1. How far in advance should I start planning a special group program?
Six to eight months before your group is scheduled to arrive is an ideal time to start planning the trip. That gives plenty of time for designing the program, recruiting students, and getting the immigration paperwork completed. However, we can start the process up to three months before a group arrives.
2. How much does a special group program cost? How do we pay?
Program costs vary depending on the length of the program and the number of trips and/or cultural events. The cost also varies depending on the numbers of students who attend. The ELI accepts many different methods of payment (check, credit card, bank transfer, traveler's checks, and cash).
3. Are meals provided in the cost?
Meals are not included in the cost as they can be extremely variable. However, MSU offers numerous dining facilities available to all students. In the cafeteria, dining options consist of breakfast, lunch, or dinner, with international entrees, grill, deli, and salads. The Colvard Student Union food court offers various take-out restaurants and is a common place to meet, greet, study, and eat between classes.
4. How many students can attend?
This is entirely up to you. For a group program, the minimum number of students is 12. There is no maximum.
5. What kind of on- or off-campus housing is provided for the students?
All students stay in off-campus housing, August to mid-May, and make their own off-campus housing arrangements. Please see our Housing information about off-campus housing. On-campus housing for group programs is usually available from mid-May through July..
6. Can I send a professor or chaperone (group leader) with my group?
Some groups choose to send a group leader, and some do not. Some group leaders work directly with students while others engage in short-term research or collaboration with faculty members or departments at MSU. The decision of sending a group leader can be made according to your needs. We are available to advise your group leader if s/he needs additional accommodation or services while at MSU.
7. How do I arrange travel for my group?
We do not provide travel/airline arrangements. However, many schools choose to use a travel agency to make flight arrangements. We suggest that all groups travel into the Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTR) in Columbus, MS, which is only a 20-minute commute from the campus of Mississippi State University. The ELI only provides airport transportation to and from GTR when groups arrive and depart. Groups who choose to arrive at and/or depart from other airports are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from campus.
8. Is an F-1 visa required?
Because we are an academic program, we recommend that students who come to the United States with the primary purpose of studying English come on the F-1 visa. We help the students through the process of obtaining necessary documentation for their visas. Groups who come on a B visa may only study part-time.
9. What are the medical requirements for my students?
All students are required to have health insurance, MMR shots, chest X-rays, and the Interferon Gamma Release Assays (IGRA) test. All of these are included in our program cost. If students or your organization would like to handle some of these requirements separately, we can work with you.