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Our mission

The Language and Culture Institute is a gateway to Virginia Tech, committed to advancing the university’s global land-grant vision by providing campus-wide leadership and coordination in support of its international engagement efforts.

We accomplish this mission by:

  • Developing and implementing a diverse array of educational offerings, including university preparation, English language, and specialized training programs.
  • Recruiting the world’s foremost talent to be students and scholars at Virginia Tech.
  • Establishing strategic partnerships with institutions of higher learning, government agencies, industry, and nongovernmental entities.
  • Creating and strengthening educational linkages in teaching, research, and service with international partners.
  • Extending our institutional expertise in the field of international education to promote and serve the university’s global agenda.

The institute is part of Virginia Tech Outreach and International Affairs.

Our history

The institute's roots date to the 1960s, when members of the Blacksburg chapter of the American Association of University Women decided to volunteer their time teaching English. The association held free classes in church basements or members' homes to help the spouses of international students and faculty members learn English.

The program would eventually come under the umbrella of the now defunct University Community International Council and was at the Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech. In 1992, the program, called the English Language Institute of Virginia Tech, became part of the university’s Division of Continuing Education. The English Language Institute joined Outreach and International Affairs in 2003 as part of the university's outreach portfolio.

With new leadership in 2007, subsequent expansion, and engagement in internationally focused programming beyond teaching English, the institute was rebranded as the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute, or LCI. As a result of its increasing contribution to global outreach — including international student recruitment, human capacity building, academic preparation, and foreign language training — the LCI migrated to International Affairs in 2016.