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San Francisco-Downtown, CA

300 Montgomery Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel.: (415) 796-5356
ELS Center Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (closed on weekends and holidays)


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ELS San Francisco-Downtown opened in 1979 and is currently located in the Financial/UnionSquare District of the city. Our building is the original Bank of America Building and offers classical architecture with state-of-the-art air conditioning, Language Technology Lab, student lounge and kitchen. The center is in the heart of the city, with dozens of cafes, restaurants and shops just outside our door. Public transportation is just within minutes on foot, including all bus, streetcar, BART (regional subway) and cable cars. No car is needed to get around the center of the city. Nearby are several outstanding art and cultural museums, Fisherman's Wharf, Northbeach, Chinatown, Pier 39, Westfield Mall, Union Square elite shopping district. Our Center is dedicated to assisting students meet their language and academic goals and supporting them in a life changing study abroad experience!

  • ELS/San Francisco-Downtown is located in a safe area of the city only blocks from the world famous union square shopping district of the city.
  • World Class shopping, restaurants and museums are within walking distance.
  • All major transport is just a short walk from the center.
  • Center is near many great ELS partner schools including Golden Gate University, Dominican University of California and California College of the Arts
  • Join ELS on social media! #ELSCenters #ELSSFDowntown

Distance to Key Locations from ELS Center

Location Minutes Transportation Method
Airport 40/45/35
Bank 5
Downtown Area 5
Post Office 10
Restaurants 2/10/20/15
Shopping Mall/Outlet 15
Sports Stadium 45/25
Supermarket 15
Pharmacy 1
Public Transportation 10








110V 60KHz.
Electric Plug Details



Programs available at this location

2017 Cost Per Session
$1840 USD
2017 Cost Per Session
$1680 USD
2017 Cost Per Session
$1410 USD
American Explorer Program

Enjoy the Adventure

2017 Cost Per Session
$1350 USD
English for Executives

Group and One-to-One Instruction

2017 Cost Per Session
$5725 USD
Super Intensive English Program

One-to-One instruction

Super Intensive Plus

One-to-One Instruction

Student Residence Lounge Student Residence Bedroom Student Residence Room Student Residence Room (Side View) Spaulding Student Residence Room Hotel on Cable Car line

Homestays in the area(Homestay)

ELS San Francisco Downtown Homestays are located in residential areas around the city and neighboring cities. Commute by bus or BART is normally 40 minutes

Price per Session $1200
Occupancy Single
Minimum Age 17
Airport Pickup $95
Meals / week or Meal Credit
14 meals per week

Herbert/Spaulding Hotel(Student Residence (Off Campus))

ELS students will enjoy Herbert/Spaulding's double-occupancy rooms with private baths. Each room has its own TV, small refrigerator, and a desk and bed for each student. Housekeeping and linen services are provided. The hotel lounge area is equipped with a microwave and widescreen TV, with access to a full shared kitchen in the Spaulding building. Laundry facilities are also available on the premises. Continental breakfast is included.
The Herbert/Spaulding Hotel complex offers ideal security and support. Front desk and housekeeping staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The buildings organize regular student activity nights and movies to promote the student community
Each room includes: -Twin-size beds, linen service provided -One private bathroom in each double room -Desk, small refrigerator, and closet in each room -Free cable and TV -Free Wi-Fi in each room and lobby -Individual room-controlled heat and air conditioning.
Hotel amenities include: -24-hour electronic key/secured access -Linen and housekeeping services -Laundry facilities on-site -Lounge with widescreen TV, couches, chairs, icrowave, and shared full kitchen in Spaulding -Steps away from downtown San Francisco and minutes from public transportation to all parts of the city and greater San Francisco bay area. -Security: 24-hour on site front desk and housekeeping staff, camera security throughout the facility

Price per Session $1150
Occupancy Double
Minimum Age 18
Airport Pickup $95
Meals / week or Meal Credit
7 meals per week - continental breakfast included; other meals not included. New restaurant/sports bar on Spaulding first floor for casual dinners and sports TVs.

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco Mountains and Lake San Francisco Napa Valley Our exciting downtown location in the heart of the city Ira Cohen Center Director Our new larger LTC Student lounge executive classroom entrance lobby Classic SF downtown architecture
  • Computer lab
  • Fee for parking at 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

Ira Cohen

Ira Cohen

Center Director

I have always found working with international students a great experience. I have graduate degrees in Slavic Languages and Literatures and have studied several foreign languages…I have lived and worked overseas, Mexico, Iran, Soviet Union, and understand the great benefit study and work abroad can provide. My 35 years of working in ESL as a teacher and administrator have been very rewarding. As Director of ELS San Francisco, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of great people and come to understand the importance of international cooperation. Seeing our students graduate from ELS and go on to colleges gives me and my staff a great sense of purpose in our day-to-day interaction with students.

Steve Shin

Steve Shin

Academic Director

I have been with ELS for several years and have worked in my position as academic director in several ELS centers. It has been my pleasure to assist students in working through our program and achieving their goals. I am proud of our experienced teaching staff at San Francisco Downtown.

Thomas Breckenridge

Thomas Breckenridge

Assistant Academic Director

I have worked for ELS for over 35 years. My ESL career began after graduation from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio when I joined the Peace Corps and taught in Afghanistan. Shortly after returning to the US, I began to teach at ELS in Washington, D.C. After teaching for twelve years, I became an Academic Director in 1985. I've also worked at ELS centers in Redlands and Oakland, CA, but am now very happily settled in San Francisco.

Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans

International Student Advisor

I have been international student advisor for over two years. I enjoy assisting students to learn about San Francisco, taking them on great activities all over the Bay Area and counseling them on their college selection. I look forward to seeing you in our great city.

Roshan Khorshidchehr

Roshan Khorshidchehr


I was born in Bombay, India and graduated in Psychology and Philosophy. I lived in London, UK for 25 years where I started my career in teaching and Management. I worked at the Adult College for 12 years and my last position was a Quality and CPD Manger. I was responsible for 200 part time professional staff with a budget of over $250,000. My "can-do" philosophy and as an individual who is not averse to change and challenge my move to the US was smoother than I thought. I am the only individual who has worked in all ELS East Bay Centers. My current role is of an IELTS Administrator and a Housing Assistant with ELS, San Francisco.

Krista Khorshidchehr

Krista Khorshidchehr

IELTS Administrator

I have been IELTS administrator for five years and enjoy providing excellent assistance to our candidates. Born and raised in California, I enjoy film, fine food and dancing.

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

Jeoungkyu (JQ)

December 19, 2012


It was a really nice experience at ELS San Francisco. I made many foreign friends and improved my English skills. Also, by various activities I could experience a part of American culture.

-Jeoungkyu ,South Korea

November, 2012


2017 ELS/San Francisco-Downtown Application

2017 ELS/San Francisco-Downtown Application

2017 ELS/San Francisco-Downtown Center Application

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ELS at San Francisco

ELS at San Francisco

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

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Session 1, 2014

Session 1, 2014

Activity Calendar: Session 1, 2014

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Session 12, 2013

Session 12, 2013

Activity Calendar: Session 12

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Session 2, 2014

Session 2, 2014

Activity Calendar: Session 2, 2014

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