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Johnson City, TN

198 South Dossett Drive, Hutcheson #208
Johnson City, TN 37614
Tel.: (423) 439-7147
ELS Center Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (closed on weekends and holidays)
On the campus of: East Tennessee State University
For more information on this institution's programs click here


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ELS/Johnson City is located on the campus of East Tennessee State University (ETSU). With an enrollment of over 15,000 students, ETSU is the fourth largest public university in Tennessee. Johnson City has been nicknamed "Tennessee's Green City," and residents enjoy a mountain atmosphere characterized by the area's rich natural beauty and world famous music culture. Students benefit from a safe, family-friendly atmosphere that is accommodating to international travelers, with plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, including skiing, rafting, and hiking, just to name a few. ETSU offers 112 undergraduate programs, 7 graduate certificates, 75 Master's programs, and 13 Doctoral programs. <br/>Because many of the ELS/Johnson City staff have lived and worked overseas, they understand the individual needs of students and work closely with them to ensure their experience at ELS is extraordinary and unforgettable!

  • Located in a beautiful setting on the campus of Eastern Tennessee State University
  • Access to all university facilities (gym, library, restaurants)
  • Free university and city transportation
  • Within walking distance to grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops and other essential amenities
  • Abundant shopping located throughout the City
  • Easy access to major U.S. cities: Asheville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Knoxville & Nashville
  • Join ELS on social media! #ELSCenters #ELSJohnsonCity

Distance to Key Locations from ELS Center

Location Minutes Transportation Method
Airport 30
Bank 10
Downtown Area 10
Post Office 5
Restaurants 5
Shopping Mall/Outlet 30
Sports Stadium 15
Supermarket 15
Pharmacy 15
Public Transportation 5








110V 60KHz.
Electric Plug Details



Programs available at this location

2017 Cost Per Session
$1840 USD
2017 Cost Per Session
$1410 USD
American Explorer Program

Enjoy the Adventure

2017 Cost Per Session
$1350 USD

Buccaneer Ridge Apartments Buccaneer Ridge Apartments Buccaneer Ridge Apartments Buccaneer Ridge Apartment Buccaneer Ridge Apartments Kitchen Buccaneer Ridge Apartments Kitchen and Table Buccaneer Ridge Apartments Bed and Desk Free shuttle that serves the campus

Buccaneer Ridge Apartments on ETSU(Student Residence (On Campus))

Two-bedroom apartments offer the following: \*Private bedroom and bathroom for each student. The apartments are fully furnished with a full-sized bed; linens; desk; chair; closet with full-length mirror; cable TV hookup; data jacks; Wi-Fi; and alarm system. All bedrooms are carpeted. \*Includes water, electricity, cable TV, Wi-Fi, and data jacks. \*Furnishings: shared fully-furnished living room; fully-equipped kitchen (dishes, utensils, cutlery, coffee maker, pots/pans, and more) with microwave, dishwasher, and garbage disposal; washer and dryer; flat screen television; patio; central heat and air conditioning. \*Safety: sprinkler and alarm systems; shuttle service; campus police patrol; and on-site manager and resident advisors. \*Recreation: Swimming pool; volleyball and basketball courts; disc golf range; hiking trail; clubhouse with meeting room; and easy access to campus facilities. \*Services: clubhouse (3 minute walk); access to copier and fax; resident advisors; maintenance and landscape personnel. \*Free shuttle provided to various locations on campus; 20-minute walk to ELS; 10 minute walk to library and student center. \*Free on-campus parking. \*Houses hundreds of university students, and presents a great opportunity to meet other Americans and international students. \*Shared by same gender.

Price per Session $750
Occupancy Single Deluxe
Minimum Age 18
Airport Pickup $75
Meals / week or Meal Credit
No meals included. Buccaneer Ridge Apartments are a self-catering accommodation, and ELS provides a fully-equipped kitchen. During the semester, on-campus dining is available and includes twelve different options as well as two small convenience stores. Meal cards can be purchased, and Kroger supermarket is within a 15-minute walk of campus. There is also a range of restaurants, from fast food to upscale dining, within walking distance of the campus.

Homestays in the area(Homestay)

Students can live with a local family for a true American experience! Host families will provide each student with a private bedroom along with breakfast and dinner each day. If the homestay is not within walking distance to ELS or a bus stop, the family will provide transportation to ELS for the student. Host families love to learn about other cultures and spend time talking with the students that they host.

Price per Session $850
Occupancy Single
Minimum Age 16
Airport Pickup $75
Meals / week or Meal Credit
14 meals per week. Students have access to kitchen if they would like to make meals in addition to the meals provided by the family.

Outside Class at the Amphitheatre Carillon (bell and clock tower) on campus of ETSU Campus Library ETSU Campus ETSU Campus Roy S. Nicks Hall Carillon (bell and clock tower) on campus of ETSU Dossett Hall Aerial View of the ETSU Campus Fountain Square in Downtown Johnson City ETSU Campus Blue Ridge Mountains Baseball Field
  • Baseball field
  • Computer lab
  • Gymnasium
  • Music practice rooms
  • Soccer field
  • Swimming pool (indoor)
  • Tennis court
  • Wi-Fi
  • Fitness center
  • Free parking at Center
  • Free parking at Host Institution
  • Student Health Center
  • Basketball court
  • Library
  • Recreational room
  • Center is handicapped accessible
  • Classrooms are handicapped accessible
  • Cafeteria

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

Cheryl Jones

Cheryl Jones

Center Director

Cheryl Jones has been at ELS/Johnson City since we opened in 2012, and she is excited to be the new Center Director. She has been with ELS since 2007, starting as an Instructor at ELS/Grand Rapids, Michigan, then as the Academic Director at ELS/Houston-Clear Lake, Texas and ELS/Johnson City. Cheryl has an MA TESOL degree from Michigan State University and a BS degree in Finance from Murray State University. Her interest in TESOL began after studying abroad in Germany and working for the Peace Corps in Ukraine. She very much enjoys working with people from around the world who desire to learn about other cultures and the English language.

Laura Kappel

Laura Kappel

Academic Director

Laura Higgs Kappel has been a teacher at ELS since July, 2012 and was a recipient of the ELS Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014. She moved into the Academic Director position in June, 2015. Her degrees are from the University of Tennessee (B.A. in English) and the University of Florida (M.A. in English and TESOL Certification). She has taught English overseas in both France and Costa Rica and lived on the island of Aruba for over two years. For over two decades, she taught composition, literature, and ESL at the university level at Clemson, the University of South Alabama, and the University of New Orleans before moving back to her hometown of Johnson City. She enjoys practicing her French and Spanish, meeting students from around the world, walking her dogs, clogging, listening to bluegrass music, and looking at the mountains outside her window.

Spencer Sexton

Spencer Sexton


A native of East Tennessee, Spencer graduated from ETSU with a degree in international affairs, focusing on East Asia and Mandarin Chinese. His experience includes leading field research in Beijing on the development of Beijing’s Central Business District, which was submitted to the Journal of Urban Planning Literature in 2015. As the registrar, Spencer’s primary responsibility is to manage much of the school’s records and finances. In his free time, Spencer enjoys reading history, studying foreign languages, and learning about other cultures.


April 28, 2015


My name is Manuela Santos and I am from Brazil. I decided to come to ELS Johnson City to improve my English skills, and I studied there for two months. I could not only learn English as a second language , but also I could learn academic skills that complimented my student journey and my future career. I learned English with outstanding teachers. They and the staff from the center are very friendly and helpful. They always try to make our stay more pleasant and enjoyable.

Johnson City is a small city but it is a really safe and quiet place. It is surrounded by mountains, which have natural and beautiful views. These are several qualities that help you to study and keep focused. Further, the ELS center is located on the campus of ETSU which has a lot of international students. You can make friends and also learn different cultures. They meet every week so you can practice your speaking and listening outside of the classes.
For sure this experience has made me grow up and learn a lot. I had such a great time at ELS. I felt comfortable, happy, and realized here. I encourage all to come to ELS - Johnson City. I certify it will be worth it.

Thank you so much for this opportunity! I achieved my goals!! I got 90 on TOEFL



February 3, 2015


ELS at Johnson City is a wonderful place to improve your English skills. It’s where you can feel at home, where you can make friends from all over the world, where you can meet great teachers!

That has been, no doubt, my best experience since I came to America. I had thought that I would have a long and hard study time before I met those nice and kind teachers in ELS. When I came to ELS for the first time, I saw a smiling face from the teachers, which made me feel relaxed and all my nerves and worries gone. What’s more, my other teachers are so kind and friendly that they are more like friends for me and we can communicate without any obstruction. In addition, I meet so many student friends here from Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, South Korea, and Brazil. They told me about their lives in their homelands. I felt the diversity but more similarity of our worlds.

It helps me to fit in American college smoothly, and makes me more confident about my English. Thanks ELS!



July 9, 2014


I studied at ELS - Johnson City for over a year. I was nervous about what I would find in the United States. When I arrived, the center director helped to get rid of my fears. I also stayed with a great host family that helped me adjust to life in America. After I joined the university, I still visited my host family almost every weekend, and still stopped at ELS once in a while for advice and help. I have just finished my first semester at ETSU and I am grateful for the preparation ELS gave me. Thank you ELS Johnson City!

-Yasir ,Saudi Arabia


August 9, 2013


I studied in ELS Johnson City for 3 months! When I arrived I was very well received; I enjoyed a lot my time here. I had an opportunity to know interesting places and good friends. The teachers are always available to answer and help you in everything you need! Johnson City is very safe and the weather is wonderful! Instead to be a small city, you can do a lot of things! I lived in a great homestay; she helped me to learn English and provided me an opportunity to know others cities! Now, we are good friends...Thank you ELS Johnson City.


Paula and Eduardo Leonardi

February 4, 2013


We had a fantastic experience in ELS Johnson City. We would like to say thank you to all ELS teachers and staff. They were very attentive to us. All of our experiences were very good, especially our homestay. Our family was lovely, caring and attentive to us. We recommend ELS Johnson City to everyone because it is is a wonderful place to study English.
We miss you all!!!
Eduardo and Paula Leonardi

-Paula and Eduardo Leonardi,Brazil

Khaing Zin Oo

January 29, 2013


Firstly, I would like to say thank you to all ELS teachers and staff. After studying at ELS for four months, my English developed dramatically and I met a lot of international friends. Therefore, I could learn their different cultures. ELS-Johnson City is a very pleasant place to study very well among the mountains. I really recommend the students who want to study English pleasantly to come to Johnson City, Tn. ELS Center.
Khaing Zin Oo - Myanmar

-Khaing Zin Oo,Burma

Maria Inez

December 5, 2012


Dear ELS Johnson City,
I wanted to write to let you know how much I enjoyed my time in Johnson City. I am sad to leave my teachers and young friends at ELS. I was nervous and excited about studying again after a long time. The ELS staff is very friendly and it was fun to be with young people. Of course my English improved, but I also learned about other cultures. I would recommend that any 50-something that wants an adventure should go to ELS. The ELS - Johnson City staff really is the best.
Maria Inez Einsfeld
Santa Catarina, Brazil

-Naria Inez,Brazil


August 28, 2012


During two months I had the opportunity to enjoy and learn English at the ELS center in Johnson City Tennessee. I have no words to describe the wonderful experiences I had. Learning a second language for me has been a big challenge. But I can say that during these two months that challenge has turned into great opportunities to improve my English skills. ELS teachers and directors gave me support in my studies as well as in my personal life. They help me learn the language in a nice environment through games, role plays, and many different recreational activities in which I could interact with native speakers and improve not only my skills but also my confidence when using English. Jonson City ELS is not only a center to learn a second language through wonderful experiences, but a big family to have fun and enjoy.



August 28, 2012


Attending ELS Johnson city was one of the most beneficial experiences that I ever had. I could have the opportunity to increase and develop dramatically my English skills; also I had the chance to meet amazing people from all over the world.

ELS Johnson City also has a very supportive and friendly staff and a wide variety of qualify teachers that will make your stay very nice and pleasant.

I encourage you to join the amazing family of ELS Johnson City not only with the purpose to learn a new language but also to learn about life things and different cultures.

The choice is yours, decide for your future, decide for ELS Johnson City.

-Domingo,Dominican Republic


June 27, 2012

Hey, I'm Musleh from Saudi Arabia. ELS in Johnson City has good teachers. They are helpful if you don't understand something. Also, ELS has many activities every weekend such as barbecue, trips, and hiking. Then you can have a lot of fun during the weekend. ELS located in East Tennessee State University that has a big library, and nice gym and many fields to play soccer and tennis. In Addition, Johnson City is small and quiet city. So you can find inexpensive apartments. Moreover, Johnson City has beautiful and natural views because it is located in mountains. I like ELS and Johnson City and I'm lucky man because I came here.

-Musleh,Saudi Arabia


2017 ELS/Johnson City Application

2017 ELS/Johnson City Application

2017 ELS/Johnson City Center Application

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ELS at East Tennessee State University

ELS at East Tennessee State University

Provides a brief description of ELS, our Programs and the Johnson City ELS Language Center at East Tennessee State University. The flyer also offers some specific attributes of the university, its programs and other helpful information.

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Johnson City Center Map

Johnson City Center Map

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Student Activity Calendar - session 12

Student Activity Calendar - session 12

Student Activity Calendar for session 12 in Johnson City

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