Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I contact the Language and Culture Center?
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    Language and Culture Center
    University of Houston
    116 Roy Cullen Bldg.
    Houston, Texas 77204-3014
    U.S.A.
    Telephone: 713-743-3030
    Fax: 713-743-3029
    Email: lcc@uh.edu

     

  2. What are the admission requirements?
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    To be admitted to the Language and Culture Center (LCC) intensive English program, students must be at least 17 years of age, have a high school diploma, and be familiar with the English alphabet. Students applying for F-1 visas must also show proof of sufficient financial support.

     

  3. Does the University of Houston provide conditional admission or concurrent enrollment?
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    University officials generally do not approve concurrent enrollment in the LCC and in UH credit courses, and they do not approve conditional admission to degree programs. Acceptance into the Language and Culture Center intensive English program does not mean acceptance into an undergraduate or graduate academic program at the University of Houston (UH). Students who wish to pursue their academic studies at the university must apply directly to the UH Office of Admissions. All LCC courses are non-credit. However, a student will be issued a certificate upon completion.

     

  4. What is a TOEFL waiver?
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    Students who have successfully completed Level 6 in the Language and Culture Center are not required to present a TOEFL or IELTS score when seeking admission to undergraduate programs at the University of Houston. While some graduate programs also accept Level 6 in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS, students seeking graduate admission are encouraged to contact advisors in individual departments or colleges to find out what admission requirements might be.

     

  5. What are the admission procedures?
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    To apply, please mail the following together to the mailing address above:

    1. The LCC application. If it is completed online, please remember to print and complete the second part that requires both you and your sponsor’s signatures.
    2. An official copy of the student’s transcript and graduation diploma (with English translation).
    3. Financial support documents of the sponsor indicating the capacity to support the students’ tuition and expenses for the amount of $20,000.00 USD per year.
    4. Copy of the identification page of the student’s passport.
    5. A non-refundable application fee of $100.00 (check or money order only, made payable to the University of Houston). Do not send cash. If the I-20 and the acceptance letter need to be sent by express courier, the student may add $75.00 to the application fee. (This fee is subject to change.)

    Please mail the LCC application, fees, and supporting documents ahead of time so that it arrives at the LCC office on or before the application deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.

    Upon receipt of all the items listed above, and if the student is found eligible for admission, the LCC will prepare a Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20, an admission letter, and a pre-departure orientation letter briefly explaining the policies and procedures necessary for securing the appropriate visa, traveling to Houston, getting settled, and registering. These will be sent to the applicant in a timely manner.

     

  6. What is the SEVIS Fee?
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    The United States Department of Homeland Security requires that each applicant applying for a student visa (F-1) pay a $ 200.00 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee. Payment instructions and an I-901 form will be enclosed with the I-20 and the acceptance letter. After the payment is completed and processed, you will be mailed an official receipt (form I-797) from SEVIS that you will need to present to the embassy official at the visa interview. If you complete the payment online, you may also print out the receipt and use that as proof of payment. You will later receive an official receipt by mail.

     

  7. How do I get a student visa to enter the United States?
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    You may arrange an appointment for your visa interview online through your local U.S. embassy’s website. Take all required documentation with you. Be prepared to go to the interview alone unless the consular official allows others to be present. Because all consular officers are under considerable time pressure, you should keep your answers short and to the point. If your student visa is denied, keep a calm and positive attitude and do not argue with the officer. Kindly ask him for the reason you were denied and what you can do in the future to overcome the refusal. If your spouse and children will stay in your country, be prepared to state how they will support themselves in your absence. Remember, you must convince the embassy official that you have sufficient funds available to support yourself during your stay in the United States and that you will return to your home country after completing your studies.

    Please read the information given under the Student Visa page on travel.state.gov which is a website maintained by the U.S. Department of State that gives the most up-to-date information on visas and travel.

    You may also look at the America.gov article Basics on U.S. Visas for a brief overview on student visas.

    If you are entering the United States on an F-1 Visa, you may look at the Study in the States on how to apply for the F-1 Visa.

     

  8. What are the start and end dates of upcoming terms?
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    Term Weeks Student Check-In Graduation Ceremony
    Summer 2014 13 weeks Tuesday, May 13 Thursday, August 7
    Summer II 2014 7 weeks Thursday, June 19 Thursday, August 7
    Fall 2014 14 weeks Tuesday, September 9 Thursday, December 11
    Spring 2015 14 weeks Tuesday, January 13 Thursday, April 23
    Summer 2015 13 weeks Tuesday, May 12 Thursday, August 6
    Summer II 2015 7 weeks Thursday, June 18 Thursday, August 6
    Fall 2015 14 weeks Tuesday, September 8 Thursday, December 10
    Spring 2016 14 weeks Tuesday, January 12 Thursday, April 21
    Summer 2016 13 weeks Tuesday, May 17 Thursday, August 11
    Summer II 2016 7 weeks Thursday, June 23 Thursday, August 11
    Fall 2016 14 weeks Tuesday, September 13 Thursday, December 15
    Spring 2017 14 weeks Tuesday, January 17 Thursday, April 27
    Summer 2017 13 weeks Tuesday, May 16 Thursday, August 10
    Summer II 2017 7 weeks Thursday, June 22 Thursday, August 10
    Fall 2017 14 weeks Tuesday, September 12 Thursday, December 14

     

  9. What are the program costs?
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    (All costs are subject to change without notice.
    All students are expected to pay all tuition and fees by the end of Student Check-In day.)

      13/14 week courses 7 week course
    Application fee (non-refundable) $100.00 $100.00
    Program tuition $3,150.00 $1,575.00
    LCC fees $150.00 $75.00
    University of Houston fees $513.00 $260.00
    Medical Insurance $480.00 $240.00
    TOTAL $4,393.00 $2,250.00
    Books and supplies (approx.) $250.00 $250.00

     

  10. When do I pay my tuition and fees?
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    All students must pay all tuition, fees, and medical insurance on the day of Student Check-In held on the University of Houston campus. Students who have not completed payment will not be permitted to attend class.

    Tuition, fees, and medical insurance can be paid using cash, traveler’s checks, a certified bank check, or a personal check written on a local Houston bank, a money order, or a credit card (Discover, MasterCard, Visa and American Express). Please be advised that the University of Houston applies a convenience fee to credit card transactions. Checks should be made payable to the University of Houston. Checks drawn on foreign banks for payment cannot be accepted.

     

  11. Do I have to carry medical insurance while I study in the Language and Culture Center?
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    All international students on non-immigrant visas are required to carry University of Houston contracted student insurance coverage as a condition of enrollment. A charge per term for University of Houston contracted student insurance coverage will be billed automatically during online registration.

    Students may request a waiver of the University of Houston contracted student insurance policy in the following instances:

    • A government or scholarship sponsored plan that meets UH's waiver criteria.
    • ACCEPTABLE coverage through a job-based employer's health insurance plan.
    • ACCEPTABLE coverage as a dependent covered under a job-based employer's health insurance plan.


    The alternative health insurance policy must provides ACCEPTABLE coverage comparable to or greater than the following criteria:

    • Coverage dates include the entire coverage period to be waived
    • Medical benefits of U.S. $500,000 over all and allowing at least U.S. $50,000 for each accident or sickness
    • Covered benefits paid at a minimum of 75%
    • Repatriation of mortal remains of at least U.S. $7,500
    • Coverage dates include the entire coverage period to be waived

    Private insurance cannot be accepted and only the Director can approve such a waiver during Student Check-In or during the first week of class.

     

  12. What is the refund policy when a student withdraws from the program?
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    If a student withdraws from the Language and Culture Center, he or she is entitled to a tuition and fees refund according to the following schedule:

    Time of Withdrawal Refund
    Student Check-In Week 100%
    1st week of classes 75%
    2nd week of classes 50%
    3rd week of classes No Refund

    There will be no refund after the second week of classes. Please note that the application fee is not refundable. The medical insurance may be non-refundable after the first week. Using the medical insurance before withdrawing from the program will render the fee non-refundable as well.

     

  13. What scholarships and financial aid are available to LCC students?
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    The Language and Culture Center awards two full and two partial scholarships each term to the continuing students who best combine academic excellence and leadership with international awareness and cross-cultural understanding. The full scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, and medical insurance for one term of study in the intensive English program. Each full scholarship is currently valued at $4,175.00. The partial scholarships provide $1,500.00 each toward the cost of tuition. No other form of financial aid is available to LCC students.

     

  14. How is the intensive English program curriculum structured?
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    The intensive English program has 6 levels of instruction, from beginning (level 1) to advanced (level 6). Students in all levels have four hours of class a day. The teachers plan cooperatively and teach integrated academic language skills within a curriculum which includes a focus on intercultural communication. The beginning levels concentrate on communicative and pre-academic skills. The intermediate levels focus on a solid review of English grammar and the techniques of successful academic reading and writing. The advanced levels focus on the development of academic skills-- critical thinking and oral and written self-expression -- that will prepare students for entrance into American colleges and universities. The average number of students in a class is 12.

    Note: If your placement scores are low, you may be placed in a Foundation Section of Level 1. This section will prepare you for study in Level 1 and can increase the number of terms it takes to reach Level 6.

     

  15. What is the daily class schedule (hours of instruction)?
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    The Language and Culture Center classes are scheduled Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. You must be prepared to study either in the morning or in the afternoon. You will not be able to change your assigned schedule. Your schedule is based on placement scores, space availability, and balance of nationalities and gender in your classes. If you are assigned a morning schedule, you will not be able to change to an afternoon schedule. If you are assigned an afternoon schedule, you will not be able to change to a morning schedule.

     

  16. How long does it take to complete the program?
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    The LCC offers three terms each year, and there are six levels of study. The length of time and the number of terms of study vary according to your initial level placement, your language learning abilities, and your educational goals.

    Note: If your placement scores are low, you may be placed in a Foundation Section of Level 1. This section will prepare you for study in Level 1 and can increase the number of terms it takes to reach Level 6.

     

  17. What levels of study are offered at the LCC?
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    There are six levels of study.

    • Level 1: Lower Beginning
    • Level 2: Upper Beginning
    • Level 3: Lower Intermediate
    • Level 4: Upper Intermediate
    • Level 5: Lower Advanced
    • Level 6: Upper Advanced

     

  18. How do I know which level of study is best for me?
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    The LCC uses several placement tests (see How does the LCC evaluate student progress and achievement? FAQ below) to tell which level will help you make the best progress. Your level placement is based on your test scores.

    Note: Students with very low placement test scores may need to study in the Foundation Section of Level 1. This section is designed to prepare students with very low scores for Level 1. Students placed into the Foundation Section will need extra time to complete their English studies.

     

  19. How does the LCC evaluate student progress and achievement?
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    When students enter the program, they are given placement tests:

    1. Michigan English Placement Test
    2. LCC Oral Interview (administered by two instructors, one asking questions and the other scoring for content and overall fluency)
    3. LCC Writing Sample (graded holistically by two instructors independently according to a grading guide that evaluates grammar, vocabulary, and content)


    The Michigan counts 50 percent, and the Oral Interview and the Writing Sample each count 25 percent toward the placement score. The placement score is a weighted average, which is used as a guide for initial placement.

    At the end of the term, students take the COMPASS ESL Test and a Writing Sample on another topic. The student's final average, which is the average of the COMPASS ESL score, the Writing Sample score, and the teacher evaluation score, is used as a guide for level progression.

    Placement and Progression Score Ranges:
    13/14 Week Courses

    Level Proficiency Scale Level Proficiency Scale
    1 0 - 26 4 59 - 71
    2 27 - 43 5 72 - 81
    3 44 - 58 6 82 - 100

    Placement Score Ranges:
    7 Week Course (Summer II)

    Level Proficiency Scale Level Proficiency Scale
    1 0 - 35 4 66 - 76
    2 36 - 51 5 77 - 83
    3 52 - 65 6 84 - 100

    NOTE:

    Students with very low placement test scores may need to study in the Foundation Section of Level 1. This section is designed to prepare students with very low scores for Level 1. Students placed into the Foundation Section will need extra time to complete their English studies.

     

  20. Where can I get information concerning housing options?
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    Student housing is available through the University of Houston Residential Life and Housing office, but one needs to apply early, as space is limited. If you would like to stay in University of Houston housing, please see the housing link at the LCC web site or check the University of Houston Residential Life and Housing web site at http://www.housing.uh.edu.The LCC cannot reserve dormitory space for you. Students who wish to stay in university residence halls must provide their own towels, pillows, bed sheets, and blankets.

    Please note that you cannot apply for housing until you have received your acceptance letter and 7-digit UH ID number. Without the UH ID number, you will not be able to submit your housing application. Many students live off campus in apartments. Bus service is available to most apartments. A larger choice of apartments is available for students who have their own transportation.

     

  21. What other student services are available?
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    LCC students receive a Cougar Card during the Student Check-In process. This identification card gives LCC students access to all University of Houston student services (the student health center, the various UH libraries, the athletic facilities, the University Center, the Recreation and Wellness Center, and the various forms of entertainment on campus). In addition, the staff in the office of the LCC International Student Counselor (118 and 120 Roy Cullen Bldg.) (1) provides information on housing options, (2) gives professional assistance with personal, academic, and immigration issues, and (3) organizes several all-program events each term, including field trips to area attractions. LCC students also receive a CougarNet account, which authorizes them to use computers on campus.

     

  22. Does the LCC provide an airport pickup service?
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    We encourage you to arrange your own transportation from the airport. However, we can provide an airport pickup service on a limited basis with prior arrangements. You may call our office at (713) 743-3030 or send a fax (713) 743-3029 at least one week in advance of your arrival telling us of your flight number and arrival time and we will confirm if we are able to pick you up. You will be charged a $50.00 fee for this service.

    Please note: We cannot provide airport pickup on the day of Student Check-In and any day after Student Check-In. If you desire an airport pickup, plan to arrive in Houston no later than two days preceding Student Check-In day.

    You can also arrange an airport pickup with the Super Shuttle services. Please go to their website to arrange a pickup. http://www.supershuttle.com/

    You can ask at the airport about taxicab service and the Houston metro bus schedule. An express metro bus goes to downtown Houston.

    The UH housing office closes at 5:00 PM on weekdays and is closed on weekends. If you already have a dormitory reservation, it may be possible for you to arrange an after-hours check-in. Otherwise you can stay at the University Hilton Hotel, which is located on the university campus. Hotel reservation telephone: (713) 741-2447. Please contact the hotel for the cost per night.

     

  23. Do I have to get bacterial meningitis vaccination?
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    Texas State Law (SB 1107) mandates that all entering students under the age of 22 provide an official document signed by a health care provider or an official immunization record verifying that a student has been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis, or has received a booster during the five years prior to attending class. Please be advised that new students must provide proof of immunization before attending classes. New students can download this meningitis check list as a guide. For more information »