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How To Apply

Teaching ESL Certificate Program with Ecuador Immersion

Applicants: Click here for the online application.  
Recommendation Form: Submit using this form.  


Summer 2021 Virtual Program – Please complete the application form on the link above.  Recommendations are not requested for this summer.  After completing the brief application form, please send an unofficial, electronic transcript to Elizabeth Smolcic at  A member of our team will be in touch with you for an individual conversation after you have applied. Meeting times for the June/July course will be set in April.  Please ignore the information below which will apply to the 2022 program when we travel abroad.

To apply: Submit the online application form by clicking the link at the top of the page.  The recommendations should come from a faculty member, work supervisor, or colleague.  The transcripts should be unofficial and please email them to the contact at the bottom of this page.  Pennsylvania-certified teachers should also send a photocopy of their Pennsylvania Instructional Certificate. Please note that teaching certification is NOT required for application to this program. The program is open to any individual interested in learning to teach English language learners. Please read the Guidelines for Participation link above before you submit your application.

Student in fieldApplications are accepted on a rolling basis, beginning in late September. In order to access the application, you will need a Penn State Web Access account. If you do not have an account, you may create a Friends of Penn State Account. Please do not send your ID or account password to the TESL office.

After submitting an application, an applicant will typically have a phone or in-person interview with a program faculty member. You will be notified of acceptance in late December. At this time, participants will receive additional information about courses in the spring semester and travel to Ecuador in the summer. In some cases, applicants may be offered a place on a wait list.

Once a student has been notified of acceptance, a $1,000 nonrefundable deposit must be submitted in order to reserve a place in the program. This deposit is credited to the study abroad program fee. Space in the program cannot be guaranteed until the deposit has been submitted. If you have any questions, If you have any technical problems or questions about the application, please fill out a Helpdesk Ticket at

Key Dates:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Early acceptance deadline: TBA
Final application deadline:  TBA
Acceptance notification: no later than TBA
Final deadline for deposit: TBA

For public school teachers: If you are a Pennsylvania-certified teacher, upon successful completion of the program courses, you will request that Penn State complete a letter of verification so that you can apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the ESL Program Specialist endorsement. The Pennsylvania Department of Education asks that certified teachers show a valid Instructional I or II teaching certificate from Pennsylvania in order to add the ESL Program Specialist to their teaching credentials.

For questions about the application process, please contact:
Michelle Robison
Conferences & Institutes
225 Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel
University Park PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-5128