The ELS Experience
Learn what you can expect from the leader in English language instruction

For over 50 years, students have chosen ELS to achieve their English language goals. With 12 class levels, state-of-the-art language technology centers, multiple testing services and university admission assistance, ELS ensures success through our personalized approach and commitment to student achievement.

More Than Just English… Have fun and make friends!

You'll learn so much more than just English with ELS. Your time at ELS will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Learn English and American culture both inside and outside of the classroom.

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February 2, 2016


ELS Berkeley is a great school to study English and
prepare for college! No I’m a student who goes to Orange Coast College. Thanks to the classes I’ve taken here at ELS Berkeley, I got enough grades to transfer
to a university! If you have time to study English here before you go to college, I really recommend you study here until you pass 112, which is so helpful! All ELS teachers are helpful if you show your effort! Have fun in ELS Berkeley.

Ryoya, Japan



February 2, 2016


I have been living here in Berkeley for 5 months.
During my time here, I got so many experiences from ELS Berkeley. I love ELS Berkeley! My classmates are so nice and really friendly. I am the only one Thai student here. I felt a little bit lonely when I first came here. After that, I forgot that feeling! My life at ELS Berkeley was so amazing. Teachers and staff here are so nice and really help me to enjoy living here. Finally, I would say I will come back here again for sure! :)

Eve, Thailand

-Eve ,Thailand


January 28, 2016


My name is Jingsen Huang, and I am from China. I studied in ELS Milwaukee from January 2012 to May 2012. Right now, I am a senior student in Marquette University. ELS is a great place to study English. I improved my speaking, writing and listening skills in ELS Milwaukee. I really enjoy the life in ELS Milwaukee. Teachers are kind. And there are many different activities after class. Such as go to the Milwaukee county zoo, have a chance to see the
Milwaukee Bucks’ NBA game, and see an opera. Because of the study ELS Milwaukee, my first semester in Marquette University was not that tough. It was a smooth transfer from ELS to Marquette. I appreciate all the helps from ELS Milwaukee.



January 28, 2016


Hello everyone!
My American story started in San Francisco ELS language center. I studied there about 3 months and decided to transfer to ELS in Honolulu. I chose Hawaii because it was my childhood dream. If you are in Hawaii, you can do many activities such as swimming, hiking, surfing, and skydiving. You can have a lot of fun, but you should not forget to study English because ELS has strict rules. What about my English? Honestly, when I came to the U.S, I did not know anything about the English grammar. However, after 9 months in the U.S, I improved a lot of, especially while I was in Hawaii.
Lastly, I thank all ELS teachers who supported me to improving my English and I thank all my friends for spending time with me. I will never forget these memories.



January 22, 2016


First of all, teachers always gave us great support in the classes
when we had a doubt or any cultural question.
This experience is one of the best in my life.
The course we took had excellent content and organization. I could say it was tough, but we needed that too!

Finally, I want to thank our host families, they were the best! We felt as part of their family. I want to say thank you Carol for everything! I cant use only words to explain this wonderful experience! Thanks Caleb, Chris, Nicholas, Steven, Sara, Lisa, and all who were with us!
We hope to see you again soon!



January 21, 2016


Aloha everyone!

My name is Yahia Alzahrani and I come from Saudi Arabia. My goal is to achieve a Master's degree in Computer Engineering. I have been studying in the U.S for 18 months and I have a lot experience at ELS Centers. They are like one big family and the
students are like their children, especially at ELS Honolulu, Hawaii. Teachers care not only about your learning, but also about your feelings and how they can help you achieve your goal.
In addition, ELS takes students out on weekends for entertainment and do several interesting activities with each other, such as watching movies, shopping, surfing and visiting some the most famous places in Hawaii. Actually, my choosing for ELS was the best decision I have ever made. I am now ready to attend graduate school, discuss any project with professors and write research papers as well.
I know “thank you” just doesn't seem like nearly enough! My deepest heartfelt thanks for your assistance in helping me achieve my goal.


January 21, 2016


I really like this school, I had a really good time here. I
met many amazing people and teachers. I’m going to recommend this school for my friends and my family. I’d like to say thank you for everything!

Marcin, Poland


Saad Alshammari

January 14, 2016


I love the people in the office at ELS they are helpful. I love Portland. ELS Portland has a lot of activities, pizza day is my favorite. All students get free pizza. I have met a lot of friends at ELS Portland. Everyday teacher Mina smiles, it helps you study.
After ELS I will go to a university, ELS has helped me improve my English.

-Saad Alshammari,Saudi Arabia


January 14, 2016


I am an international student who studied at ELS Berkeley Center. After I finished the English Program at ELS, I went to SUNY Stony Brook University to pursue my master degree in computer science. I graduated from the Stony Brook University in 2015 and got a job in New York. I loved the program in ELS Berkeley. Instructors here not only helped me to improve my English skills but also built up the bridge between me and American culture. The knowledge and information that I gained in the ELS helped me and led me to success. If you have the dream like I have, do not be hesitated. Choose the correct English center and learn English in the right way! Learning English could be fun, exciting and happy. With their assistance , I believe that you can achieve the goal that you want. Be happy, be excited and study hard! Wish you all the best!



January 14, 2016


Studying at ELS Berkeley was an amazing event that I have done in my life. It has been an honor to study here. When I first came here I could not speak any English, but now I transform into a good speaker in English. I would not do that if I did not have those wonderful and helpful teachers and staff at ELS Berkeley.

-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Amanda Hollerbach

January 13, 2016


“The Herbert/Spaulding Hotel in San Francisco is a good choice
for students who are coming to the USA. They have
comfortable, clean rooms with new beds and a good
Students stay in newly redecorated
rooms at the Herbert Hotel
Who’s Who at ELS-San Francisco?
Amanda loved her stay in the
Hotel at ELS-San Francisco
shower. The environment is very appropriate for
students because they have a lounge where the ELS
students can go and hang out. The staff is polite and
nice and they resolved any problems I had really fast.
The hotel is really near ELS as well as department
stores and grocery stores. I recommend it highly.

-Amanda Hollerbach,Brazil


January 12, 2016


Today we were lucky to be visited by Tracy, a recent ELS graduate who will soon be starting at College of San Mateo. She agreed to sit with us for a short interview and share her experience with us.

How long have you been studying English?

A little over ten years. I started when I was in elementary school. I’ve always enjoyed studying English

You first came to ELS San Francisco- North Bay in October. What was that like?

I was a little bit excited, a little bit nervous. It was my first time coming to the United States and I didn’t know anything about it here. Everyone at ELS was very helpful.

Where did you live when you studied here?

I lived in the student home and I really liked it. I could talk with my roommates every day and we cooked big meals and ate together. The Japanese and Korean students would cook their traditional meals and share with us. On the weekends, there were always friends around. We could do things together.

Why did you choose College of San Mateo?

My teachers in Taiwan recommended it to me and I have a close family friend who lives nearby. I attended College of San Mateo’s presentation here at the center and I thought it sounds great. The tuition is pretty affordable and their programs are really interesting.

You just completed College of San Mateo’s placement exam. Can you tell us a little about that?

I was a little nervous when I took it. I was worried about math because I haven’t studied it for half a year. It turned out to be good! I did well on the English section and don’t have to take any more ESL classes.

That’s great! So you can start taking classes for credit towards your major immediately. Do you have any advice for new students who want to follow a similar path?

ELS helped a lot because we did a lot of reading and writing. There was a lot of reading on the placement exam and the reading preparation at ELS helped me a lot. Also at College of San Mateo’s orientation, we had to do group presentations. The SSP class at ELS helped me a lot. Before I took that class I didn’t know how to do a presentation. The teachers in SSP helped me a lot. My advice for future students is to relax and be prepared that you will learn a lot. Don’t be nervous. Just have fun!

Tatsushi Matsuyama

January 8, 2016


If you are considering to come to Portland or studying English in the U.S., this place will be very comfortable for you. If you are artistic, you can visit museum, see various monuments in downtown. If you are out-going, enjoy dancing in club and outdoor sports. If you believe you’re kind of introverted, don’t worry. Coffee shops, authentic restaurant and book stores will offer calm space such as your home.

-Tatsushi Matsuyama,Japan


January 8, 2016


My name is Thais and I am from Brazil. ELS is the best school to learn English. Coming to another country to learn English was not easy for me, but with ELS everything is simple, comfortable and the classes are very good. I must say thanks for this opportunity.



January 7, 2016


Hello, my name is Sila. I’m from Turkey. Before I came to Santa Barbara, I was looking the best place for me. Besides I improve my English, I also want to learn the American culture in the sunny place. That’s why, I chose Santa Barbara. I can say really sincerely that people in here are so friendly and helpful. For example, when I arrived the SB Airport at the first day, some people who saw me to wait the pickup service approached me and said that is there any problem or can I help you . I think this is the evidence of helpfulness.In addition, teachers and directors in the ELS center are always ready to help any problem. I met with many friends in all over the world. People thinking the choosing Santa Barbara ELS Center, I strongly suggest them here. While you are improving your English , you can enjoy sun, beach and fresh air with friends. It’s really fun.



January 5, 2016


When I came to ELS Silicon Valley, I just wanted to improve my English, but I got more than that. I found a place where I
could feel like at home, because everybody is kind and helpful and they do whatever they can to help you. This was a great experience, I improved my writing and oral English, but at the same time, ELS provided me the opportunity to meet people from other countries and they organize a lot of
interesting activities in which you can enrich your time and yourself.

I have a 10 year old daughter and they made everything easy for
me to study and at the same time I could take care of her. They were kind and nice with her too and I really appreciate that.

The teachers and the administrative staff are excellent, they
really care about the students to participate and strive to improve their level of English, and they give you the support to solve any problem that you could have.

I was very sad when I left the English Center and if I have
to choose a place to study English again, it will be ELS Silicon Valley.

I recommend it 100%.



January 5, 2016


I have studied at ELS language centers, Silicon Valley for 7
months. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my life. Everyone there, from students to staff, is so friendly. ELS prepared me for university very well, especially the Master classes they offer. At ELS, you'll always find the help you need because they have a great group of very experienced, professional, and also funny teachers and staff. If you want to improve your English at a quick base, I totally suggest that you go to ELS.


January 4, 2016


My trip to Houston, Texas did not begin the day that I
took the flight to The United States of America. It has been an amazing journey
of five years, together with The Venezuelan-American Friendship Association
(AVAA), which has become a family for hundreds of young Venezuelan students who
dream of a better future for their families and their country.

In June this year, The Embassy of The United States of
America and AVAA, provided the opportunity to live an academic experience in this
country to twelve students, with the purpose of developing their English skills
and increasing their knowledge about the American culture. Fortunately, I was
chosen to be part of this lucky group.

Traveling to Houston represented a huge adventure to
me, because I had the chance to meet new people from
different countries, which allowed me to know and learn about other
cultures, customs, beliefs and traditions. In the same way, it represented a
very exciting challenge, since it was the perfect opportunity to show everything
I learnt as a scholar of AVAA, e.g. proficiency in the English Language, leadership
of groups, oratory, and my passion for volunteering.

The person responsible for being my host was Mrs.
Marcya Waldrop, a lovely and dedicated woman, who gave me all her support during
the month I was in Houston. At the homestay, I met other students from Saudi
Arabia, Angola, Costa Rica, China and Argentina, with whom I shared stories and
facts about our countries. This journey showed me how diverse and interesting the
world is.

The scholarship award consisted of a month-long
intensive English course at ELS Language Center. This course contained subjects
such as vocabulary, writing, reading and speaking; all of them with the purpose
to improve the students’ language. In addition, the ELS’ program includes different
outdoor activities for its students. During my time at this Studies Centre, we
went to The Texas Renaissance Festival, one of the largest theme parks in the
nation, where the medieval era comes alive. If I had to describe ELS in three
words, I would choose: passion, engagement, and excellence. I am very thankful
for all the support that I received from ELS.

All those activities and my desire to explore the
city, allowed me to see the American Culture closer. This experience
represented more than an academic activity to me, because I lived incredible
moments that I never could imagined. I had to learn a lot about how to improve things
in my country, taking to other countries as an example to follow on
infrastructure issues and quality of life conditions. It was not easy, but it
was a rewarding and unforgettable life experience, I will never forget all my
Indonesian, Chinese, Bolivian, Turkish classmates, who played an important role
in this story. From this side of the world, I thank to all of them for sharing
with me this amazing journey.

Another unique opportunity was my participation at the
VIII AVAA’s Friendship Golf Tournament Houston: Chevron’s Cup. This event took
place on 30th October and it was organized by AVAA to get support
for more scholarships in Venezuela; basically as a scholar, I collaborated with
all the staff of AVAA in the logistic of the event. At the end of the
tournament, I had the chance to speak to all attendees about my experience in
Houston and how I got the scholarship. It was a touching moment for me, because
I thought about my parents and all the effort they have made to see my sister
and me as excellent professionals.

Given that there were many Venezuelan sponsors, I took
the opportunity to send a message of optimism and hope for our country, since
despite the difficult situation we are living at the moment, there are millions
of people in Venezuela who are fighting to make this country a better place to

Finally, I returned to Venezuela very grateful for the
lived experience and with a lot of dreams and plans to fulfill. But mostly, I
came back with the desire to support other Venezuelan students, who dream with
an opportunity as I had in this incredible journey.

Pedro Ignacio Barreto Linares



January 4, 2016


Studying at ELS Fort Wayne was a fruitful experience. Under the guidance of friendly and dedicated teachers, not only did I improve my fluency in English, but also – and above all – I acquired relevant information on the American culture, geography, and lifestyle. The fact that the ELS is located within a university campus (Indiana Purdue University in Fort Wayne – IPFW) provided me with access to a well-equipped library and fitness center, as well as to diverse activities such as concerts, plays, and sports games. Furthermore, living at IPFW Student Housing placed me within walking distance to all the facilities of the campus and allowed me to interact with both international students and native speakers of English.


January 2, 2016


Study at ELS New Haven was
one of the greatest experiences of my life! You can know people from all over
the world, learn from the best teachers, conducts various activities, have fun
and create many stories that you will carry for life.



January 2, 2016


I knew awesome students from very different countries. I was taught by nice and talented teachers. I had to study hard for the tests and homework, but I could count on Danny, Sarah and Kate the adorable people who helped the students anytime they needed. Of course, it was a great experience! The time flew by, so I must return to Brazil, but I am happier, smarter and very grateful for every single day I could spend at ELS. I will always remember everyone I met in New Haven. "Goodbyes are not forever, are not the end; It simply means I will miss you until we meet again." Thank you!



January 2, 2016


New Haven is a beautiful university city. I enjoyed the museum at Yale University, is undoubtedly fantastic. The more adventurous cannot miss East Rock Park, there you can see the whole city. ELS New Haven is excellent, very competent teachers and fun as well as the whole team.

-Gabriel ,Brazil


December 29, 2015


I would like to express my feelings about ELS. Despite the fact that I participated for just 2 sessions of English for Academic Purposes, I improved my all skills: speaking, writing, listening and reading. About diversity, you can meet here a wide range of different nationalities. That is beneficial when it comes to diversity and collaboration. I made friends with students from Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, Vietnam, Turkey and Colombia.

About teachers
Chris Sullivan, teacher for SSP, is a person who has a loud voice and a good sense of humor. His classes were always appealing; he knew how to attract attention to the subject he taught. Concerning Ruth Sacks, she is an older lady with strict character. I learnt a lot about how to write essays appropriately, how to organize essay structure to be alluring, all from her recommendations and corrections she made. There was also one teacher about whom I was impressed. His name is Mark Selzer, a young gentleman with a clear voice. He gave classes on vocabulary. And one strange situation happened. Every morning I met a man, who always greets everybody with great pleasure and sincere smile. He asked students how they feel at school and was quite interested in their concerns. I was surprised when I found out that he was Director of ELS, Mr. Eliot S. Levine. It turned out that Mr. Levine is not only kind and nice person, he is also ready to solve students' issues in person. I consider that his attitude to everyone is a bright example to all ELS staff. This is why such friendly relationships are felt in the atmosphere of the school.

Best regards,
Aidos Abdizhalelov
Nov. 25, 2015



December 18, 2015


One of our ELS 112 graduates visited us today after starting his first quarter at Lewis University in Chicago. He said that the weather here in California was nice. He walked off the airplane with only a t-shirt and said to himself how weird that it is not as cold as Chicago. But everyone else is treating this weather as cold. He really likes his university. He took a financial management course and he is anticipating good grades this session. He is thankful to ELS for preparing and improving his typing, critical thinking, and research skills. He thought the research project in the master levels was the most helpful in preparation for his MBA. He wanted to give future students advice about choosing a university: consider the weather, transportation system, and what cultures live there. These are all very important when you decide where you want to study. He is looking forward to next quarter when he takes two classes. The international office has been extremely helpful and he is transitioning well. We are happy to see our graduates succeed and come back to share with us their new experiences.



December 17, 2015


I like Portland because it is not crowded with many people. People in Portland and at Concordia University are very friendly. My favorite thing to do in Portland is shopping because there is no sale tax. I also like the nature places such as Multnomah Falls and Vista House at Crown Point. If you want to practice your English and grammar Portland ELS is a good environment with good teachers. ELS has connections with other universities.

-Tayard ,Thailand


December 17, 2015


I wanted to improve my English because it is necessary for my work. Being in Indiana helped me improve my English. Living in Fort Wayne also helped me improve my understanding of culture and tolerance. Living here was a wonderful experience because the people were friendly to me and it had all of the services I needed. Additionally, Fort Wayne is a very quiet and great place to live. Every time I would walk around, I would meet new people and discover new things. I would advise new students to participate in your classes as much as you can. This is the best way to learn and improve your English. So, don’t be shy! It is fine if you make mistakes because this is the way you learn. You just need to try your best!


Quang Son

December 11, 2015


Hello my name is Quang Son.

We have a lot of challenges to confront in life and that makes us better and better. Those challenges are sometimes difficult, but sometimes they are easy to deal with. One of them is when we learn a second language, especially English, which is the most popular and widely used language in the world. I was very lucky to be taught by very talented teachers who gave me the passion and advantages to get close to this language. Moreover, I thought I had to give more efforts to master it. Therefore, I rode my bike to go to some parks and bookstores around District 1, where there are many foreigners come to visit and work in, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was a great chance for me to practice my English with native speakers. Then, when I was at University, I had an opportunity to perfect my English because there was an apartment where there were many foreigners whom I could make friends and exchange cultural knowledge with. Thus my English became better.

My English has been more perfected than ever while I have been in ELS Language Centers at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis. Luckily, I took a placement test and I was placed in Master class. It took me just three months to train my skills. In my opinion, ELS is a very good place to have a good preparation before going to university or working. I was constantly trying to improve my writing but now I am very self-confident that I have mastered the tags at a variety of types of essays after several Advanced Reading and Writing classes. I can now speak more naturally, and above all, I can understand what native speakers are saying. Therefore, I appreciate my time at ELS. Fortunately, I was accepted by two of the most known Universities in Missouri, Webster University and University of Missouri, Saint Louis.

-Quang Son,Vietnam


December 1, 2015


In universities, it is not as easy as language centers. Professors might not teach students as language centers, because they think students should be possible to understand what do they teach. Therefore, previewing and reviewing are the most important things in university lives, to be honest, sometimes students have to study by themselves. However, even though the process is tough, students could promote their academic knowledge in universities. Hope all of the future university students who are in ELS will not any problems of studying, and reach their personal goals in the future!



December 1, 2015


I am totally satisfied with ELS Santa Monica. Teachers are very helpful. The study process, the schedule is very organized. I love Santa Monica, I love this area. For example, after attending this school I am going to Santa Monica College.



November 19, 2015


Studying at ELS/AC was a wonderful experience. Everybody works as a family there- students, teachers, staffs, etc. In addition, the culture exchange among people from the whole world is fascinating. I highly recommend this program.


November 19, 2015


In the beginning back there in October, I fully had a hard time to be understood and understand, too. However, I did not give up and I kept on working very hard so as to build my English skills up. I made it fly, and due to my teachers' help, I was able to improve a lot. I appreciated the time that I spent here, and lovely people that I met from all over the world. I had a great experience at ELS, and I would be glad to recommend this program for those who want to improve their English as well. Thanks a million!


November 19, 2015


Everything here at ELS is perfect; the teachers and people in administration are amazing and really helpful! It was a really good experience- of course I want to come back!


November 19, 2015


ELS Atlantic City is an amazing place to learn English. I love this place because I could practice a lot of my speaking with natives and also I met a lot of friends from different nationalities. This center is located close to New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., and I went to a lot of beautiful places.


November 19, 2015


I think this was the best thing that I've done in my life. I would like to come here again and spend more time!


November 10, 2015

Juan talks about learning English on the campus of GVSU.