Founded in 1949, Elgin Community College (ECC) is one of the top 150 community colleges in the United States, according to the reputable Aspen Institute. Located just 64 kilometers northwest of Chicago, Illinois, ECC offers students 138 degree and certificate programs in a wide range of subjects.

Elgin Community College is the best choice for students looking to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree at a top community college and then transfer to high-ranking U.S. universities and colleges. Elgin Community College provides an inclusive and diverse educational experience on a safe, beautiful campus – all at an affordable price! We welcome students from around the world to join the ECC family!

Lauren Nehlsen, Ph.D. Director, Center for International Education and Programs, Elgin Community College


ECC Campus

The city of Elgin is located only 40 miles (64 kilometers) outside of the major metropolis of Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. The Metra train line takes students to and from the city multiple times per day. Students can experience world-class museums, restaurants, and architecture while also enjoying a lower cost of living than other major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles or New York. ECC’s campus is located in a suburban area on a sprawling, beautiful 217 acres. Recently renovated in 2012, the campus has thirteen buildings and all modern amenities.

Academic Courses

Elgin Community College offers a variety of university-transfer degrees and career/technical education programs. Degrees in the university-transfer program include the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Engineering Science, Associate in Fine Arts, and Associate in Liberal Studies. These degrees are designed to provide foundation courses equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree and lead to transfer with junior standing to the college or university of your choice. You will work with an advisor who will create a customized educational plan that includes all required and prerequisite courses for your intended major at your chosen university.

Students who would rather secure immediate employment can complete an Associate of Applied Science degree and/or a career/technical certificate. Degrees and certificates are offered in business, computer technologies, digital technologies, health professions, culinary arts & hospitality, human services, industrial technologies, public service professions, and transportation. These degrees and certificates are designed to give you the necessary, in-demand skills employers are looking for now.

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Homestay Program 

The International Student Homestay Program offered at ECC gives international students the unique opportunity to live in an American home as a member of the family. The program provides you with the opportunity to improve your English, meet new people, participate in outings with your host family, and have a positive cultural experience in Elgin. A homestay provides a shared or private bedroom, two meals per day, and (if requested) transportation to and from campus. Fees for the program are lower than residing in your own apartment near campus.  

Study English 

ECC has a full-time intensive English program made up of a series of modules where students learn English in an organic, natural way through focused curriculum and teaching. This is an excellent program for international students wanting to improve their English language skills and their cultural understanding of the USA. The program consists of four modules – Listening, Reading, Writing and Pre-collegiate. Outside of the modules, there are also elective classes to choose from. Students are assessed every four weeks to determine whether they are ready to move forward to the next module.

Scholarships and Employment 

ECC is well known for providing students with a high-value education at low tuition rates. The college also offers various scholarship opportunities for students. Scholarships are given for many reasons, including academic merit, leadership qualities, specialized talents, ethnic origin, and more. You can also work on-campus (up to 20 hours per week) to help you fulfill your financial obligations.

If you want to find out more about Elgin Community College, click on their SchoolApply profile