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English Programs for Internationals


This section will explain to you how to make telephone calls and faxes and how to send and receive mail while in the United States.

Sending and Receiving Mail:

You may have mail sent to you at the EPI office. The address for the EPI office is:


1705 College Street
Close-Hipp 671
Columbia, SC 29208

Mail sent to you at EPI should look like this:

NOTE: You may have mail delivered to your apartment, but we recommend that any mail and packages be sent to the EPI offices, because there will always be someone on hand to receive the mail for you. 

Receiving Faxes

Students may receive faxes on the EPI faculty/staff fax machine. Please ask the sender to put your name on the message. 1-803-777-6839 (fax).

Using the Telephone

The phone number of EPI is (803) 777-3867.

In the United States, a phone number is made of an area code and then the number. The area code for South Carolina is (803).

In the US, telephone numbers are 10 digits. The first three numbers are called the “area code” and indicate from what part of the country the caller is located.


Long distance
Area code
phone number

When making a call from a cell phone, you need to enter both the area code and the number. (1-800) calls are toll free calls which are not billed to the caller. Many businesses use these 800 numbers so their customers can call them free of charge.

With cell phones, you can generally call any US phone number without any extra charges.

If you call from a landline (non-cell phone) you may be charged extra for calling numbers outside of your city. To call any place outside of Columbia, you must dial a 1+ the area code (usually three numbers in the US) + the number.

Answering the phone:

Answer the telephone by saying, “Hello, this is John” or simply “Hello.” or “Hello, this is the (last name) residence.”
The person who is calling will likely respond with, “Hello, is (Jane) there?” or “Can I speak with (Jane)?”


Cell Phones

These days, most EPI students will have cell phones. If you arrive in Columbia and do not already have a cell phone, there are several providers in the area that offer services for internationals. International Student Services has good relationships with the following service providers:

If you already have a cell phone, the providers listed above can set up an account on your phone so that you can use your phone in the U.S. Additionally, if you wish to purchase a new phone, these providers also have many options available.

If you already have a cell phone that has sim card capabilities, you can set up an account through Campus Sims. The SIM cards for Campus Sims are available in the ISS office. You can pick one up when you are first arriving on-campus.

Make sure that you do not get roaming charges on your cell phone bill if you travel outside of your service coverage area.