Celebrating 25 years of language learning and cultural exchange


Program History

The UNCW ESL Program, part of the UNCW International Programs Office, began in 1993. 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). 

Program Mission

"The English as a Second Language Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is committed to providing support, intensive English language instruction, and various American cultural experiences to students who are learning English as a second language, which will empower them to become successful students in the mainstream classroom and productive members of the community."

25 Year Celebration

We enjoyed a wonderful party with students, faculty, staff, conversation partners, and friendship families to celebrate the fall semester together. We are grateful for all the love and support the ESL Program has received throughout the years! Thank you to everyone who attended the party and celebrated with us!


Photo flashback: Watch this video to share our memories from the past 25 years!