Students at the English Language Institute may choose to live in University residence halls on the University of Alabama campus or in off-campus housing, such as private apartments. Living on campus in University residence halls is convenient because it gives ELI students excellent opportunities to interact with American students and to participate in campus activities. Students who are sure they wish to live on campus should request and submit a UA Residence Hall Application as soon as possible after applying for ELI admission.


Students who would like to eat their meals on campus in University dining halls may purchase weekly meal plans or simply pay for each meal separately. Students who live in housing with kitchen facilities may, of course, choose to prepare their own meals at home.


From/to the airport: The ELI arranges transporation for its students from the airport in Birmingham, Alabama (BHM) to the UA campus in Tuscaloosa on the two days before the start of each session and on the day after the end of each session. ELI-sponsored airport transportation is much less expensive than other public means of airport transportation.

In the city: The ELI arranges for free weekly shopping trips from the campus to popular local shopping areas.

On campus: Free, continuous bus service makes it easy and convenient for students to get around the large UA campus.

Health Services and Insurance

The Student Health Center is conveniently located on campus and provides medical care for all UA students, including ELI students. The University of Alabama requires all international students to have medical insurance while in the U.S. Upon arrival at the English Language Institute, students must show proof of adequate coverage or purchase medical insurance when registering for classes.

Libraries and Computer Centers

There are five libraries on the University of Alabama campus: main (serving the humanities, social sciences, and arts), business, science and engineering, education, and law. A number of student computer laboratories are also conveniently located on campus, some of which remain open 24 hours per day.

Recreation Center and Activities

ELI students have full use of UA’s Student Recreation Center, which is complete with modern exercise equipment, a swimming pool, and basketball, racquetball, and volleyball courts. ELI students may also use the UA tennis courts, soccer fields, Aquatic Center, and golf course.

ELI students are welcome to join one or more of the many UA student organizations, which may be academic, athletic, religious, social, or international in nature.

In addition, a variety of campus activities take place practically every day on the UA campus, and ELI students are welcome to attend. These activities include athletic events, concerts, films, dramas, and guest lectures.

UA Campus Map

Follow this link to see a campus map. The ELI is located in the heart of the campus in B.B. Comer Hall, which is situated just across the street from the Ferguson Student Center (containing the UA cafeteria and food court, bookstore, post office, and theater).

Location & Climate

The University of Alabama is located on a large, beautiful campus in Tuscaloosa, a friendly city of 90,000 people. Tuscaloosa is just one hour away by car, bus or train from Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama. Other nearby cities include Atlanta, Georgia (3 hours), Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee (4 hours), and New Orleans, Louisiana (4.5 hours). Gulf of Mexico beaches are also nearby (4.5 hours).

The state of Alabama is located in the southeastern portion of the United States and is bordered by the states of Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. Because of its location, Alabama enjoys a relatively warm climate most of the year. Summer is hot, winter is mild, and spring and fall are warm and filled with colorful flowers and trees.