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Chicago, IL

7200 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305
Tel.: (708) 488-5010
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

2014 Cost Per Session
$1790 USD

2014 Cost Per Session
$1680 USD

2014 Cost Per Session
$1410 USD

American Explorer Program

Enjoy the Adventure

2014 Cost Per Session
$1350 USD

The Complete Prep Program for the TOEFL® iBT

Achieve your goals by preparing for the TOEFL® iBT with ELS!

2014 Cost Per Session
$2040 USD

English for Executives

Group and One-to-One Instruction

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 Addison Hall Lounge Addison Hall Common Room Addison Hall Common Room Addison Hall Dorm Room Addison Hall Dorm Room Aquinas Hall Aquinas Hall Aquinas Hall Aquinas Hall Aquinas Hall

Aquinas Hall(Student Residence (On Campus))

The Residence Hall is located in the same building as the ELS Center. 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 $1025
Occupancy Single, Single, Single - At Dominican University
Minimum Age 18
Airport Pickup 160
Meals / week or Meal Credit
Meals not included, but students have the following meal options available to purchase:
1). $200 meal credit at Dominican University
2). $75 Concordia University discount meal card (includes 10 meals)

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 - 1800
Occupancy Double, Double, Single, Single
Minimum Age 18
Airport Pickup 160
Meals / week or Meal Credit
None included

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
Minimum Age 18
Airport Pickup 160
Meals / week or Meal Credit
16 meals per week

ELS Chicago - Dominican University - Priory Campus ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Entrance ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Courtyard ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Campus Courtyard ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Courtyard ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Garden ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Garden ELS Chicago - Dominican University Priory Study Lounge ELS Chicago Vending Machines - 2nd Floor Priory Campus 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.

Christine Meyer

Christine Meyer


After teaching at the elementary and high school levels and working at Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation as a Supervisor in Advertising and Sales Promotion, Chris assisted in opening the Chicago center at Dominican University (then Rosary College) in January 1993. She has served in the positions of Center Director and Registrar during her years working at Language Institute For English, Berlitz on Campus, and ELS Language Centers. She finds the most enjoyable part of her job to be meeting and interacting with the ELS international students.

Zack Hausrath

Zack Hausrath

Academic Director

Zack learned about teaching English as a Second Language
while living and working in northern India. As the study abroad coordinator there, he was able to interact with a variety of people from different cultures. It was a position he really enjoyed! After returning to the U.S. from India, Zack decided to attend graduate school, where he studied Literacy and Second Language Studies. He now holds a Master of Education degree and a Graduate Certificate of Postsecondary Literacy Instruction from the University of Cincinnati. He joined ELS as an instructor in 2011, and he looks forward to meeting you!

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.

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.

Idell Fishman

Idell Fishman

Administrative Assistant

For many years Ms. Fishman was the Registrar at ELS/Chicago when it was located on the campus of Concordia University. After the merge with Berlitz, she moved on to other accounting jobs. We are happy she has returned to ELS and is a valued assistant to all of us in the ELS office.


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.

St. Patrick's Today in Chicago

March 26, 2014

Students in Chicago find out that its true: they really do dye the river green! Students also watched the famous St. Patrick's Day parade.

Trip to Willis Tower

March 14, 2014

Some brave students step out onto the sky deck of Chicago's highest building!

New Student Orientation

March 3, 2014

New students take a tour of the beautiful Domincan University campus as part of their new-student orientation.

Valentine Party 2014

February 28, 2014

Students make Valentines

Ice Skating in Millennium Park

February 28, 2014

ELS Students Ice Skating in the Park

Chicago Architecture

February 28, 2014

On the Chicago Architecture Tour


February 28, 2014

ESL Chicago students enjoy America's favorite pastime.

ELS Halloween Party

November 21, 2013

ELS Chicago celebrates Halloween in the spooky Great Hall!


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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Session 4 Calendar

Session 4 Calendar

During Session 4 we have many fun activities planned. We are going on a trip to the Aurora Shopping Mall, to the Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory, playing basketball at Dominican University, and a Double Decker Bus Tour of Downtown Chicago. We are ready for another great session at ELS Chicago!

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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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