Activities & Services

The IEI offers many activities and services to its students to help them fully take advantage of living in the U.S. so they can reach their English language goals.

IEI services include an international student advisor, student services coordinator, interns (University of Illinois undergraduate student assistants), and access to almost all University of Illinois student facilities, including the Health Center and Campus Recreation.

New Student Registration and Orientation

During new students’ first days at the IEI, orientation sessions and activities are offered including tours of the university campus and Champaign-Urbana, shopping trips, cultural activities, and a welcome party to meet all of the other IEI students and teachers.


I-Card: Each IEI student receives a University of Illinois student identification card. IEI students are eligible to use almost all of the facilities and services provided for U of I students. These include:

The Illini Union
Campus Recreation Facilities
McKinley Health Services
The Counseling Center
The Career Center
The Student Tenant Union
Student Legal Services
The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District buses
University libraries
University computer labs

International Student Advising: The IEI’s international student advisor and student services coordinator are available to help students with questions about their academic progress, applying to American universities, life on campus, adjustments to life in the United States, immigration issues, and other concerns students might have. Learn more about International Student Advising

Health Services: All IEI students must pay a student health service fee which lets them use the university’s McKinley Student Health Service for routine health care. Learn more about McKinley Health Center.

Activity Notifications: All students receive a weekly email about local events of interest coming up. In addition, students are emailed as other more immediate opportunities become known.

ConvoPartners Program

IEI students have the opportunity to be paired with a university student or community member volunteer for weekly casual English conversation and mutual cultural exchange.

Volunteer Program

Students are invited to volunteer throughout the year in the Urbana-Champaign community through volunteer events coordinated by the IEI interns. IEI volunteer events often include assisting Urbana-Champaign organizations that provide help for needy families, children, the elderly, and the environment. By participating in the IEI Volunteer Program, students learn more about American culture, meet new friends, use English in a practical way outside of the classroom, and become true members of the global community.

IEI Interns

The IEI hires undergraduate students from the University of Illinois as interns each semester. In addition to greeting you at the front desk, the interns assist in planning events for IEI students, coordinating volunteer projects, taking photos at all IEI events, and meeting individually with IEI students to assist them with their needs (questions about American culture, difficulties with living in the U.S., occasional homework assistance, etc.). IEI interns are selected based on their interest in different cultures, friendliness, creativity, responsibility, and experience working with people of other cultures and languages.

Other Activities

  • Class Activities: IEI teachers arrange social events for their classes outside of class such as playing volleyball, picnics, potlucks (a dinner where everyone brings food from their country), going to a movie, bowling, or ice skating.
  • Other Events: IEI interns plan various social activities for IEI students. These activities often include holiday parties, university sporting events, conversation groups, concerts, academic lectures, cooking lessons, dinners, and other American culture-centered events.