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Chicago, IL

7200 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305
Tel.: (708) 488-5010
ELS Center Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (closed on weekends and holidays)
On the campus of: Dominican University
For more information on this institution's programs click here


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ELS/Chicago is on the gorgeous campus of Dominican University, only 25 minutes from downtown Chicago. Cultural activities include the Lyric Opera, the Museum Campus (Aquarium, Planetarium, Natural History Museum), the Art Institute of Chicago, an exciting nightlife scene and world-class sporting events. The “Magnificent Mile” and Navy Pier offer stores and restaurants within walking distance of beautiful Lake Michigan.

  • Private University campus location
  • Executive Programs also available at this location
  • Convenient train to downtown Chicago
  • River Forest is walking-distance to shops & restaurants

Distance to Key Locations from ELS Center

Location Minutes Transportation Method
Airport 30
Bank 20
Downtown Area 30
Post Office 20
Restaurant(s) 20
Shopping Mall/Outlet 30
Supermarket 20
Bus Stop/Subway 5








110V 60KHz.
Electric Plug Details



Programs available at this location

2015 Cost Per Session
$1790 USD

2015 Cost Per Session
$1680 USD

2015 Cost Per Session
$1410 USD

Business English

Communicate with Confidence in Business

2015 Cost Per Session
$1680 USD

American Explorer Program

Enjoy the Adventure

2015 Cost Per Session
$1350 USD

English for Executives

Group and One-to-One Instruction

2015 Cost Per Session
$5725 USD

Super Intensive English Program

One-to-One instruction

Super Intensive Plus

One-to-One Instruction

River Forest Apts River Forest Apts Dining Room River Forest Apts Kitchen River Forest Apts Living Room River Forest Apts Room River Forest Apts Bedroom Inside the River Forest Apts River Forest Apts Kitchen View

Homestays in the area(Homestay)

Host family students are responsible for their personal transportation. Most students arrive at the campus by bus. Some families are close and provide bicycles for students. We have a few families that are within walking distance of the campus.

Price per Session $1150
Occupancy Single, Single, Single
Minimum Age 16
Airport Pickup $135 - 160
Meals / week or Meal Credit
14 meals per week

River Forest Apts(Student Residence (Off Campus))

Located in a quiet, safe and upscale neighborhood, ELS River Forest Apartments offer a shared bedroom in a two-bed, one-bathroom luxury apartment. Each apartment has a fully-furnished kitchen, wireless Internet, local phone service, cable TV, and air conditioning. Linens are included. [Note: Singles may be available at an additional price.] Self-service laundry machines are available in the same building for a small fee.

Price per Session $980 - 1400
Occupancy Double, Double, Double, Single, Single, Single
Minimum Age 18
Airport Pickup $135 - 160
Meals / week or Meal Credit
None included

Aquinas Hall(Student Residence (On Campus))

The Residence Hall is located in the same building as the ELS Center on the Priory Campus of Dominican University. Food service six blocks away at the Main Campus. WiFi service is available and a student lounge and vending machines are in the building. Laundry facilities (for a fee) are available in the basement of the building. This is a co-ed dorm with separate male and female community bathrooms. The rooms have a sink, closet bed, desk and chairs. Linens are provided.

Price per Session $1060
Occupancy Single, Single, Single, Single - At Dominican University
Minimum Age 18
Airport Pickup $135 - 160
Meals / week or Meal Credit
Meals not included, but students have the option to purchase a $75 Concordia University discount meal card (includes 10 meals)

ELS Chicago - Dominican University - Priory Campus ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Courtyard ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Campus Courtyard The view from an ELS classroom at the Priory campus ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Courtyard ELS Chicago is a part of the beautiful Dominican University ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Study Lounge ELS Chicago is part of Dominican University ELS Chicago Computer Lab Dominican University - Priory Campus
  • Baseball field
  • Computer center
  • Soccer field
  • Tennis court(s)
  • Language Technology Center (LTC)
  • Health center
  • Basketball court(s)
  • Library
  • Racquetball/squash Courts
  • Fitness Center
  • Center NOT handicapped accessible
  • Cafeteria

What is Conditional Admission?

Institutions in the ELS University Conditional Admission Network offer conditional admission to students who are academically admissible based on the student’s academic record and other university and/or departmental and program requirements, but who have not yet demonstrated English proficiency. Your admission is “conditional” based upon satisfying English proficiency through completion of a specified level of the ELS English for Academic Purposes program and any other specific requirements prior to full admission. Once these requirements are fulfilled, you are able to fully matriculate. These requirements will be outlined on your Conditional Letter of Admission, and your selected ELS center will assist you in completing all of the necessary requirements for matriculation.

Additional matriculation requirements may include other required scores, for example, GMAT® or GRE® for graduate programs.

Our ELS University Partners will offer a Conditional Letter of Admission (CLA) detailing the additional requirements needed for matriculation. You and your family can be assured that you have a university placement and ELS registration prior to departing for the USA.

What is the Conditional Admission Process?

  1. Find a university via our University Finder
  2. Apply for university admission and enroll for English studies at ELS Language Centers with help from a local ELS authorized Counseling Agent.
  3. If you are an acceptable candidate for university admission, you receive a letter of "Conditional university admission subject to English proficiency and submission of any other required documentation for matriculation."
  4. Study at any of the 60 ELS Centers in the USA to fulfill the university entrance requirement for English proficiency.
  5. Begin your university program!

Meet the Staff

Gretchen Dee

Gretchen Dee

Center Director

Center Director Gretchen Dee has been working with international students for more than fifteen years. After teaching English in Thailand, she settled in the Netherlands where she worked as an English editor and instructor while completing her master's degree at the University of Amsterdam. Upon returning to the United States in 2013, she served as the English Director at Sabio Academy, designing and launching its English online programming. Before joining ELS Chicago, she worked as the Program Director at a Chicago-based IEP for the past six years. In addition to teaching English to international students, Gretchen has developed curriculum for a wide range of courses academic English programs. She loves this industry because it allows her to meet and talk to students from all over the globe. When not discovering the world through the eyes of ELS students, she can be found exploring the wonders of her hometown Chicago.

Jennifer Brumfield

Jennifer Brumfield

International Student Advisor

Having grown up in small-town America, hoping to get out and explore the world, Jennifer attended a small liberal arts college. While in college she participated in a semester abroad program which provided many exciting experiences, including getting off at the wrong train station in Warsaw. After earning a BA in Sociology, she eventually took the position of International Student Advisor, which allows her to enjoy learning about students and their countries.

Rebecca deJong

Rebecca deJong


A native of sunny Southern California, Rebecca moved to Chicago in 2014. Her first experience abroad came in high school when she spent six months living and studying in France. She returned to France during college to study literature, poetry and film, and spent a year exploring Europe. After graduation, she worked for a year as an accounting assistant in California. The travel bug soon caught up with her, and she moved to Taiwan for three years where she taught English and science, helped lead teacher trainings, wrote a few children's books and even did some voice acting. She is thrilled to be living in one of the most vibrant cities in America, and spends her free time exploring Chicago and finding quiet cafés where she can read books and drink lots of coffee.

Michael Humpherys

Michael Humpherys

Assistant International Student Advisor

Michael has served as the Assistant International Student Advisor at ELS Chicago for two years since receiving his undergraduate degree from The University of Central Florida. Michael previously served as an Administrative Assistant at the ELS center in Melbourne Florida. When not counseling students and sharing the great attractions of Chicago with ELS students, Michael stays busy pursuing his master's degree at DePaul University or performing in clubs and other music venues in and around Chicago.

Adriana Flores

Adriana Flores

IELTS Administrator

Adriana was a student at our host institution and joined our staff as an assistant. Quickly it was evident that her skills at organization were excellent. When the opportunity arose, she became the IELTS Administrator. Since joining us she has completed her degree in Sociology/Criminology-- how perfect for someone dealing with IELTS candidates.


January 8, 2015


It is hard to decide about the best part of studying at ELS Chicago because everything has been wonderful, the school, the teachers, the staff, the building managers, the classmates, the roommate . . I mean every single aspect of this process. I have acquired much more confidence in the use of the English language, and most of all I have learned how to use the language in real situations, which means much greater potential in my skills as a teacher, being able not only to speak English but to share it with my Spanish-speaking students.



August 6, 2014


I work for a big company in Colombia. I need English to attend international conferences and meetings with foreign people to communicate with each other. ELS Chicago has very good teachers, and they have very good aids to study English such as LTC for grammar and for listening. Students have to give presentations and practice speaking. You also meet a lot of people from many different countries and can learn about different countries. All the teachers and staff try to help students, not only with academics but with activities and staying in Chicago as well.



August 6, 2014


In my opinion,everything I have learned at ELS is useful for me. Every single day I learn something new from my teachers, from the LTC labs, even from my classmates. Studying at ELS will help me in the future to get a good job in my country and when I travel to other countries where people speak English. I will be able to communicate with them because at ELS Chicago I have gotten good English skills.



August 6, 2014


I would like to thank every single teacher in this school as well as the administration without exception. They helped me a lot in a very professional manner. They even help the students with admission to the university, English in general, and how to
speak English to Americans outside of class. I came to Chicago because it is a big city that has about five universities with my major. I choose ELS Chicago because I heard about the agreement it has with approximately 600 universities around the US that will admit students to their programs without taking an English proficiency test.

-Abdul-Kareem,Saudi Arabia


August 6, 2014


My cousin who attended ELS Chicago a long time ago recommended this school to me. He always says that the base of his international business is the friends he made at ELS and the English he studied has helped him communicate with people from all over the world. ELS Chicago offers a good combination of cultures in every class. In ELS Chicago every single class has a huge variety of people from different countries and cultures. Most of my classmates are professionals. This allows me to have deep conversation and develop professional vocabulary for business.

Finally, at the end of each session the teachers give me really personal recommendations about my English and what I should practice more. This is so important and helps me a lot.



August 6, 2014


I have had a good experience in all areas at ELS. I have classmates from every part of the world, and I have improved my English a lot. Studying at ELS Chicago helped me get a good job in the United States. I am grateful to ELS Chicago. The staff are very professional. The director always asks the students how we are doing in class, and the Academic Director arranged a special tutoring course for me to prepare for my interview. It was the perfect class for me.



August 6, 2014


I chose ELS because it has prestige all over the world. The best part is the opportunity to meet different people from all over the world and practice my English with them. ELS Chicago gives me different skills and knowledge to communicate in the best way
for my job at an international company. All teachers and staff at ELS Chicago help me as much as possible to study without limits.



August 6, 2014


When I came here I thought I knew a lot of English, but I am surprised about all the academic vocabulary that I have learned. This has helped me a lot. ELS also gives me the chance to enter many universities. The director at ELS helped me to apply for the university.

-Wedad,Saudi Arabia


August 6, 2014


The best part of studying in ELS Chicago is that the facilities are excellent and the schedule is suitable for learning English in the shortest time possible. Studying English will help me in my future to communicate with my customers and open new business opportunities in my small tourist company in Panama because 90% of my clients speak English!



August 5, 2014


I chose ELS Chicago because I think it is a great city and you can do many things in this amazing city. ELS is the best option to learn English. The best part of studying English in Chicago is the facility located at Dominican University and the great classes because I have learned a lot. ELS will help me in the future in many ways. I can find better job opportunities in my country.



August 17, 2012


The reason why I decided to study at ELS/Chicago is that the school has a good environment for study. I had known that the problem when we studied at language schools was the opportunity to communicate with native speakers. However, this school is located on a university campus and we have time to have conversations with native speakers. I enjoy the classes. Most of our classes have less than ten people so we can talk with the teacher and we help each other as international friends during class. All areas of my English have improved since I came here, but now my reading skills are helping me in many situations. Now I can understand English websites, and some other information in public places. It will help me when I go on trips to any country around the world. I want new students to learn about other countries in ELS/Chicago. Of course you have to learn English here, but this school has a lot of diversity. This is a great opportunity to be an international person.


Takashi Aoyama, Japan

September 17, 2009

My major is Ethnic Studies; therefore Chicago is really an interesting city for me. There are many ethnic communities, a lot of local festivals and great museums. Also I like watching sports, accordingly, Chicago is the best place for watching pro and college sports’ matches. It is an amazing place for me. Before I came here I thought English is a subject; however, now I think English is one of the tools for connecting with people all over the world. My grammar and listening skills have improved the most. Do not only interact with people who speak the same language, talk with people from other cultures and religions, and walk around Chicago and Illinois to find your favorite places.

- Takashi Aoyama

Maria Fernanda Quintana, Ecuador

September 17, 2009

I wanted to improve my English, and I thought the best way was by studying and practicing in a city where English is the official language. Also it is
important that the school has experience in this field and is recognized by the results. Several people recommended ELS/Chicago to me and I chose it because I thought it is a city with a good environment, several cultural
activities and spectacular tourist attractions. For me this experience is not only to learn a new language, but also enjoy the city and its customs and people. At ELS/Chicago I have improved my grammar and writing the most. I have improved my vocabulary too. If it’s possible, it is a good idea to study for three months or more, because it is necessary to practice grammar and speaking with American people and other students. Also try not to speak in your native language.

- Maria Fernanda Quintana

Andre Campana, Brazil

September 17, 2009

When I decided to come to study abroad I tried to find a big and famous city with a good school to help me improve my English; ELS/Chicago has all these characteristics. When I came to ELS
I had problems with my speaking and my grammar. Nowadays all my skills have improved, mainly my vocabulary. ELS/Chicago is one of the best English schools in the US They give us all the opportunities to improve our English. However, it is necessary to study by ourselves at home. I enjoy meeting different people from different countries and also having contact with American culture and people.

Kuo-Chen Chu, Italy

September 17, 2009

I decided to study at ELS/Chicago because here I have some friends. Here I met and knew good teachers and good boys and girls. I learned grammar and many new words. I’m very proud because now when people speak I figure out what they say. Following the lessons is very important, but it’s most important to speak with American people and to watch T.V. or movies.

Sinan Kirsever, Turkey

September 17, 2009

I decided to study at ELS/Chicago to improve my English very quickly. I chose Chicago/ELS because Chicago is very orderly city and the teachers are very friendly. At ELS, we had a lot of activities so I enjoyed most about activities. We went shopping, museums….In these activities I improved my English and saw why the people like USA While I was at ELS/Chicago, I improved speaking because I had a lot of friends from another countries and so I heard many different pronunciation. It’s very good for me. If you prefer to come to ELS/Chicago, you will have many times to practice with people. So don’t be shy to speak. Talk about everything. Don’t think if they don’t understand you.

Ana Karina Fernandez, Venezuela

September 17, 2009

I decided to study at ELS in Chicao because I think that this course offers a high quality of English teaching and also offers many different class alternatives to learn a new language. The most important thing that I enjoy studying at ELS is the contact with people from different cultures that I have never had before. I improved many areas of English such as writing, reading, speech and grammar. My advice is that students shouldn’t miss the opportunity to study English abroad because they will have contact with American people to practice their knowledge and learn about their culture.

Presenting at a Dominican University Conference

March 26, 2015

This session ELS students took part in a Nutrition and Diversity Conference at Dominican University. Students presented about food and culture in their home countries to students from around Chicago. Afterwards, all shared an international lunch together.

International Lunch and Games!

March 17, 2015

At ELS Chicago students share food and play games with new friends, staff, and teachers.

Working with Dominican University Students

March 17, 2015

At ELS Chicago, many students have the opportunity to meet university students through the Conversation Partners Program and in many intercultural exchanges between ELS and DU classes.

ELS Chicago Civil Rights History Fair

March 16, 2015

In honor of MLK day, students at ELS Chicago researched important events in the history of the United Sates and presented their research to students and faculty of ELS Chicago.

Goals Workshop

March 16, 2015

Students of all levels took a break from the cold to participate in a goal-setting workshop. Students learned how to set and achieve future university and career goals.

Ice Skating in Chicago

March 16, 2015

Students enjoyed the beauty of Chicago in winter and learned to ice skate in Chicago's famous Millennium Park.

ELS Chicago to offer Business English in 2015

December 22, 2014


ELS Chicago is very excited to announce that the Chicago Center, located at beautiful Dominican University, will offer the Business English Program in 2015. Students enrolled in this program take specially-designed business English courses in the afternoon as well as observe classes at the Brennan school of Business and take field trips to Chicago economic and financial sites such as the Federal Reserve and the Mercantile Exchange. Students also have the opportunity to attend lectures given by international business professionals at top US companies. Contact els Chicago for more details

Thanksgiving in Chicago

December 12, 2014

Students spent the holiday celebrating American style. While some students joined Dominican University students for a Thanksgiving feast, others spent the holiday with new friends and families.

Museum of Science and Industry

December 11, 2014

This November students from ELS Chicago explored the world-famous Museum of Science and Industry near the University of Chicago.

ELS trip to Damon Busters

December 2, 2014

ELS students spent a rainy Saturday afternoon making friends and playing games for grown ups at the Chicago Damon Busters arcade.

Social Taboo Presentation Fair

November 6, 2014

Students shared their research on common social taboos and controversial issues with their peers at the ELS Social Taboo presentation fair.

Halloween Fun at ELS Chicago

November 6, 2014

ELS Chicago celebrated Halloween with a big party. Students carved pumpkins, had a costume contest and shared this great American tradition.

Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America

November 6, 2014

Students got a great (although cold) start to the Halloween season at the Six Flags Fright Fest

Personal Essay Writing Workshop

October 28, 2014

All students planning to attend an American university need a Personal Statement or Essay. At ELS Chicago, students have a special workshop to help them come up with ideas and learn how to write the Personal Statement. The Center Director reviews all essays after completion.

Chicago's Willis Tower

October 28, 2014

For many years the Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world. Today it is called the Willis Tower. Some brave students sat on the "ledge", 130 stories high!

ELS Chicago goes to the Zoo

October 28, 2014

Students enjoyed a beautiful fall day at Lincoln Park Zoo, located in the middle of downtown Chicago.


Chicago Campus Map

Chicago Campus Map

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ELS at Dominican University

ELS at Dominican University

Provides a brief description of ELS, our Programs and the Chicago ELS Language Center. The flyer also offers some specific attributes of the university, its programs and other helpful information.

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River Forest Luxury Apartments

River Forest Luxury Apartments

River Forest Luxury Apartments

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Top Ten Free Things to Do In Chicago

Top Ten Free Things to Do In Chicago

There are lots of free fun things to do in Chicago! Check out our list of favorites.

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