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Santa Cruz, CA

1101 Pacific Avenue, Suite 200
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel.: 831-425-7095


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ELS/Santa Cruz is located in downtown Santa Cruz. The young and vibrant coastal city is situated on beautiful Monterey Bay. The Center is surrounded by great shopping, restaurants, movie theaters, coffee shops and music venues. It is home to the West Coast’s only seaside amusement park, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Popular recreational activities that you can enjoy include surfing, mountain biking, hiking, camping and walking on the beach. You will have access to the libraries and recreational facilities of the University of California Santa Cruz.

  • Centrally located in the downtown area
  • Easy walking distance to most attractions
  • Small California college city
  • Unlimited access to UCSC's "Wellness Center"

Santa Cruz Fast Facts

Santa Cruz Fast Facts

This is a great document so that you can learn more about Santa Cruz!

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Distance to Key Locations from ELS Center

Location Minutes Transportation Method
Airport 90/120-180
Bank 2
Downtown Area 1
Post Office 5
Restaurant(s) 2
Supermarket 10
Bus Stop/Subway 5








110V 60KHz.
Electric Plug Details



Programs available at this location

2014 Cost Per Session
$1790 USD

2014 Cost Per Session
$1410 USD

American Explorer Program

Enjoy the Adventure

2014 Cost Per Session
$1350 USD

Harbor Inn Harbor Inn Room Harbor Inn Room UTC Room Picture #1 UTC Room Picture #2 The Lounge in the UTC Veranda Overlooking Pacific Avenue at the UTC


Host family students are responsible for their personal transportation. Most students arrive at the campus by bus.

Price per Session $1125
Occupancy Single, Single
Minimum Age 15
Airport Pickup $85 - 140
Meals / week or Meal Credit
14 meals per week

ELS Santa Cruz Location Cabrillo College is a UCAN Partner and Close By Home to the Beautiful University of California at Santa Cruz UCSC Wellness Center - Free Access to ELS Students The Main Beach in Santa Cruz The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Sea Lions at the Santa Cruz Wharf People eating lunch near the Santa Cruz Wharf Pacific Avenue Restaurant Shops on Pacific Avenue Downtown Farmers Market Just Outside Our Door Beautiful Blossoms on Pacific Avenue Twin Lakes Beach Lighthouse at Sunset The Santa Cruz Harbor The Beautiful Trails in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Roaring Camp Railroads Famous Narrow-gauge Train in Felton
  • Computer center
  • Gymnasium
  • Soccer field
  • Tennis court(s)
  • Basketball court(s)
  • Library
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Racquetball/squash Courts
  • Fitness Center
  • Center is handicapped accessible
  • Classrooms are handicapped accessible

What is Conditional Admission?

Institutions in the ELS University Conditional Admission Network offer conditional admission to students who are academically admissible based on the student’s academic record and other university and/or departmental and program requirements, but who have not yet demonstrated English proficiency. Your admission is “conditional” based upon satisfying English proficiency through completion of a specified level of the ELS English for Academic Purposes program and any other specific requirements prior to full admission. Once these requirements are fulfilled, you are able to fully matriculate. These requirements will be outlined on your Conditional Letter of Admission, and your selected ELS center will assist you in completing all of the necessary requirements for matriculation.

Additional matriculation requirements may include other required scores, for example, GMAT® or GRE® for graduate programs.

Our ELS University Partners will offer a Conditional Letter of Admission (CLA) detailing the additional requirements needed for matriculation. You and your family can be assured that you have a university placement and ELS registration prior to departing for the USA.

What is the Conditional Admission Process?

  1. Find a university via our University Finder
  2. Apply for university admission and enroll for English studies at ELS Language Centers with help from a local ELS authorized Counseling Agent.
  3. If you are an acceptable candidate for university admission, you receive a letter of "Conditional university admission subject to English proficiency and submission of any other required documentation for matriculation."
  4. Study at any of the 60 ELS Centers in the USA to fulfill the university entrance requirement for English proficiency.
  5. Begin your university program!

Meet the Staff

Robert Nagel

Robert Nagel

Center Director

My name is Robert Nagel and I am the Center Director and International Student Advisor of ELS Santa Cruz. I graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. degree in English and a minor in East Asian Studies: Japan. After I graduated, I spent seven years teaching in Japan at various companies like Toshiba Corporation and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (Subaru). I also worked in the Silicon Valley for a year as a Content Editor for an entertainment website. I have been with ELS Language centers since 2005 and look forward to meeting and welcoming all of the students that choose to come to our school and hope to get them on the right track towards entering college and fulfilling their future dreams and aspirations!

Gail Brenner

Gail Brenner

Academic Director

Hello! I’m Gail Brenner, the Academic Director at ELS Santa Cruz. I am very excited to welcome you to our center and our beautiful coastal city! I’m originally from Chicago, but Santa Cruz has been my home for many years. I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I now teach a graduate course for international Teaching Assistants. Before becoming Academic Director, I taught ESL in the classroom for 26 years, and also taught and consulted for companies such as Silicon Systems, Borland and Seagate Technology. I’ve work with the U.S. Department of State, Office of English Language Programs, revising and editing their ESL textbooks, and I’ve also written a few books of my own – English for Dummies and Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook – and co-authored books on TOEFL preparation. Most of all, I love learning about people, places, culture and language. And I especially enjoy helping students succeed in reaching their academic and life goals. I look forward to meeting you!

Anna Bobisuthi

Anna Bobisuthi


Hi! I’m Anna Bobisuthi the Registrar here at ELS Santa Cruz. I was homeschooled when I was younger and am currently attending Cabrillo College where I try to take advantage of their wide variety of classes. I have lived in Santa Cruz my entire life, but I have still managed to travel extensively. When I was younger I traveled with my family on amazing road trips where we managed to hit over 40 states, and when I was a teenager I was able to take part in a sister city exchange program in Japan. I have studied both Japanese and Chinese, so please drop by and let’s talk about each other's language! I have always been obsessed with other cultures and languages, and am looking forward to learning about you and your culture!

Julia Butterfield

Julia Butterfield


Hello! My name is Julia Butterfield, and I am happy to be one of the full time instructors here in lovely seaside Santa Cruz! I have a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph. D. in Cultural Anthropology from City University of New York (based on fieldwork I did in India)—for that reason I am known to students as “Dr. Julia.” Before returning to California, I taught for ELS in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and before that taught writing and critical thinking at Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City. I love to open students' eyes and ears to new ideas, and help them become good critical thinkers, while finding the words in English to express themselves and find their passion. Come join us!!


April 14, 2014


I had awesome teachers: Julia, Allison and Sarah. With them, I could improve my English and learn about American culture.



April 14, 2014


I had a great time studying at ELS Santa Cruz. I learned a lot of English skills from Every teacher and made many friends who came from different countries here. In addition, there are beautiful beaches in Santa Cruz. I recommend people who would like to improve their English to come here. I think they will have a wonderful experience in their life.



February 25, 2014


Studying at ELS Santa Cruz brought me a beautiful experience. I studied for 5 sessions and learned English grammar, how to organize an essay and also how to speak out in class. I felt ELS had really good programs for students studying English and the teachers were great. I really had fun with them. Also, since ELS has a lot of fun school activities, there were many opportunities to get to know classmates from other countries. I'm really glad I picked ELS Santa Cruz!



February 25, 2014


ELS Santa Cruz isn't only about teaching English, it's about a great class atmosphere between students and teachers. It's about learning good moral about this country and more. I really enjoyed my time here.

-Eslam,Saudi Arabia


February 25, 2014


I have been in Santa Cruz for five and a half months. I have had a great time here. Everything that I have done was very special for me. I learned how to see life in a new way. Thank you!



October 17, 2013

When I started my first session at ELS Santa Cruz, I was impressed by the great people who work here. The teachers do their best to improve our English as well as to make classes fun. The students are motivated to learn and interact with people from all over the world. It was a great experience to stay in Santa Cruz and study English. I will miss the pleasant environment during classes and especially the time that I spent with my friends and teachers.



October 17, 2013


I'm so sad that I have to leave. I've only studied here for three sessions but I have met a lot of fantastic classmates and awesome teachers. Most importantly, I made a lot of progress. Thanks to all my teachers. I'll keep studying and reading and try to put what I have learned here into my future studies or work.



September 17, 2013


ELS Santa Cruz is beyond words. Teachers are great and the atmosphere is amazing. They created a family here which helps the students achieve their goals easily. I wish I could come next year. I strongly recommend this school!



September 17, 2013


To all my mentors, and the entire administration of ELS Santa Cruz,

Time has flown real fast and as they say, nothing is permanent in this world except change. We all have to move on and that is what I'm going to do. It cannot be denied that I am a foreigner in this beautiful country, so I would like to maximize my stay by experiencing and widening my horizons.

Before I leave, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for the help you had given me. Thank you everyone for your patience and kindness. I believe I have become a better and more confident with my English with the help and guidance of all my teachers.

No matter how big or small it has been, you all have become a part of my journey in my quest to improve my English ability. For all of this and more, thank you so much!

-Mohammed,Saudi Arabia


September 12, 2013

ELS Santa Cruz is located in a good place, downtown, and close to the ocean. There are good teachers working there. I think this is a good place for learning English. All teachers are very kind and helpful and the students are too.



August 20, 2013


I think this program is very good for me. I believe that I made progress in grammar, speaking and listening. I learned a lot from this program.



August 20, 2013


This English course was such a great experience! Anyone who has the chance to do this should. Being in a different country with a lot of people and cultures is amazing! ELS Santa Cruz is great!



July 31, 2013


When I arrived at ELS from Colombia, my English was very basic. I began in Level 105 in English for Academic Purposes. My objective was to prepare for college in the United States. I was scared to speak to people and worried that I would never understand or begin to master the language. I spent 7 months at ELS and now feel confident in my English and my ability to continue to learn and improve. I realized that learning a new language is simply a process and with excellent teachers and hard work, anyone can do it.

What surprised me is that my time at ELS was not just about language. I learned about sociology, culture, and felt like I traveled the world because of the time I spent with students from so many countries. I was also amazed at the quality of the teachers at ELS. They understood that learning a new language is not easy. They were always patient, supportive and dedicated to each of us as students. I felt like they cared about me as an individual. It made all the difference in my confidence and desire to learn.

I made the best possible choice studying at ELS in Santa Cruz. My experience was special and unique – and I will never forget it.



June 24, 2013


There are no words to express all my gratitude to all the teachers and staff at ELS Santa Cruz. When I arrived to the US, I could barely connect two sentences in English. Now, I am confident about my skills and I'm able to express myself in ways that I'm truly proud of. All the teachers and staff were ALWAYS supporting me in my learning process. Day by day, I received all that I needed to succeed. Now my doctoral studies are awaiting me at the University of California at Santa Cruz and I can't wait to put into practice all that I've learned.



June 20, 2013


I don't know what I'm going to say. There are no phrases to express what I would like to say. I would like to thank all the teachers at ELS Santa Cruz who helped me improve my second language. It has even been a good experience living in America. Finally, I would love to recommend this school, ELS Language Centers.

-Naseer,Saudi Arabia


May 28, 2013


I went to ELS Santa Cruz to improve my English. The teachers, staff and students' welcome was great! I have gotten enough self-confidence to not be afraid to speak English anymore. Thanks everybody for the wonderful experience.



May 28, 2013


I am really satisfied with my one session at ELS Santa Cruz, especially with the teachers' level and the books. It was a great time when I could learn English with a historical, cultural and critical point-of-view. Thank you for everything!!!



April 30, 2013


Learning English at ELS Santa Cruz was so much fun for me. I studied English for 4 months and I now attend Cabrillo College. The teachers and staff at ELS are so fun, kind and nice. You can also make many international friends, like me. I could also make best friends at ELS.

I think you might worry if you cannot speak English very well, but you don't have to. All students here come to learn English and ELS Santa Cruz's teachers and staff are specialized. Have fun and enjoy your life in the US!



April 30, 2013


I have gotten to know wonderful people; I'm thankful for having known them. It was a beautiful experience for me. I enjoyed every small thing at ELS Santa Cruz. Thanks for all the work that teachers assigned to me as a student.

Thank you to Allison, she always made me feel at home. To Julia for sharing all her knowledge and experience with me. To Sarah, for riding a bike with me. To Sheila for her charisma. To Gail and her wonderful classes. Also, Martha, Robert, Anna and Rebecca, thanks for putting up with me!

-Fatima,El Salvador


April 30, 2013

ELS Santa Cruz was very kind to everyone and I could learn English while enjoying my time here. The teachers were all wonderful people. Thank you so much!



April 30, 2013


My experience at ELS Santa Cruz was excellent. It was an opportunity that I wouldn't have had in Brazil. The month that I spent here I learned more than in all my classes in Brazil. I wish I could spend more time here.



April 30, 2013


Learning a new language is not easy but it is worth it. I studied English for 4 months at ELS Santa Cruz and am now currently attending Cabrillo College. This center is the best place to learn English. The staff are so nice and helpful. You will see their enthusiasm and passion when they are teaching. Going to study abroad in a foreign country can be pretty scary, especially for students who can`t really speak the language. But with ELS Santa Cruz, you don`t really have to worry about that.I would definitely recommend ELS Santa Cruz to anyone who is doing language study in the US.


Zherui (Jerry)

April 1, 2013


I really enjoyed the classes here. ELS Santa Cruz has the best teachers in the world because they never let us feel bored in class. I'm sure I will miss ELS forever because my teachers are unforgettable.

-Zherui (Jerry),China


April 1, 2013


It was a pleasure to get to know everyone at ELS Santa Cruz and it is a very good school. The school takes care of all its students and I learned with the teachers' support. I now feel more confident when speaking. I am happy I have improved my English because of ELS.



March 1, 2013


I had a great time at ELS Santa Cruz. Everyone treated me very well and they all made learning English a lot of fun! I hope to come back sometime and go through this amazing experience again!



March 1, 2013


I had a very good time in ELS Santa Cruz because people here are very friendly and nice to everyone. The teachers are awesome and always able to help you every time. ELS is a great place to learn English in many different ways.



February 20, 2013


The vacation that I spent here at ELS Santa Cruz studying was certainly the best I've ever had! In this school I had the opportunity to be taught by amazing and helpful teachers and to talk and learn about many different cultures. I'll never forget this experience!



February 20, 2013


ELS Santa Cruz was an awesome experience for me. I learned a lot of English and made friends for my whole life. The teachers are well prepared and make the classroom a comfortable place to learn English. I enjoyed it a lot!



February 4, 2013


Studying at ELS Santa Cruz was hard but at the same time I was interested in learning English because the teachers were helpful, respectful and they worked hard to teach us. Also, I like Santa Cruz. It is a nice city with good people. I like downtown because it is quiet and it has many stores where I could find my stuff easily.

-Khalid,Saudi Arabia


February 4, 2013


It was definitely a great time! So many people from different countries, lots of English and super nice weather during my stay. Lots of opportunities have made everyday different here.



February 4, 2013


The most beautiful time of my life is at the Institute's Nest, ELS.

-Saad,Saudi Arabia


January 24, 2013


I like ELS Santa Cruz a lot. This ELS is the best!



December 14, 2012


Learning a second language seems difficult to some students until you find the keys to learning a new language. Once you get the technique, everything about a new language will become a piece of cake to you. With the help of ELS and its great and awesome teachers, I was able to learn those keys. Thank you ELS! I am closer to my goals now more than ever before. Learning with you was fun!

-Zahran,Saudi Arabia

Silvia, Brazil

November 15, 2010

Studying at ELS Santa Cruz was a great pleasure for me. The teachers were very good and lovely people. During my 3 months, I could improve my English and have a good time in this city. Santa Cruz is a welcoming city and I could visit many beautiful places and beaches. I really enjoyed the organic food, local music and the nature. It was much more than my expectations!!! Oh!! And if you want to feel like a S.C. native, you should buy a bike!!!

- Silvia, Brazil

Misa, Japan

October 19, 2010

Hello! My name is Misa and I’m from Japan. I love Santa Cruz! I really didn’t know anything about Santa Cruz before coming but as soon as I arrived I fell in love! We can see the beautiful ocean, mountains and animals. Santa Cruz is such a nice place. The people are also very nice. If you come here you will be happy! I love ELS Santa Cruz!

- Misa, Japan

Vazgen, Russia

August 23, 2010

I am very grateful to ELS for providing such an attractive opportunity to study English. Various and exciting programs, taught by friendly and interesting teachers help us, the students, to improve our English quickly and productively.

Wen-Chi, Taiwan

June 7, 2010

I like it here at ELS Santa Cruz. I like the weather here as well as the people. The facilities at ELS are very useful for students who want to improve their English. In LTC, for example, I can learn grammar and get a lot of practice in sentence structure. In SSP class, the teacher shows us how to use complicated sentence structure. I’m glad to have learned English at ELS Santa Cruz. I like all the Staff here. They are kind, friendly and are willing to help students. It was an unforgettable experience for me to study English here. Thank you all of you!!

- Wen-Chi

Jun Seok Her, South Korea

June 2, 2010

I studied at ELS Santa Cruz for three sessions. After passing Level 109, I applied to Cabrillo College near here, in Aptos, CA. Even though applying to college can be complicated, I was successful because of the help I received at this center.

My teachers always helped me when I was confused about grammar, reading, writing, or listening. With all the help I received, my English has improved. Not only are the teachers kind and sweet, but my classmates are also really friendly. I am glad that I chose ELS Santa Cruz. The only word I can explain about this center is cool!

Bo, China

March 2, 2010

I like the ELS Santa Cruz Center. My classmates and teachers are very nice.

Tianlong, China

March 2, 2010

The people are very friendly and the weather is very good in Santa Cruz. The ocean is very beautiful, and gives me a happy feeling. I feel very relaxed in Santa Cruz, more than in China. I really enjoy my Structured Speaking Practice class. My teacher is very experienced and she is very kind. She gives us extra help after class. If you have a problem the teachers and staff are very helpful and correct your grammar. I hope to pass ELS level 109 and go to Cabrillo College. I will also prepare for the TOEFL iBT test while here.

Sang Hyuk, Korea

March 2, 2010

I like living in Santa Cruz because of the great beaches and beach activities. My classmates and I can play beach volleyball after school or on weekends. Santa Cruz is also very close to the Gilroy shopping mall and I can go outlet shopping. The ELS Center in Santa Cruz is also in a great location and students can easily travel to Yosemite, LA, Monterey, and San Francisco on the weekends. Although Santa Cruz is not a big city, it is very comfortable because everything is nearby, such as the grocery stores, post office, library, and restaurants.

Keiichiro, Japan

March 2, 2010

The school is located on the main street, so it is convenient to do things like go shopping or have some tea. It also is not very big, but the relationship between the teachers and students are close and you can concentrate on preparing and learning English. I am already crazy about Santa Cruz! Let’s start your English life in Santa Cruz!

- Keiichiro

Mashhour, Saudi Arabia

March 2, 2010

I like ELS Santa Cruz because of the friendly staff. I like the activities such as beach trips and bowling. My new teacher is also amazing. She can explain English grammar very well. I like the downtown area, Pacific Avenue. The American’s are very friendly. I love my home stay family. My host is friendly and I feel like I am living with my family in Saudi Arabia. She has a great home, makes delicious food, and her child is very nice. If you want to study at ELS you should come to Santa Cruz.

- Mashhour

Alumni Visit!

April 8, 2014

It is always great when we have students that graduated from our program come and visit after being in college and giving our ELS students a speech on what life in the real world is like. Thank you Diego!

Beach BBQ

April 8, 2014

Mandy and students enjoy an afternoon and evening of beach fun and BBQ!


ELS at Santa Cruz

ELS at Santa Cruz

Provides a brief description of ELS, our Programs and the Santa Cruz ELS Language Center. The flyer also offers some specific attributes of the university, its programs and other helpful information.

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Santa Cruz Fast Facts

Santa Cruz Fast Facts

This is a great document so that you can learn more about Santa Cruz!

Download PDF