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Future Students

English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL teacher and students in the classroom.

Admission Requirements

  • Online Application
  • $25 application fee
  • Official transcripts and graduation certificates International students must also submit the following:
  • Official Bank Statements and Affidavit of Financial Support
  • Copy of passport and current visa

The ESL program accepts students from the high-beginner to advanced levels. At a minimum, students must have a 353 TOEFL PBT (21 iBT, 2.0 IELTS) to enroll. Students are required to take the ESL placement test at the program start. Conditional admission is available to students that meet academic requirements but still need additional language training to be successful in a U.S. classroom. As students near the end of the ESL program, we create a “bridge” to an academic program of interest by allowing students to take some regular classes or content-based courses alongside their ESL classes. Once students complete the ESL program, they are eligible to transition fully into their academic program.


Students who wish to attend the ESL program at Otterbein pay tuition and fees at levels established especially for this program. The current tuition rate is $400 per credit hour ($6,000 per semester for full-time students; $4,800 summer). International students are also required to obtain insurance provided by the university, which costs approximately $96 per month.

Tuition includes access to: 

  • Otterbein library
  • Computer labs, technology and free printing
  • Gymnasium and weight training center
  • On-campus events and activities such as theatre and arts, athletics and student organizations

ESL Levels

At Otterbein, we offer five levels of ESL classes for students from the high-beginner to advanced levels. At a minimum, students must have a 353 TOEFL PBT (21 iBT, 2.0 IELTS) to enroll. Level placement is determined by our on-campus placement test given prior to the first day of classes. The chart below offers a general outline of our levels. 

ESL Levels at Otterbein TOEFL
Advanced (0900) 500 and above 61 and above 6 and above
Intermediate III (0800) 480 - 497 54 - 60 5.5 - 6
Intermediate II (0700) 437 - 477 41 - 53 5 - 5.5
Intermediate I (0600) 390 - 433 29 - 40 3 - 4.5
Intro II (0500)) 353 - 387 21 - 28 2 - 2.5

ESL Session Dates

Otterbein University’s ESL academic calendar currently consists of seven week sessions.
*Beginning Spring 2016 sessions will follow the semester calendar (15 weeks).* Prices will change with semester conversion.*

Session Placement
Orientation Classes
Testing &
Session Ends
Summer 1, 2015 May 22 May 22 May 26 June 25 June 26
 Summer II, 2015 June 29  June 29  July 6  Aug 5  Aug 6 
 Fall I, 2015 Aug 18  Aug 19  Aug 24  Oct 9  Oct 10 
 Fall II, 2015 Oct 9  Oct 14  Oct 15  Dec 4  Dec 5 
 Spring 2016 Jan 6  Jan 7  Jan 11  April 22 April 23
 Summer 2016 May 31  June 1  June 6  July 28  July 29 

New students must arrive before their Testing & Orientation days. Students who arrive after the testing and orientation days may not start until the following session.

/ International Admission

The Office of International Admission is located at Towers Hall, 1 South Grove St., Westerville, OH 43081, USA

Office Hours
M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (summer)

p/ 614.823.1356
e/ intotterb@otterbein.edu
QQ Account: 3136607263
WeChat: Otterbein University

Alyssa Libby 
Senior Assistant Director International Recruitment
p/ 614.823.1356
e/ alibby@otterbein.edu

Jenny Seymour
International Admissions Coordinator
p/ 614.823.3263
e/ jseymour@otterbein.edu

Richard Ji
Coordinator, International Recruitment and Student Support Services 
p/ 614.823.3209
e/ richard.ji@otterbein.edu

/ Also See