updates throughout the semester.
Use @tieuic to tag or mention us in photos and we’ll share (with your permission) the photos you post about TIE, UIC or Chicago. Use #tieuic to search for our posts. Check out our accounts and stay in touch!
Summary of Attained Proficiency
Open to read what a successful student can do at the end of each level of the Tutorium Intensive English Program.
Chicago Public Library
Libraries in the United States offer a variety of services to the public. The Chicago Public Library system consists of the Harold Washington Library, two regional libraries, and more than 75 branch libraries located all around Chicago. At the library you can check out books, magazines, and videos, and you can use the computer. You can also attend book clubs, see art and history exhibitions and listen to music.
How Do I Get a Chicago Public Library Card?
To obtain a library card for the Chicago Public Library, you will be asked to present two pieces of valid identification with name and address–for example, a driver’s license or state ID with your Chicago address on it, a utility bill (from ComEd, the local electric company, or the local telephone company), or possibly a current correspondence (such as a letter from a business).
You will also need to complete an application. You can apply for a library card in any public library in Chicago and the card will be valid in all branches of the Chicago Public Library including the Harold Washington Library.
Language Laboratory in Harold Washington Library
A Language Laboratory is a center for self-instructional language learning. There is a wide variety of audiovisual materials for adult
native speakers of foreign languages learning English as a Second Language (ESL), adult English speakers learning foreign languages, and individuals wishing to immerse themselves in foreign language culture and literature.
Materials can be played in the Language Laboratory, and many of these titles are available for loan at no cost. Some materials may be obtained for use at other Chicago Public Library locations through interlibrary loan.
In the Language Laboratory, the reference staff aids in the selection of appropriate material for the user’s language study needs and gives instruction in the proper use of the audiovisual equipment.
Chicago Public Library Information
- Name: Harold Washington Library
- Address: 400 S. State St.
- Phone: (312)-747-4300
- Website: www.chipublib.org
Holidays in the U.S.
Most American holidays celebrate events on the day they happened. However, some holidays are observed (celebrated) on the day before or after. On the day a holiday is observed, banks and government offices are closed, and there is no mail delivery.
Read Appendix D for a full list of U.S. holidays
Here are some important acronyms at UIC
Like many other countries and cultures, UIC has its own language. Speaking the language of UIC will help you communicate with others at UIC.
AH – Addams Hall
BH – Burnham Hall
BSB – Behavioral Sciences Building
FYI – For Your Information
GH – Grant Hall
LC – Lecture Center
LH – Lincoln Hall
SCAILAB – Student Computer-Aided Instruction Lab
SCE – Student Center East
SH – Stevenson Hall
SSB – Student Services Building
TBA – To Be Announced
TH – Taft Hall
TIE – Tutorium in Intensive English
UIC – University of Illinois at Chicago
Open the link to Appendix E below to see a short quiz on this list.
Health Care Vocabulary
Certificate – Proof, such as a card or letter, that you have health insurance
Claim – A form you need to fill out to get a reimbursement (money back) from your insurance provider
Co-payment – Money you pay at the time of service for doctor visits, hospitalization, and prescription medication-usually from $10 to $50
Coverage – What your medical insurance company will pay for Dependent – Your spouse (husband or wife) and/or child eligible for coverage under your health insurance policy You will have to pay additional money for their
Dependent – Your spouse (husband or wife) and/or child eligible for coverage under your health insurance policy You will have to pay additional money for their coverage.
Effective day – The first day you can use your insurance coverage
Filling out a claim – Completing a form
Filing a claim – Submitting a form to an insurance company
General practitioner or family medicine practitioner or internist – A doctor who practices basic medicine
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – This type of health insurance policy is also known as “managed care” because all of your medical care is managed by a health insurance company and the doctor. 100% of most medical costs are covered. You must choose a doctor from a list of HMO primary care physicians. All medical care you receive must go through your primary care physician. If you want to see a specialist, such as an eye doctor or dermatologist, you must get a referral from your primary care physician. You always need to ask your doctor for a referral before making any appointments. If you receive any medical care not authorized by your doctor, you must pay all costs.
Life-threatening emergency – A situation in which a person will die without immediate medical care, for example, a severe accident or heart attack
Out of pocket – Money you must pay for medical services
Out of network – A doctor that is not listed on the HMO or PPO list
Policy – The detailed description of your insurance coverage, limitations and exclusions–for example: no deductible, 100% hospital coverage or $10 co-payments.
Pre-certification – Permission from your primary provider for hospitalization
Preferred Provider Option (PPO) – This type of policy is similar to an HMO. You choose a doctor or hospital from a Preferred Provider list, and more health care costs are covered. PPOs allow you to go to doctors who are not on their preferred provider list, but you pay some of the cost, usually between 20% and 40%.
Primary Care Physician – Your personal doctor whom you choose or are assigned from an HMO listing. All medical care you receive must go through your primary care physician.
Referral – A document from your primary care physician allowing you to see a specialist
Reimbursement – A payback of money you spent on your healthcare by insurance company
Specialist – A doctor who practices in a specific area of medicine, for example, gynecologist or dermatologist
Traditional Health Care Plan – This type of health insurance policy allows you to go to any doctor. You may have to pay at the time of service and submit a claim form to your health insurance provider. You will then receive a reimbursement. Your deductible will vary from 40% to 60%. Most policies have an out-of-pocket maximum payment limit.
Urgent Care – When you need to see a doctor as soon as possible to receive treatment, for example, a high fever or infection, or a bad sprain
Waiver – A document showing that you have comparable insurance
Things You Can Still Do Without a Social Security Number
- Open a bank account
- Get a mobile phone
- Get an apartment
- Get an Illinois Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL)
Read Appendix F to learn how to do all of these without a social security number.
Frequently Asked Questions
Includes answers to the following questions:
- How can I get a Social Security Number?
- Do I need health insurance?
- Where can I go to check my e-mail?
- My F-1 visa expired. Do I need to leave the United States?
- I want to drive to school. Do I need to buy a parking assignment?
- I just transferred to the Tutorium. What do I need to do to complete my transfer?
- How can I find off-campus housing?
- What do I do if I lose my bag, purse, wallet, books, or anything on campus?
- Who can I ask if I have a question?
- What building is BSB, SCE, SSB, …?
- Can I work on campus while I study?
1. How can I get a Social Security Number?
Most of the students at the Tutorium cannot get a Social Security Number. Starting October 13, 2004, the Social Security Administration changed the policy regarding Social Security Numbers for international students.
If you have F-1 status, you can receive a Social Security Number only if you find a job on campus at UIC. Once you find a job at UIC, please contact the Tutorium office at email@example.com for instructions.
To Open a Bank Account
You don’t need a Social Security Number to open a bank account. However, if the bank insists that you need a Social Security Number to open a checking or savings account, request a special letter from the Tutorium office to help you open the account without a Social Security Number.
For a Driver’s License
If you want to drive, you need to apply for Temporary Visitor Driver’s License. Please see Appendix G for detailed instructions.
2. Do I need health insurance?
Yes. Every student taking classes on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago is required to have medical coverage. You will need to show proof of other comparable coverage. When you buy different coverage, make sure that it covers at least sickness and injury up to $50,000. See our Health Insurance webpage for more details.
3. Where can I go to check my e-mail?
Your first choice is SCAILAB in Addams Hall, where you are a Priority User! However, UIC has many computer labs for students. These labs do not have special ESL software, but some of them are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, log on to www.accc.uic.edu/pclabs (however, to use UIC labs, first you have to activate your UIC email account).
4. My F-1 visa expired. Do I need to leave the United States?
No. The visa is only necessary for entry into the United States. Once you have entered the US, the most important document is the I-94 Form, which you can find online at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home.
F-1 students will have D/S (Duration of Status) shown for the I-94 expiration date. D/S indicates that you may remain in the U.S. as long as you continue your studies full time.
If you are on an F-1 visa, your I-94 card does not have the expiration date. It should say “D/S” (Duration of Status) which means that you are allowed to stay in the United States as long as you are following the requirements of F-1 status (see Chapter 3).
5. I want to drive to school. Do I need to buy a parking assignment?
Yes, if you drive to school everyday. If you will only drive a few times during the semester, use one of these visitor parking lots:
Lot 4: Garage on Halsted with entrances on Polk and Taylor streets.
Lot 5C: Parking lot on Morgan Street near Roosevelt Road.
Harrison Street Parking Structure: Garage between Morgan Street and Racine Avenue with the visitor’s entrance on Harrison.
Lot 9: Parking lot on the northeast corner of Morgan and Harrison streets with the entrance on Morgan Street.
There is little or no street parking available for students and visitors at UIC. Any car left on the street will be ticketed and/or towed at the owner’s expense. A parking ticket in the University Village neighborhood is $60. A police officer can write several parking tickets if the driver does not return to his/her car. If cars will be towed from a particular area, it is usually noted on a sign nearby. The average cost of towing is $150. (see Chapter 5)
6. I just transferred to the Tutorium. What do I need to do to complete my transfer?
You must complete your transfer before the end of the 2nd week of classes. In order to do so you need to make sure that the Tutorium has all the necessary documents to issue a new I-20 and that your former school sent a transfer form and electronically transferred your I-20 SEVIS record to the Tutorium in Intensive English at UIC. The Tutorium will complete your transfer in SEVIS (see Chapter 3). You must then sign the new I-20 issued to you from the Tutorium.
7. How can I find off-campus housing?
There are many housing options available in the Chicago area. The prices depend on size and location. If you need assistance with finding an apartment, the staff in the Tutorium office can assist you. We will give you information about off-campus housing and help you. Also, check our website at https://tie.uic.edu/intensive-english/housing-dining.
8. What do I do if I lose my bag, purse, wallet, books, or anything on campus?
1. We strongly recommend that once you have double-checked the room that you last remember having the item in, call or go to the Lost & Found Office at the Service Center in SCE. The telephone number is 413-5100 or 3-5100 from university phones.
2. Report it to the UIC Police. Call the non-emergency number 996-2830 or 6-2830 from a university phone. A policeman will contact you to take your report.
3. Tell your teachers and classmates and the TIE office, so that we may ask around and help you.
Students and teachers have done this in the past and have gotten their lost items returned.
9. Who can I ask if I have a question?
You can ask classmates, especially those who studied here last semester.
You can also ask your teachers.
You can ask a staff person at the Tutorium office. We have a long history with international students, so we probably know the answer. But if we do not, we will find out. We are here to help you. Just email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. What building is BSB, SCE, SSB, …?
Those are buildings at UIC. You can find more information at https://maps.uic.edu, and search the map for the buildings or codes.
11. Can I work on campus while I study?
Tutorium in Intensive English students are able to apply for and take on part time student worker positions/jobs at the university; however, this can be difficult.
- Student worker positions are very competitive and require a high intermediate English proficiency.
- In addition, scheduling is an issue because full-time study at Tutorium is during the daytime when most departments need students to work.
- There are occasionally positions available in the Tutorium, but those positions are dependent on department needs, whether funds are available, and require previous experience.
- Read more about F-1 student employment on the UIC Office for International Services website.