Housing & Student LIfe | ELI



Why Live on Campus?

Students who live on campus usually get better grades, make more friends, and are more positive about their college experience than students who live off campus.


Pacific University has several residence halls. In a residence hall, students share a room called a dorm. Some dorms have private bathrooms, and some have shared bathrooms. All dorms have furniture and internet. All residence halls have shared kitchens, laundry rooms, recreations rooms, and vending machines. Students who finished high school less than two years before coming to Pacific must live in a dorm. Older students can live here if there is space. Meal plans are available for dorm students.

Pacific also has apartment buildings on campus for students who want more independence. All apartment units have furniture and internet. Each unit has between two and six bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and at least one bathroom. The apartment building has a shared laundry room, recreation room, and vending machines. The resident director is available 24 hours a day. Meal plans are optional for students in apartments with full kitchens.

Off-Campus Housing

American family homestays can be arranged for students. Students will have a private furnished room and will share bathrooms, living rooms, the kitchen, and eat meals with the host family. Students must follow family rules and talk with the family as much as possible to have a successful homestay experience. The monthly fee includes three meals each day. Students interested in a homestay can apply by completing the ANDEO Homestay Form. ANDEO is not part of Pacific University.

Students can also rent or lease an off-campus apartment. Off-campus apartments are not owned by Pacific University, but they are very close to campus.  Most of these apartments require students to say for six months or more. The average cost is $650 or more per month. No meal service is available, and students may have to buy furniture. This housing choice is best for students over 21 years old.

Future and current students can learn more about housing at Pacific University by visiting the Housing website.

Campus Life

Activities for All Students

Like all Pacific University students, ELI students have access to everything on campus, including the following.

Boxer Card

The Boxer Card is your student ID card. It is an important tool for getting around campus. Here are 10 reasons the Boxer Card is useful.

  • It has your PUNetID number and student ID number
  • Use it at the library to check out books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs
  • Use it to access the 24 hour study room in the library
  • If you have a meal plan, you need to scan your Boxer Card every time you eat
  • If you live on campus, you need to scan your Boxer Card to enter your dormitory
  • Use it to get into the Marsh Hall computer labs after school hours and on weekends
  • Show your Boxer Card at the bookstore to sell back books
  • Show your Boxer Card to get discounts at some fast food restaurants near campus (like Pizza Schmizza and Maggie's Buns)
  • Show your Boxer Card to get discounts on admission at many places off campus (like museums and sports events)
  • Use your card at an ATM card for U.S. Bank

If you want to learn more about Pacific University, visit the About Us page.

Activities for ELI Students

The English Language Institute (ELI) has many educational and recreational activities just for ELI students. These activities may not be offered every term. For more information, please email eliadmissions@pacificu.edu.

Conversation Partner Program

ELI students are matched with a conversation partner to practice speaking and listening.  Conversation partners meet with students once a week. There is a limited number of partners, so students should sign up early. This program is optional (not required), but it is highly recommended because it: 

  • Improves speaking and listening skills
  • Helps ELI students meet English speaking students
  • Encourages students to do activities outside of the classroom

Weekend Outings

The English Language Program staff arranges weekend trips for ELI students. These are longer trips that happen on Saturday or Sunday. Some of the trips are free (like beach trips), but for some trips, students have to pay for food and/or admission to events (like Blazers games). There are many reasons students should participate in these trips:

  • Free transportation in a Pacific University van or mini-bus
  • Opportunity to experience American culture
  • Learn about new places and events in the greater Portland area

Some trips that ELI students have done in the past, include:

  • Multnomah Falls — see beautiful waterfall, hike in the forest, learn about the Oregon climate and environment
  • Cannon Beach— visit the Pacific Ocean, build sand castles, fly kites, learn about the ocean eco-system
  • Blazers Game— try a Portland restaurant, see a professional basketball game (the Portland Blazers)

Weekday Outings

The English Language Institute staff members also plan shorter weekday activities for the ELI students. These activities happen after classes, so they are closer to campus. ELI students have to pay a small amount to participate in some of these activities as well.  It is a good idea to be part of these outings because students:

  • Learn how to use the public transportation (Tri-Met)
  • Get involved in the community (Forest Grove)
  • Discover local activities to do during holidays, breaks, and weekends

Student Services

Advising & Support

The English Language Institute is part of the Office of International Programs. Office staff help all international students studying at Pacific University. There are many things the International Programs staff can do to help ELI students:

  • Give academic advice
  • Answer immigration questions
  • Help with cultural adjustment and personal concerns
  • On-call 24 hours a day in case of emergencies

The Office of International Programs is in Pacific Hall at the center of campus. Office staff are in the office weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Students can also make evening appointments.


All new international students go to orientation. The orientation helps new students learn about the many places and services on campus to help make students' experience at Pacific University a great one. During orientation students:

  • Learn about daily life in the USA, including housing, banking, safety, and healthcare
  • Get to know Pacific University, Forest Grove, and the Portland metro area
  • Learn about the U.S. government's immigration rules
  • Are introduced to the American university classroom environment
  • Learn about Pacific University's health rules
  • Take placement tests to find the best ESL level

For more information, look at the Orientation Schedule. If you have questions, you can call 503-352-1600 or email eliadmissions@pacificu.edu

TOEFL Testing

The English Language Institute offers an Institutional TOEFL paper based test (PBT). This test is given seven times a year for ELI students. The cost is $30. Students must register five weeks before each test date. The Institutional PBT TOEFL: 

  • Provides practice in many of the skills on the iBT TOEFL
  • Shows ELI instructors how students are improving their English skills
  • Helps instructors place ELI students in the best ESL level
  • Make undergraduate admission to Pacific University easier for ELI students

Visit the ETS website to get more information about the TOEFL.

Contact Us

English Language Institute Admissions
+1-503-352-1600 | eliadmissions@pacificu.edu

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