ELC students attend a UNCW basketball game


Program Features | History | Mission | 25 Year AnniversaryUNCW Advantage | Wilmington, NC 

Located in a beautiful, friendly coastal city of Wilmington, NC, the University of North Carolina Wilmington English Language Center offers quality English language instruction and cultural experiences to English language learners. Modern facilities, professional instructors and courses with a strong focus on academic preparation make the English Language Center an ideal place to improve English language skills and prepare for university study in the United States.


Program History

The UNCW English Language Center, part of the UNCW International Programs Office, began in 1993 as the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. The original purpose was to support the English language needs of two short-term groups: One group was from Nagoya Gakuin University in Japan, and the other was from G. D'Annunzio University in Italy. In the early years following partnership with these universities, there were also summer programs for employees of Dole Food Company, Inc., of Ecuador. Gradually, the program expanded; full semester and summer programs were developed and offered. Most recently, in 2015, the program received accreditation by The Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA). 

We celebrated the program's 25th anniversary in 2018.

Program Mission

"The English Language Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is committed to providing quality English language instruction and American experiential learning for cross-cultural communication, friendship, and lifelong memories. Our aim is to develop learners who can navigate a range of English-language settings, including the American academic environment, with skill and confidence."

Program Features

  • Small program and class sizes allow for individualized attention and care
  • Interactive, student-focused learning environment
  • Exceptional student services
  • Conditional admission to UNCW

The UNCW Advantage

  • Part of the 17-campus University of North Carolina System
  • High academic standards
  • 17,500 students
  • Welcoming, relaxed environment
  • Student-centered 

Wilmington, North Carolina Trip Advisor

  • Beautiful beach town
  • Historic downtown located on the Cape Fear River
  • Voted #1 among USA Today's Best American Riverfronts (2015)
  • Award-winning tourist destination 
  • Area population: 220,000 (2015 US Census)
  • Largest film studio on the East Coast
  • Located midway between New York City and Orlando, Florida; 513 kilometers south of Washington, DC

Questions? Contact us. We'd love to hear from you!