Core Intensive English Program

The IEI is committed to preparing students for the rigors of a US education. Our flagship Core Intensive English Program integrates real world skills and experiences at every step within a flexible course framework and schedule to maximize learning speed and skill retainment.


The IEI prepares English Language Learners for educational and professional success by teaching an integrated curriculum that mixes speaking, reading, writing, and listening at all levels and teaches skills necessary for taking academic courses in English. The content used at IEI is multimodal, presented traditionally in the classroom and in textbooks as well as through online workbooks, video programs, and the Learning Management Systems used at UMaine. The curriculum at IEI correlates with learning outcomes based on the Common European Framework.

Learn about the Learning Outcomes

Program Schedule

The IEI offers two 8-week sessions in the Fall semester, two 8-week sessions in the Spring semester, and one 8-week session in the Summer. Students can begin studying at the IEI during any session. IEI courses follow the University of Maine Academic Calendar, including all holidays, start dates, and end dates. The University of Maine Academic Calendar can be found here: More information on IEI’s Dates and Rates can be found here:

Below you’ll find a sample class schedule for a student taking IEI 60 Introductory English courses.

Sample Schedule


Placement in the program is done through testing based on the Common European Framework (CEFR), an internationally recognized standard for describing language proficiency. A test is given to students at the beginning of the program and will help the teachers decide the proper class level for each student. Students are placed on a case-by-case basis and previous academic and language experience, student goals, and informal assessments will also be taken into consideration. Students should not feel pressured to study for the test.

Academic Support and Enrichment Programs

Included as part of the Core Intensive English Program are Academic Support and Enrichment Programs that teach students soft skills such as study skills, conversational English, and cultural awareness and assimilation. All Core English Program students will have access to the English Lab and weekly workshops on topics including Applications, GRE and other Standardized Tests, Academic Writing and the MLA/APA Citation Styles, the English of Math, and more.

Also included is priority placement in IEI’s Conversation Culture Partner Program run in partnership with the Bodwell Center for Volunteerism, the Engaged Black Bear Initiative, and the College of Education where students are paired with native English-speaking volunteers for informal conversation and cultural exchange. Find out more about the Conversation Culture Partner Program here:

New Core Intensive English Program students also get priority placement in IEI’s weekend Activities to places such as Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, Portland (Maine’s biggest city), local festivals, special holiday events, and more! See this week’s Activity and more here: