Frequently Asked Questions

Dates, Costs, Application, Registration, Payment

What are the dates and costs of the English classes at TIEP?

TIEP offers classes throughout the year. There are seven start dates and ten sessions of different lengths each year. Costs vary by the length of the session.

When is the application deadline?

There isn’t a specific application deadline, but we recommend that students apply at least one month before the start of classes if they need an I-20 from TIEP to apply for an F-1 (student) visa.  When we have all of the documents we need to prepare an I-20, we will send the I-20 in 1 to 3 business days.  Click here to apply to study at TIEP.

How can I transfer to TIEP from another school in the United States?

If you are attending another English language school or program in the United States and would like to transfer to TIEP or TIEP at Lamar, please click here for detailed information.

When is registration?

Registration is generally 3 to 5 days before the first day of class.

What does the registration fee include?

The registration fee includes:

  • 20 hours per week of classroom instruction
  • Books and other materials
  • Placement test
  • Orientation program
  • Certificate of completion for qualifying students
  • Academic advising
  • Immigration advising
  • Housing information
  • Social and cultural events
  • Conversation Club
  • Institutional TOEFL exam

When is the registration fee due?

The registration fee is due during registration.

What type of payment does TIEP accept?

TIEP accepts traveler’s checks, personal checks drawn on a U.S. bank, bank drafts, bank wires, Visa™, MasterCard™, Discover™, American Express™, and cash.  Payment can be made online.

Is it possible to arrange a payment plan?

It is possible for students registering for at least 10 weeks of study to arrange for a deferred payment plan for payment of the registration fee.  An additional fee ($125 – $200) is charged depending on the number of approved payments.

Does the registration fee include housing and meals?

The registration fee doesn’t include housing and meals. We estimate living expenses for most students to be $1,200 – $1,400 per month.

What is the refund policy?

REFUND POLICY

  1. FEES
    The TIEP application fee and express mail fee are neither refundable nor transferable.  The TIEP application fee is valid for one year.
  2. PREPAID REGISTRATION FEE
    Students who prepay the TIEP registration fee and are unable to enter the United States and enroll at TIEP for the session(s) for which they have prepaid will receive a full refund less a $100 cancellation fee.  The refund request must be received in writing no later than the tenth (10th) class day or the student will forfeit the full prepaid amount.
  3. WITHDRAWAL FROM TIEP AFTER REGISTERING
    To receive a refund after registering at TIEP, a student must officially withdraw before the deadline.
  • Notice of withdrawal must be presented in writing by completing a Request to Withdraw form.  This form is available in the TIEP Student Handbook and from TIEP staff and administrators.
  • Students who withdraw before classes begin will receive a full refund, less a $150 cancellation fee.
  • Students who withdraw after classes begin will receive a partial refund according to the schedule below.  The refund will depend on when the withdrawal is requested and approved and on the length of the enrollment period.  In the case of a Deferred Payment Plan, refunds are calculated on the full amount owed for the session.

 

WITHDRAWAL REQUESTED & APPROVED

AMOUNT OF REFUND, BY ENROLLMENT PERIOD
1-4 weeks 5-8 weeks 9-16 weeks
Before classes begin 100%-$150 cancellation fee 100%-$150 cancellation fee 100%-$150 cancellation fee
During class days 1–5 0% 50% 75%
During class days 6–10 0% 0% 50%
After the 10th class day 0% 0% 0%

Does TIEP offer scholarships?

TIEP is unable to offer scholarships. TIEP is a private, non-profit organization and does not receive government funds. TIEP works hard to provide a very high quality program of instruction at a very reasonable cost.

Admission to TIEP

Is the TOEFL/IELTS required for admission?

TIEP does not require a TOEFL or IELTS score for admission.  TIEP offers seven levels of instruction from beginning to advanced English proficiency.

Is there an age requirement?

TIEP students are 17 years of age or older (except for custom-designed programs for groups).

How can I transfer to TIEP from another school in the United States?

If you are attending another English language school or program in the United States and would like to transfer to TIEP or TIEP at Lamar, please click here for detailed information.

Program Information

When do classes meet?

TIEP’s intensive English classes meet four hours per day, five days per week, Monday through Friday.

Optional elective courses (including TOEFL Preparation and Conversation and Pronunciation Skills) are available in the afternoon.  For more information, please click here.

Part-time Conversation and Pronunciation Skills courses meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  For more information, please click here.

Where do classes meet? What are the physical specifications of the building?

TIEP classes are held in a three-story building located at 1103 West 24th Street that serves as headquarters for the Texas International Education Consortium and also houses the Texas Intensive English Program. Classrooms and other areas of the building that students need to access are located on the first and second floors. The first floor is wheelchair accessible, but the second floor is not. Students need to be able to climb stairs to access the following facilities on the second floor: computer lab, student library, student lounge areas, vending machines, some classrooms, and some teacher offices.

Is there a placement test?

New students are placed in classes on the basis of their performance on the TIEP Placement Test. The test is administered during registration. It takes two hours and has five sections:  listening comprehension, speaking (an interview with two TIEP instructors), reading comprehension, writing, and grammar. Students learn the results of their TIEP Placement Test on the first day of class when they receive their class schedule.

What is the class size?

The average class size is generally 10-12 students with a minimum 8 students per class and a maximum of 16 students per class.

What types of intensive English courses does TIEP offer?

TIEP offers beginning to low-intermediate English language instruction in one program (Foundations of English) and intermediate to advanced English language instruction in two programs (English for Academic Purposes and English for Communication and Culture).  Each program provides 20 hours of classroom instruction per week.

Does TIEP offer evening courses?

Yes.  Part-time Conversation and Pronunciation Skills courses meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, please click here.

Does TIEP offer special, customized programs for groups and individuals?

Yes, TIEP provides customized training programs for sponsoring agencies, governments, educational institutions, private companies, and individuals contracting special programs or private lessons to meet specific training needs and goals.  For more information, please click here.

Does TIEP offer courses for children?

TIEP students must be at least 17 years old to enroll in regularly scheduled classes. It is possible to arrange a private tutorial for younger students with one of our highly qualified instructors.

Program Completion & University Placement

How long does it take to complete the program?

The amount of time a student spends studying at TIEP depends on many factors including the student’s proficiency in English at the time of enrollment, reason for learning English, effort and motivation, and second language learning ability. Returning students are placed in classes based on achievement of course Student Learning Outcomes in the previous semester. Attendance and effort are important factors in the learning process, but grades are based on achievement and meeting course requirements as stated on the course syllabus. Students may progress through the program in the following ways:

  • Students whose final grades are A or A- (excellent achievement of student learning outcomes) after a 15-week fall semester or a 16-week spring semester advance two levels; for example, progressing from Level 110 to Level 130.  Students will be given the option of a one- or two-level advancement after a 10-week summer session.
  • Students whose final grades are A or A- for one grade and B+ for one grade (very good achievement of student learning outcomes) after a 15-week fall semester or a 16-week spring semester advance one or two levels, taking into consideration teacher recommendations.
  • Students whose final grades are Bs and Cs (fair to good achievement of student learning outcomes) after any semester advance one level.
  • Students whose final grades are Ds and Fs (insufficient or poor achievement of student learning outcomes) generally repeat the level.
  • Students whose grades are A- or higher at midterm of a 15-week fall semester or 16-week spring semester will be given the option of a level advancement.

How long does it take for a student to be ready for university admission? How long does it take to "pass" the TOEFL/IELTS?

Generally, it takes beginning students three or four semesters of study, intermediate students two semesters of study, and advanced students one semester of study to be ready to begin academic study at a U.S. college or university. Most students who satisfactorily complete level 150 or level 160 are ready for full-time studies in a college or university. Students who complete TIEP’s highest academic preparation level have an average TOEFL score of 570 (TOEFL iBT 88) with 20% scoring above 600 (TOEFL iBT 100).

To compare TOEFL iBT® scores to IELTS® Academic Module scores, click here.

Does TIEP give the TOEFL and TOEIC tests?

TIEP offers Institutional TOEFL exams five times per year to enrolled students. One Institutional TOEFL exam is included in each semester’s tuition and fees.

TIEP is a TOEIC Test Center and offers the TOEIC Test twelve times per year.  To register for the TOEIC click here.

What kinds of certificates can students receive?

Certificates of Successful Completion are awarded to qualifying students at the end of each session.  Students with 100% attendance receive a Certificate of Perfect Attendance. Students with no grade lower than ‘A’ receive a Certificate of Academic Excellence.

Housing, Airport Pickup, Health Insurance

What types of housing are available? How will I find a place to live?

Apartments, dormitories, homestays, and cooperatives are available in Austin.  Information on housing options is available here.  Please ask us if you need assistance with housing.

Does TIEP offer airport pickup?

Yes, we offer airport pickup for a $90 fee.  For information, please click here.

Does TIEP offer health insurance? Does TIEP require health insurance?

TIEP offers health and accident insurance to students in F-1 visa status through LewerMark Student Medical Insurance (Summary of Benefits .pdf) for approximately $4.50 per day.

Students with an F-1 visa must have health insurance during their study at TIEP.  Students who have health insurance that will pay at least

  • $100,000 per sickness or injury to cover their medical expenses in the United States,
  • $50,000 for medical evacuation, and
  • $25,000 for repatriation of remains,

must bring proof of the insurance, in English, with them to registration.  F-1 students who do not have proof of insurance will need to purchase the comprehensive, health and accident insurance offered by TIEP through LewerMark or a comparable insurance plan.

Watch a video about healthcare in the U.S.

What kinds of out-of-class activities are available?

TIEP offers social and cultural activities including International Potluck, school picnic, Ice Cream Social, Conversation Club, and holiday-related activities.

Austin also offers many annual events including Carnival Brasileiro, Capitol 10,000 marathon, Kite Festival, South by Southwest Music and Film Festival, Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo, Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Old Pecan Street Arts and Crafts Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Clarksville-West End Jazz and Arts Festival, July 4th Fireworks Display and Symphony Performance, Zilker Park Fall Jazz Festival, Halloween on Sixth Street, Great Taste of Austin, Victorian Christmas on Sixth Street, and the Holiday Trail of Lights.

General Information

Is TIEP accredited?

Yes. TIEP has been accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) since 2000.  TIEP is presently accredited by CEA for the period December 2015 through December 2025 and agrees to uphold the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions.  CEA is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions in the U.S.  For further information about this accreditation, please contact the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation, 1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 665-3400, www.cea-accredit.org.

Where is TIEP located?

TIEP is located in the West Campus area of central Austin.  Private dormitories and many apartment buildings are within a five-minute to twenty-minute walk to TIEP.

Who are the teachers?

The TIEP instructors have native English speaking proficiency and master’s or doctoral degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) or closely related fields with TESL coursework. Current instructors have an average of more than ten years of experience teaching English to speakers of other languages. Most instructors have studied and/or taught overseas and have traveled extensively.

What countries do TIEP students come from?

Students from 131 countries have studied at TIEP.

Students from 20-25 countries have enrolled at TIEP each semester during the past year. The percentages of students from different regions of the world for the past year are given below:

  • 3% Africa
  • 52% Asia East
  • 1% Asia West, Central, and South
  • 10% Central America and Mexico
  • 4% Europe
  • 18% Middle East
  • 2% North America
  • 10% South America

What time is it in Austin, Texas?

Austin is in the Central Time Zone of the United States.  For the current time in Austin, click here.

What are TIEP's office hours?

TIEP is open from 8:00 a.m. to – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Is information about TIEP available in other languages?

Basic information about TIEP is available in the languages listed below. To view the information, click on the name of the language.

Why learn English?

Some reasons to learn English

  • English is the most widely spoken language in the world. Approximately one billion (1,000,000,000) people (15% of the world’s population) use English on a regular basis, either as a first language or as a second language. Also, approximately 1,000,000,000 more people are currently learning English, and this number is increasing rapidly.
  • English is the official language or primary language in more than 90 countries and territories.

English has become the international language of

  • Business – International business communication is conducted most often in English. When speakers of different languages are at a meeting, the meeting is often conducted in English.  Multinational companies around the world operate in English. Knowing English can provide more career opportunities, a higher salary, and faster advancement in a company.
  • Education – With increasing frequency, universities around the world are requiring their students to have at least an intermediate level of proficiency in English. At some universities, students must take required courses that are taught only in English.
  • Science – More than 90% of the articles in the Science Citation Index (SCI) are in English. The SCI and the SCI Expanded include citations from the world’s leading science and technology journals. About half of the articles published in English are from researchers who do not live in English-speaking countries. Knowing English is important to be able to report on and to learn about new scientific discoveries.
  • Internet Content and Social Media – More than 50% of the world’s most visited websites, the top 10,000,000 sites, have home pages in English. This is an incredible source of information that is available to English speakers.
  • Entertainment – Many popular original films, television programs, songs, and books are in English.
  • Tourism – English is essential for people who work in the international tourism industry, and tourists can travel the world with English.
  • International Conferences – Most international conferences are conducted in English. It is important to speak English well to benefit from attendance at international conferences.
  • Aviation – The International Civil Aviation Organization has made English the language of international aviation since 2008. All pilots operating on international routes, and all air traffic controllers and flight crew members working with international flights must be proficient in English.
  • Diplomacy – English is the most common language of international diplomacy. Diplomats and government officials from different countries often communicate in English.

Is it important to learn English?  Learning English can really change a person’s life.  It may be one of the best things that someone who doesn’t speak English can do.  Knowing English can improve career prospects and lead to new professional opportunities.  Learn English and see what happens.

Why learn English at TIEP?

Why learn English at TIEP?

  • Because TIEP has more than 50 years of successful experience strengthening international students’ English skills and improving their communication skills.
  • Because TIEP has expert, talented, caring teachers who have native-English speaking proficiency and Ph.D.’s and master’s degrees in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and closely related fields with ESL coursework. They support their students and provide an active, engaging learning experience.
  • Because TIEP has an outstanding team of staff members who are dedicated to assisting international students. This includes advising on U.S. visa regulations, pre-arrival information, assistance with arranging housing and airport transportation, orientation to American culture and life, enrichment activities to enhance cultural understanding, information on university. applications and selection of appropriate schools, and assistance with transfer to universities.
  • Because 24 universities and colleges in Texas accept successful completion of TIEP’s academic classes for admission.  A TOEFL or IELTS score is not needed for these universities and colleges. TIEP students can focus on improving their English skills rather than on preparing for TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Because TIEP offers small multicultural classes with students from around the world. More than 30,000 students from 131 countries have learned English at TIEP, and students from 20-25 countries learn English at TIEP each semester.
  • Because you will acquire international experience, encounter new cultures and perspectives, and meet people from different countries.  This is a life-changing experience which can provide new relationships across borders and improve your interpersonal skills.
  • Because it can improve your career prospects and lead to new professional opportunities.
  • Because TIEP is a non-profit educational organization and offers attractive pricing.
  • Because it’s fun!
  • Because TIEP is in Austin.

Austin is one of the best places to live in the United States. Austin is the 11th most populous city in the U.S. with 912,000 residents. They are among the most educated and creative people in the U.S. and help to make Austin a very dynamic city and a major center of high technology.  In U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Places to Live List, Austin ranked #1 among the USA’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.

 

  • Seven universities and colleges are located in the Austin area.
  • Educational and cultural events and festivals take place throughout the year, including SXSW Music, SXSW Film, SXSW Interactive, Carnaval Brasileiro, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Formula 1 Races at Circuit of the Americas.
  • Hundreds of live music venues have earned Austin the title of “live music capital of the world.” Austin also has excellent ballet, opera, symphony, museums, and theaters.
  • Austin has excellent shopping and diverse, homegrown restaurants that are known nationally.
  • Year-round sunshine, mild climate, and beautiful natural surroundings.
  • Low overall cost of living.

We hope you will consider enrolling at TIEP and will contact us about our programs.  We would be delighted to help you learn English.

Why study at universities and colleges in Texas?

Texas offers many options for international students:

  • 35 public universities
  • 39 private universities
  • 50 public community college districts
  • 9 public health-related institutions

Quality and Value

  • Public universities in Texas have low tuition rates for international students.
  • Three Texas universities are ranked in the top 100 Academic World Universities.
  • Twelve Texas universities are ranked in the top 500 Academic World Universities.
  • Texas universities lead in fields such as business, engineering, medicine, and technology.

Scholarships – International students who receive a scholarship of at least $1,000 annually from a public university in Texas may be eligible to pay tuition at in-state (Texas resident) rates. This is a cost-saving of thousands of dollars in tuition each year compared with out-of-state (non-resident) tuition rates.

Begin Now to Plan for Study at a University in Texas

The unique TIEC Study Guide to Texas Universities contains everything you need to know about the many opportunities for learning available at the state’s universities. And it is available free of charge from the Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC).

Click to view/download

You’ll get answers to such questions as:

• How do I choose a university based on:
o My major field of study?
o Admission requirements?
o Cost?
o Size of school?
o Location?
o Weather?
o Campus facilities?
o Campus safety?

• What are the ten most important things for me to know about university admission?
• Should I apply to more than one university?
• Can I apply online?
• How can I obtain a TOEFL waiver?
• How can I obtain Conditional Admission?
• How much English will I need?
• Can I apply for a scholarship?

Plus, the guide includes maps, charts, and Internet links, providing you with the detailed campus-by-campus information you’ll need to compare various options and make your final decision.

What are some useful, free website resources for learning English?

  • ESL Gold (www.eslgold.com).  This site offers very comprehensive English-language practice in all skill areas.
  • Dave’s ESL Cafe (http://www.eslcafe.com).  This is a diverse resource with information for both English learners and teachers.
  • The Sounds of American English (http://www.soundsofenglish.org).  This site has lessons and activities to practice English pronunciation.
  • TED Talks (www.ted.com/talks).  This site has more than 2,200 videos from expert speakers on more than 100 topics (including  business, education, science, and technology) with subtitles in 100+ languages.  These talks are approximately 15 minutes in length and offer excellent listening practice for curious English learners with intermediate to advanced English proficiency.