Students speaking

English as a Second Language

The De La Salle Language Institute at Saint Mary’s offers an intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program that allows students from non-English-speaking countries to improve their English while participating in the life of a North American university. Upon successful completion of the program, students may elect to continue their studies as full-time, degree-seeking students at Saint Mary’s. 

Courses and TOEFL

The courses for the 16-week ESL program are in English as a Second Language, but students also study the history, traditions, culture, and customs of the United States. All courses work together to build students’ skills across all areas of English, including listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar.

When students have successfully completed the program and passed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), they may choose to continue their studies as full-time, degree-seeking students at Saint Mary’s. For some students, the time spent in the intensive ESL Program prepares them for other career-related activity or further study in their home countries.

Courses and Course Descriptions

Language Support

We offer one-on-one time with ESL instructors, individualized tutoring, and conversation partners.


Sponsored by the International Center, programs and events are designed specifically for international students to provide support, cultural enrichment, and cultural sharing with the campus community. In addition, students participate in various college activities and programs offered throughout the year.

For more information, visit the International Center website.

ESL Program Admission

Required Documents:

  1. Application Form—Please complete the online Saint Mary’s application (there is no application fee).
    After logging in, choose ESL under Student Type and fill in the application.
  2. Official Transcripts—Provide copies of all high school (secondary school) and any university (post-secondary) grade reports as well as any national standardized test results. If the transcripts are not issued in English, transcripts in the original language and English translations by an official, certified translator must both be sent.
  3. Financial Verification Document—Provide original bank statement, investment statement or government support letter showing proof that your financial sponsor has sufficient, readily-available funds to cover your attendance at Saint Mary’s for at least 1 year.
  4. Passport Identification Page(s)—Copy your passport showing your full name, birth date, and passport expiration date.

Send your transcripts and financial verification document by postal mail to:
International Admission
700 Terrace Heights #2
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Winona, MN 55987-1399, USA

ESL Program Tuition and Fees ›

See the breakdown of tuition and fees for participation in the ESL program. Tuition and fees are based on a 16-week semester, August–December or January–May.

English Language Bridge (ELB) ›

A one-year program offered to full-time freshmen who speak a first language other than English and meet other qualifying conditions.

Group ESL Program ›

The De La Salle Language Institute can also customize programs for groups needing ESL instruction. Short-term programs are available upon request.