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ELS USA LOCATIONS

San Francisco-North Bay, CA

190 Palm Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901-8008
Tel.: (415)485-3224
ELS Center Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (closed on weekends and holidays)
On the campus of: Dominican University of California
For more information on this institution's programs click here

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ELS/San Francisco - North Bay is located on the campus of Dominican University of California (DUC). Just north of San Francisco, the city of San Rafael is safe and beautiful. The Center is within walking distance of DUC. The area offers outdoor activities, such as hiking, golf, swimming and sailing.


  • Campus Facility Use
  • Mild winter weather
  • San Francisco & Berkeley convenient by public transportation
  • Napa & Sonoma Wine Country nearby for weekend trips
  • Parks & Beaches: Yosemite National Park, Muir Woods, Stinson Beach or Pt. Reyes Seashore also close enough for weekend trips

Distance to Key Locations from ELS Center

Location Minutes Transportation Method
Airport 60
Bank 20
Downtown Area 20
Post Office 25
Restaurant(s) 20
Shopping Mall/Outlet 10
Supermarket 15
Bus Stop/Subway 5

LEGEND

Walking

Bike

Car

Bus

Train


Electricity

110V 60KHz.
Electric Plug Details

1

2


Programs available at this location

2015 Cost Per Session
$1790 USD

2015 Cost Per Session
$1680 USD

2015 Cost Per Session
$1410 USD

American Explorer Program

Enjoy the Adventure

2015 Cost Per Session
$1350 USD

The main patio of the Student Home Enjoy great views from the private backyard A picture of the shared kitchen All rooms have wireless internet access The Deluxe Suite

San Rafael Student Home(Student Residence (Off Campus))

Note: \*Doubles Delux and Single Delux are females only
\*Single Room is available per special request. Contact Center directly. The San Rafael Student Home is located in a very safe, quiet area. It is within a short 5 minute free shuttle ride offered to and from the center, and also provides free trips upon students' requests to the nearby mall and grocery stores.
The San Rafael Student Home offers private (single) and shared (double and triple) bedrooms. Shared bedrooms and bathrooms are usually for two to three students. In the female wing, a single superior room is available (cable installed television, DVD player located in the room).
Students who choose standard rooms will share a bathroom and living area with other residents. Please know that there is only private bathroom in the double deluxe space (female only). When a bedroom is shared, students are usually paired with another student from a different country, but you can also request to stay with a friend.
Each room is provided with linens (mattress cover, bed sheets, 2 blankets, 1 towel, and 1 pillow) as well as a desk and closet space. There is also additional storage space located on the facility to place empty luggage and bicycles. All students have access to plates, pots & pans, cutlery, and cooking utensils.
\*Located in a safe residential neighborhood just 3.5 KM from ELS \*Free daily shuttle van to ELS and anywhere in San Rafael \*Walking distance to a large shopping mall with cinemas, restaurants, and inexpensive food court \*Next to bus stop with bus service to San Francisco \*Shared living rooms with TV and DVD players \*Wireless internet \*Shared dining room \*Shared fully equipped kitchen \*Recreation room \*Laundry room \*Daily cleaning service for common areas and requested bathrooms

Price per Session $780 - 1520
Occupancy Double Deluxe, Double, Double, Double, Single Deluxe, Single, Single, Single, Triple, Triple, Triple
Minimum Age 18
Airport Pickup $150
Meals / week or Meal Credit
No meals included, but students may cook in the large and well equipped kitchen, or eat at the nearby restaurants or food court that are within walking distance of the Student Home.

Homestays in the area(Homestay)

Host family students are responsible for their personal transportation. Most students commute to ELS by bus, or bicycle, although there are a few families within walking distance

Price per Session $1105
Occupancy Single, Single, Single
Minimum Age 14
Airport Pickup $150
Meals / week or Meal Credit
14 meals per week (daily continental breakfasts /dinners). No lunches on weekends.

Pennafort Hall Fanjeaux Hall Meadowlands Campus Tennis Courts Campus Gym ELS Fitness Room San Rafael Farmers Market City of San Rafael l

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

Jessamyn Embry

Jessamyn Embry

Center Director

Hi. My name is Jess and I’m the Center Director at ELS San Francisco North Bay. I love my job because I get to work with students from all over the world. It’s my pleasure to introduce students to beautiful Marin County and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. I have a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from American University and a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language from the SIT Graduate Institute. I’ve worked in International Education for over 10 years and love helping students learn English to realize their dreams. Stop by my office any time to say hi or talk about your plans for the future!

Cynthia Fisher

Cynthia Fisher

Academic Director

Hello! My name is Cynthia (Cindy) Fisher. After teaching English as a Second Language for over 20 years on three continents, I have made my home at ELS –San Francisco North Bay. I am lucky to work in a field that I love. I am passionate about teaching, as well as learning, and have always felt that I receive as much from my students as I give. I have taught all levels of English for adults and children, including specialized classes for business executives and groups. My career has taken me around the world where I have had the opportunity to experience cultures by living with the people I taught. I understand what it is like to be in a stranger in a strange land and unable to communicate. My goal is to help you succeed on your journey.

Monica Steward

Monica Steward

Homestay Coordinator

Greetings, my name is Monica and I am the Housing Coordinator. I place students in our ELS San Francisco-North Bay host families. The community of Marin county is a welcoming, engaging group of eclectic students from all over the world. I really enjoy getting the opportunity to see our students become friends and create life-long memories together. I find it very rewarding to forge relationships between our international students and our American homestay families. I moved to Berkeley six years ago from New Orleans, and work with two other ELS centers in the Bay area! There is an incomparable richness and diversity in the people, food, music and culture in this area . The natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area is unparalleled, and I thoroughly enjoy helping students discover the multitude of sight-seeing and cultural activities. I've taught English for fourteen years and have worked with international students for eight years. Over the years, I've learned a lot from our international students and hope to get the opportunity to share American culture with future ELS students like you.

Kenji

April 7, 2015

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Kenji is graduating with his ELS 112 Certificate. He plans to return home to Japan for a few months before starting at the New York Film School in Los Angeles to study acting. He has studied with ELS San Francisco-North Bay for one year.

ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Kenji: I chose this center because it had very similar climate, it was very comfortable, and the reputation for the most difficult.

ELS: What was a favorite memory of yours while studying here?
Kenji: I love Special Coffee Day. This was my most favorite event. I can talk with many students and teachers. The donuts are delicious. It happens once a session, but I wish it happened every week.

ELS: Did you meet any American friends while you were here?
Kenji: Yes! Last summer I went to Novato and we played billiards many times.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations for any future students, who plan to study at ELS San Francisco-North Bay?
Kenji: Speak only English because I think it’s not only about passing your class to learn English, especially if you want to go to university. Students should find as many opportunities to practice speaking English.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Kenji: Halloween. I only knew about the concept of it, but I didn’t know why it was celebrated or about the history of it. I misunderstood that it wasn’t just for kids. Adults and college students dress up and participate too!

-Kenji,Japan

Lydia

April 7, 2015

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Lydia: ELS assign me here in San Francisco-North Bay and I was very happy for that. It is a beautiful place.

ELS: What was a favorite memory of yours while studying here?
Lydia: I met so many friends from Japan, China, and Saudi Arabia. I met a lot of interesting people and learned about different cultures!

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Lydia: My advice is you should take advantage of everything here: the classes, the different people around you, and all the experience you will learn!

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Lydia: The dinner is very early. The American people are very worried about the environment. They love their pets!

ELS: How can ELS improve (if applicable)?
Lydia: I think it is a very good school, congratulations! It was a pleasure to be here for me!

-Lydia,Mexico

Hao-wen "Zac"

April 7, 2015

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Zac: My agent recommended it to me. It was very close to San Francisco, but better for study.

ELS: What was a favorite memory of yours while studying here?
Zac: I liked studying with students from other countries, this was the best part! Also, ELS made many events like Halloween Party, MBA games, Gingerbread house-making party, and pumpkin carving.

ELS: Did you meet any American friends while you were here?
Zac: Yes, I met them through other ELS students. We went to lunch. My one American friend was very strong and he would talk and help me to understand how to use the equipment and machines in the gym. They are all very friendly. I also had a
Conversation Partner, through ELS!

ELS: Do youhave any recommendations for any future students, who plan to study at ELS San Francisco-North Bay?
Zac: If you really want to be a good student, this is the best center! This is a challenging center, but it will help you when you want to transfer to university/college. I don’t think it is a good idea to go to an easy center, because you need to be challenged to go to school.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Zac: I was surprised at how polite drivers are when walking on the street. Drivers rarely honk.

-Hao-wen "Zac",Taiwan

Guadalupe

April 7, 2015

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Guadalupe: Because it is an amazing program, even though my school in Mexico chose this center for me, it was the best choice.

ELS: What was a favorite memory of yours while studying here?
Guadalupe: To meet so many people from so many cultures. Every time they put us together, we celebrate, like St. Patrick’s Day.

ELS: Did you meet any American friends while you were here?
Guadalupe: Yes, my host family and the bus driver. They were very nice.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice
for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Guadalupe: Yes, you need to stay for more than one month, because it is incredible here!

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Guadalupe: How Americans greet one another and what time is the normal time to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.

-Guadalupe,Mexico

Fabio

April 7, 2015

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Fabio: I originally wanted to go to ELS in Australia, but it was super expensive. I talked with my friend, Lucas, who studied here last summer, and he recommended this location.

ELS: What was a favorite memory of yours while studying here?
Fabio: The friendships I have made, especially with the Saudi students, who are so nice! I have met people from all over the world and that is so special to me.

ELS: Did you meet any American friends while you were here?
Fabio: Yes, from the gym and cafeteria. I like to study here because I met so many Americans. Since ELS is located at Dominican University of CA, there are many American students studying here.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Fabio: Americans follow the rules very well, for example pedestrians and drinking laws. It is very good at following the rules, they are very strict laws. In Brazil, we are more relaxed and the rules are not so strict.

-Fabio,Brazil

Noura & Yasser

April 7, 2015

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Noura: Because it’s a good center to study.

ELS: What was a favorite memory of yours while studying here?
Noura: Every time and moment! The favorite memory of ours is the people, office staff, teachers, and other students!!

ELS: Did you meet any American friends while you were here?
Noura: Yes, a lot of them! I loved English Club; it was such a good way to meet American friends!

ELS: Do you have any recommendations for any future students, who plan to study at ELS San Francisco-North Bay?
Noura: Don’t miss school. All the teachers are good and the area is very beautiful.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Noura: If you work hard, you will get what you want. Americans are very friendly with anyone. I feel comfortable to ask questions and they will help me to understand and improve. I learned American slang.

-Noura & Yasser ,Saudi Arabia

Kento

August 6, 2014

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Kento: I thought this was a good place to study because it was quiet compared to the centers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Kento: I have studied here for four months.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Kento: I loved to play basketball with my international friends. It was very exciting. We played in the gym on campus sometimes
with Dominican neighbors. We didn’t limit ourselves just to basketball; we also played soccer and volleyball. I also really appreciate the staff for giving me lots of help and guidance surrounding my choice to apply for Georgetown University.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Kento: For high schools students, you need to be independent
and self-motivated. I would also recommend the Conversation Partners Program, which gives you the opportunity to talk with American people. Also you get to learn about culture and how life is in the American school.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Kento: One thing I was surprised about was how much the teachers really care about their students. I immediately felt comfortable with my teachers and I think they tried to explain things again and again if you don’t understand. The teachers are passionate about their job and they take pride in your success.

-Kento ,Japan

Zihua "Wilson"

August 6, 2014

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco- North Bay as the center for your studies?
Wilson: My friend studies here and recommended it to me. The environment is the best.

ELS: How long have you studied at our center?
Wilson: Since September 2013.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Wilson: Meeting new friends and having funny classes. Also, I really liked graduation and am happy to see students graduate onto bigger things each month.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any
future students who plan to study here?
Wilson: I would tell them about some studying skills- remember vocabulary and grammar. I would tell them about daily life, like
transportation. I would recommend for them to live in a host family, because it is the best way to practice your English and to learn about the way to stay in a foreign family.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Wilson: About shower time- Americans always take showers in
the morning. Also about laundry; in China we do laundry every day, while in America they do laundry once a week.

ELS: What are your plans now after studying with ELS?
Wilson: I will attend De Anza College and study engineering.

ELS: How has ELS prepared you for De Anza College?
Wilson: ELS has helped me with my English language, learning, reading and writing skills.

ELS: What is one thing you will miss about ELS?
Wilson: I will especially miss the teachers and just studying only English.

-Zihua "Wilson",China

Shogo

June 26, 2014

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Shogo has studied with us for over one year and he just recently graduated level 112 from our Semi-intensive program. He plans to start at the University of San Diego in the fall. We are all very proud of him!

ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?

Shogo: I really liked how far it is from the big city. It takes 20 minutes to get to San Francisco. I think this is good for studying, because there is no place to distract you.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?

Shogo: Traveling with my friends. I also really enjoyed playing Frisbees with the teachers during the school activity last summer. It was really fun playing on the lawn with the sun shining on us. I really like the activities that ELS plans for us.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?

Shogo: Students shouldn’t make boundaries or walls for themselves. They should make good relationships with many different cultures. It is good to know other cultures other than Japanese. Don’t talk to only the students from your culture
because other students will feel left out.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?

Shogo: One thing I was very surprised about is that when I lost my wallet, it was returned to me. I was very surprised to have it back. This is different in Japan. I also learned the phrase “pay it forward” and I really like this.

-Shogo,Japan

Xinyi

June 26, 2014

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Xinyi stopped by ELS today to say hello. She just graduated from Dominican University of CA with an International Business degree. She studied with ELS for 6 months before attending the university.

ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?

Xinyi: It is safe and small. The center is located at Dominican University of CA and that was the school I wanted to attend. I also wanted to know about the environment before going to the university.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?

Xinyi: Wow that is a long time ago. I do remember when my friends and I went to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and we rented bikes. We biked over the Golden Gate Bridge and then took the ferry back. It was so much fun and a beautiful time of the year. Plus I remember getting a sun burn.

ELS: You recently graduated from Dominican University of CA. How did ELS San Francisco-North Bay help you with the transition to the university?

Xinyi: ELS taught me how to communicate well with native speakers. Also, the research project we did was very helpful, because they taught me how to do citations. In China, we do not do citations, so it was important for me to learn that for university.

ELS: What is some advice or recommendations do you have for future students who plan to study at our center?

Xinyi: Do not just hang out with other Chinese people or only your culture. It is good to make friends of other cultures. Also, do not be shy. Also, since ELS is located at Dominican University of CA, you should hang out with Americans so that you can learn about their culture and language.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?

Xinyi: My stereotype was that all Americans eat meat, but that is not true. I also found that American students are very independent and they work part-time jobs while in school. This is very different than in China.

ELS: What are your future plans?

Xinyi: I want to travel around the world. My international business degree is perfect for this! Also, I have been working with my dad’s company since January and have been working hard and long. When I return to China, I want to stay with my family and get a local job at home.

-Xinyi,China

Tomoyuki "Tomo"

April 14, 2014

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?

Tomo: It was not my decision. My company made the decision. Two years ago, my mentor came to ELS San Francisco-North Bay for training. He gave very good feedback to the company. My boss explained to me that it was a safe place and did not have tough climate such as Chicago and New York City.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Tomo: 6 months- half a year.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Tomo: I went to AT&T park with my friends for baseball game. Even though the Giants lost big time to the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was a good experience. It was a lot of fun. Also, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite are so beautiful with great nature. This amazing nature is only found in California.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Tomo: Dominican has a wonderful library. It is very unique. ELS New York and Vancouver do not have a library like this. The library is a great place to study. My recommendation is to use the library as much as you can.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Tomo: American culture? I usually take America for granted. I don’t focus on the differences. People in American society really respect international students and are really understandable and open to non-English speakers. I did not have to hesitate with my English skills, because Americans are very kind and friendly.

-Tomoyuki "Tomo",Japan

-Tomoyuki "Tomo",Japan

Nobuhiro "Nobu"

April 14, 2014

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Nobu: My agent recommended ELS San Francisco- North Bay to me. California has great temperature and the people here are amazing. San Rafael, in particular, is very peaceful and safe.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Nobu: I have been studying for 1 year.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while
studying here?
Nobu: I have too many good memories. The most important memory is meeting my friends and girlfriend.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Nobu: I would recommend do not lose your purpose.Everything is so special, treasure it. Also, go out and do not always stay inside.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Nobu: I thought that typically America would be dangerous, but in some parts, like San Rafael it is safe like Japan. Also, I was surprised that Americans are not so muscular like they are in the movies.

-Nobuhiro "Nobu",Japan

June Young

April 14, 2014

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as
the center for your studies?
June: I wanted to study somewhere that was safe and a good place to concentrate on my studies. My agent recommended ELS San Francisco- North Bay for the safety of the center, the library, campus life, and that there were not that many other Koreans. My first intention was to learn English and I wanted to have a variety of students at the center to do so.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
June: I have been studying for 6 months.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while
studying here?
June: I loved going to Disneyland and my first ever NBA Warriors game with my friends.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
June: I really enjoyed living with other girls in the student home. Also, I recommend eating in the cafeteria for breakfast. The one thing I would say is to not stay in your room all the time, because you should go out and meet people and learn about different cultures. It is not fun to be alone all the time.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
June: When you watch movies and TV shows taxis are just waiting for you outside the building. I was surprised to know I had to call for taxis, especially since I was in San Rafael. I just thought I could waive them down. Also I really love American dogs and how friendly everyone here is.

-June Young,South Korea

Yasir

November 12, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?

Yasir: First I chose California, and then I looked at the centers with the least amount of Saudi Arabian students. ELS San Francisco-North Bay was the center I chose because of the variety of other cultures present.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Yasir: 1 session.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Yasir: In my host family, I was asked to clean my bathroom and I have never done it before. I also made many friends from other cultures here.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Yasir: Ask your teachers anything you want. They are very supportive inside and outside of the classroom. They gave me lots of support to help me understand ways to pass my classes. I also suggest speaking to the ISA, she is very resourceful.

-Yasir,Saudi Arabia

Tatiana

November 12, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Tatiana: ELS program is very well-known in Russia as a good school to educate students on English. The North Bay center has good climate and a quiet place for studying.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Tatiana: 1 session.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Tatiana: Special Coffee Day, Halloween, and the Ice Cream Social were all very fun because of the collection of students. The coffee day was good because it gave us time to drink our coffee and prepare for the day. The teachers, especially Brigit, Gretchen, and Trisha were very helpful and friendly and made my overall experience good.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Tatiana: Participate in activities, speak with the ISA, don’t be afraid to ask your teachers anything, and complete your homework in the library. Teacher Trisha was so helpful and shared with us all the tourists’ spots in the area.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Tatiana: Americans are so friendly. Everyone says hello to you, even if they do not know you. People are happy and they smile a lot. Now I have more positive impressions of Americans, than before.

“I like the teaching system. It mostly concerns discipline to participate in lesions, take part in all activities, and prepare homework, which are all very important.” – Tatiana ’13

-Tatiana,Russia

Gilvan Allan

November 12, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Gilvan Allan: I chose this center because there were a variety of other cultures. It was a safe city and near the big city of San Francisco. The North Bay center is also located at a university and it is good because we can use the gym, pool, and other amenities.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Gilvan Allan: 1 session.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Gilvan Allan: The exchange of cultures: I found out how other students think, live, and speak. It was a very rewarding experience.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Gilvan Allan: Be open to the habits of different cultures, accept differences, and don’t be shy. The more you talk and express yourself, the more you learn.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Gilvan Allan: Lots of American people eat healthy food. Sometimes abroad, Americans are portrayed as only eating burgers and French fries. This is wrong, Americans eat healthy food too.

“Teachers are very good here. The method is very interesting and the interaction among students is very good. If people come with an open heart, it will not only be a learning experience, but a life experience.” – Gilvan Allan ‘13

-Gilvan Allan ,Brazil

Khaled

November 12, 2013

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Khaled stopped by today to visit our center. He has been studying for MBA at Cleveland State University.

ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Khaled: My friends highly recommended the center to me.

ELS: How long did you study with our center?
Khaled: 1 year from May 2011-May 2012.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?

Khaled: I don’t just have one favorite, I have many: Halloween, International Day, and the graduations. Halloween was so amazing, because we played many games and had activities for both students and teachers. The International Day was really fun because both students and teachers participated.

ELS: As I understand, you are studying a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) at Cleveland State University. How did ELS San Francisco- North Bay help you with the transition to the university?
Khaled: In May 2012, I graduated with my 112 certificate from ELS. With this certificate, I was able to gain admission into my university without taking the TOEFL exam. I also remember taking a class about research in the afternoon that was very helpful for writing. It really helped me to prepare to write case studies and papers in my classes now. The teachers were always very helpful to me as well.
The English skills I learned overall helped me the most.

“ELS San Francisco- North Bay has everything you
need to learn English and enjoy your time.” – Khaled ‘12

-Khaled,Saudi Arabia

Anonymous

August 20, 2013

ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Student: There are many reasons that I chose the center, but the first is because my father’s friend lives in San Francisco. I also really admire Frank Lloyd Wright and he designed/built the Marin Civic Center. San Rafael is also very good for living; it is safe and has good weather.
ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Student: Almost 4 months; from April to August.
ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Student: I really enjoyed everything. It was all so new for me. One of my most favorite memories was visiting Seattle with my host family. I attended a tour with an English tour guide and I felt very comfortable understanding him, because of my studies at ELS San Francisco- North Bay.
ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Student: I recommend watching dramas, because my host father likes addictive dramas. I watched them with him during my stay. The dramas helped me with my listening skills, which benefited my learning. I think that the listening skill is the most important skill to have, because without it you wouldn’t have the ability to understand and/ or communicate with others.
ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Student: I had an interest in American culture before studying here. I was surprise though to find that Americans were so open-minded. Whenever I went to San Francisco by bus, the townspeople easily responded when I asked questions. People were always so friendly.

-Anonymous,Japan

Amanda

August 20, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Amanda: I knew I wanted to attend a center in California and my agent told me that San Rafael was quiet and didn’t have many Brazilians. I wanted a place where I could practice my English and meet many other nationalities.
ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Amanda: San Francisco and the friends I made were the highlights of my stay. Lots of friends I made were from other countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, and South Korea. I also really enjoyed my host family. They were always so friendly and helpful.
ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Amanda: Try and participate in as many ELS field trips and events as possible. They are good opportunities to meet new friends and practice your English.
ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Amanda: I was surprised how big the 4th of July Independence Day holiday was. I didn’t realize that it was such a widely celebrated holiday with fireworks and family BBQs. Also it was surprising to learn that San Francisco was not always warm. When you think of California, you think of warmth, but that is not always true in San Francisco.

-Amanda,Brazil

Ya Li "Tina"

July 23, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose ELS San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Tina: I chose ELS San Francisco- North Bay, because my sister studied here before. She told me how safe it was and how it was a very good place to study.
ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Tina: I have been studying here since September 2012, so almost 10 months.
ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Tina: I think my favorite memories involve studying with my friends. I really enjoyed learning English with students from other countries. The way that other students learn from other cultures really gave me perspective on how I learn.
ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Tina: My advice is to practice speaking English as much as you can. Don’t be afraid or shy, because everyone at ELS is trying to be a better English speaker. You can only get better if you practice.
ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Tina: I think that the festivals were a major eye opener. In San Rafael there are so many festivals and activities of all different kinds. People are always so kind and say hello.
ELS: What is your plan for the future?
Tina: Well I just got accepted into Concordia University in Oregon. I plan to go back home to Taiwan for a couple of months, then transfer to the ELS Portland center to be closer to my university.

-Ya Li "Tina" ,Taiwan

Luca & Francois

July 23, 2013

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Luca and Francois asked to do their interview together. Luca is from Italy and Francois is from Switzerland.
ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Luca: I wanted to come near San Francisco, but I really wanted a place that was both safe and quiet, so my agency suggested this center.
Francois: I knew I wanted to come to California, but didn’t want to study in San Francisco. My decision was between here and San Diego. I liked that this center was close to San Francisco and it was known for its safety.
ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Luca & Francois: We both studied her for 2 sessions.
ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Luca & Francois: We became friends right away. We explored downtown San Rafael a lot and met people from all over the world. We really enjoyed socializing with the natives and learning about the culture. We also really enjoyed the San Francisco tour with ELS.
ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Luca: Be responsible! Spend lots of time with people from other countries. Also, it is good to have fun and explore, but you should also go to your classes and do your schoolwork. Both will help you succeed in learning the English language.
Francois: Go out and explore. Eat different food and find out about all the different great restaurants downtown San Rafael and in the surrounding areas. Meet people and the locals, they are always so kind and helpful.
ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Luca & Francois: Europe is not so different culturally from the U.S., but the buildings and traffic infrastructures are different. Europe is very old; sometimes you find buildings that may be 1000s years old. In San Francisco and San Rafael the buildings are a lot taller than they are in Europe. Also drivers are very respectful and abide by the laws of driving.
Francois: California is about 10 times the size of Switzerland, so that is very different. But none of these things really speak about the cultural differences.

-Luca & Francois,Switzerland

Yoshi

July 10, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Yoshi: I heard from my agent that San Francisco-North Bay is a comfortable place to live for students. In fact, people in North Bay area are always friendly and helpful.

ELS: How long did you study with our center?
Yoshi: About a year

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Yoshi: I met many students from different countries, who was also studying at ELS San Francisco- North Bay, which gave me extremely valuable experiences and widened my international perspectives.

ELS: You recently graduated with your Masters from Dominican University of CA. How did ELS San Francisco- North Bay help you with the transition to the university?
Yoshi: ELS helped me with the entire application process for Dominican University of CA. The center director checked my documents and resume, so I was not worried about getting in. Also, the ELS program was very helpful to me, since I learned American academic skills and acquired academic writing and presentation skills that are required in the MBA classes.

ELS: What is some advice or recommendations do you have for future students who plan to study at our center?
Yoshi: I recommend ELS students to meet as many people as possible. Do not only take advantage of meeting students in that classroom, but also outside of classroom to improve English skills and develop international perspectives. Students should take advantage of every opportunity to improve themselves, such as the English Club and/ or the Conversations Partners Program.

-Yoshi,Japan

Maiko

July 10, 2013

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Maiko stopped by our office to visit and we asked her to answer some questions about her stay with us as well as what she was doing now.

ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Maiko: First off, I really wanted to focus on my studies and ELS San Francisco- North Bay seemed quiet, safe, and a good environment to do that in. It is also located at Dominican University of CA and that was very attractive to me.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Maiko: I studied for one year from 2011-2012.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Maiko: I learned about Ramadan, which is a Saudi Arabian religious fast. After their fast, they had a huge party. I was invited to one and I learned how fun it was to interact with different cultures. It is totally different than reading it in a book. We were together in the same place and it was so interesting.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Maiko: I recommend that you not stick together with students from your own country. It is really nice to meet and make friends from other countries. This enables you to practice and speak English. You are here at ELS to learn English. By making friends from other countries they can support you in doing so.

ELS: What are some things ELS San Francisco-North Bay has helped you with?
Maiko: The teachers really encouraged me to be more confident and conquer my shyness. I was extremely shy when I first came to ELS and they helped me to overcome the fear of speaking in front of people. In college, we have lots of presentations, so the help from ELS has given me the confidence necessary to be successful in these presentations. The staff really helped me in my transferring process. I was accepted into College of Marin because of the help of the ELS teachers and staff.

ELS: What are you doing now, since leaving ELS?
Maiko: I am studying childhood education at College of Marin. I chose College of Marin because there were few Japanese students and I wanted to broaden my horizons with the people I met. In one year I am going to transfer to a university in South Korea. While I was studying at ELS I learned not only that I could speak English, but also Korean. My dream is to teach internationals students in my country and to encourage them to study abroad as I did. ELS San Francisco- North Bay has forever changed my life.

-Maiko,Japan

Samira

July 10, 2013

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Samira stopped by our office to visit and we asked her to answer some questions about our center and what she is doing now.

ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Samira: The view of it from the website and how it was in California is why I chose this center. San Francisco is also known to be the best city in California, so I knew I wanted to live close to the city. I also have relatives here.

ELS: How long did you study with our center?
Samira: I studied for one year from 2010-2011. For the first 6 months I lived with my uncle in the area and the other 6 months I lived with a host family. My host family was always so sweet and nice. I still stay in touch with them.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Samira: Learning about all the other cultures and making a lot of international friends. I also enjoyed site seeing and visiting new places with my ELS friends.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco-North Bay?
Samira: I recommend that you enjoy your time here and don’t waste one second of it. ELS San Francisco- North Bay gives you the best change to study and learn English.

ELS: What are some things ELS San Francisco-North Bay has helped you with?
Samira: ELS helped me to learn English. My English has improved significantly since moving from Iran. When I started ELS, I was in a beginning level only really knowing the basics and the alphabet. After studying with ELS for one year, I graduated from the program and transferred to College of Marin. The staff was always supportive, helpful, and kind. They understood my needs and always made me feel like I was not alone.

ELS: What have you been up to since leaving ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Samira: I am currently studying Accounting at College of Marin and planning on transferring to a four-year college soon. My hopes are to either attend Cal State Fullerton near Los Angeles or UC Santa Barbara.

-Samira,Iran

Mariana

July 10, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Mariana: I like San Francisco and I really liked the accommodations provided at this center. I really chose San Francisco- North Bay for the location. Location is the key.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Mariana: Originally it was supposed to be one session, but I have to return home after two weeks because my university contacted me and I have to take a required course back in Mexico City. I am sorry to leave early, because I really like it here. I really really like it here.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Mariana: The tour of San Francisco was a great memory of mine. Visiting different parts of the city with ELS and friends I made was a highlight of my trip. The friends I have made from all over the world really made me happy during my studies. Overall, the entire trip was a good memory.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Mariana: Yes, I really think that students should come here willing to learn. The best advice I can give is to speak in English at every moment of their time here. I would also recommend the Student Home because it is like your own community made up of all these different students from all over the world. You have the opportunity to meet many different people and make many friends.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Mariana: I knew a lot about American culture before studying here, but one thing that is different than in Mexico is the traffic. Americans really respect the rules and laws of driving here. They slow down when a yellow light comes on as well as respecting pedestrians. In Mexico, the drivers rarely slow down or stop for pedestrians. I do it, but it is uncommon.

-Mariana ,Mexico

Hassan

July 1, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Hassan: I was first studying in a school in Sacramento, but I wanted to transfer to ELS San Francisco-North Bay because I heard that they help a lot with admissions to universities. My scholarship only gives me one year to complete ELS and transfer, so I am happy that I made the change, because now I am going to university in Tennessee with my wife.

ELS: How long have you studied with our center?
Hassan: I have studied here for one year and I live off campus in my own apartment with my wife and son. Because I had a family, it was better for me to live off campus in my own space.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Hassan: San Rafael, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz are my favorite cities in California. Marin County is very green and relaxing. The weather is normal and traveling around is easy. There are so many kind people in San Rafael and it was nice to not see so many people from Saudi Arabia, so it was easy to practice English in my spare time.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Hassan: It is a good idea for any student to prepare for their studies. The program at ELS San Francisco-North Bay is challenging but very effective. I also suggest that students practice their English by writing and using good vocabulary. Your goal in coming here should be to learn English.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Hassan: I thought that all Americans were rich and had a lot of income. After living here, I found that many families have both parents working in the home. Also, the family dynamic is very similar to Saudi Arabian culture; families stick together a lot longer than I first expected. I thought that once the children turn 18 they separate from their families, but really there are many adult children living with their parents in America. The one thing that is different is that in Saudi Arabia, sometimes after you are married you can still live with your families.

-Hassan,Saudi Arabia

Pedro

July 1, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Pedro: A teacher in Brazil had studied here in the North Bay area and she told me that this center was a safe and beautiful location to live in.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Pedro: The landscapes are the most beautiful part of being in this area. Everything is so nice and clean. The environment makes you feel like home.

ELS: Did you participate in any activities during your stay? What were they?
Pedro: There were many activities available to the students. I participated in the San Francisco Tour, the Scavenger Hunt Competition, and Game Day. ELS San Francisco – North Bay has many great opportunities to get involved and learn about American culture.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco-North Bay?
Pedro: ELS San Francisco-North Bay is a great school. My advice is to keep your mind open to new cities, cultures, and people. The city here is very safe and easy to get around in. It is a very good place to live.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Pedro: I knew a lot about the American culture before studying here because I used to travel often here throughout my life. But one thing I noticed was that America’s traffic is organized differently than in Brazil. Americans use turn signals and respect red lights. I feel very safe walking around San Rafael because drivers are aware of me walking across the street.

-Pedro,Brazil

Toshihiko

June 24, 2013

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We asked Toshihiko to answer some questions for us before he returned to Japan.
ELS: How long have you studied with our center and why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Toshihiko: I have studied here for 8 months. San Rafael is very peaceful and I am able to concentrate on studying English.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Toshihiko: For a homework assignment, I had to interview two Dominican students about their homes. At the time of the interview, I forgot what I was supposed to ask, but I do remember that I was very happy and smiled a lot. This was an unforgettable memory for me.

ELS: Do you have any recommendations and/or advice for any future students who plan to study at ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Toshihiko: My advice is to always to keep talking. Ask Questions. Don’t be shy. Also, challenge yourself. In Japanese culture, we are very conservative and shy, so we are unlikely to partake in activities, but in American culture you are encouraged to participate.

-Toshihiaki,Japan

-Toshihiko,Japan

Mutlu

June 20, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Mutlu: I have some American friends who live in San Francisco and they suggested this location as a very great place to study. It is quiet and very comfortable.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Mutlu: I went with two other students (one from Brazil and the other from Columbia) to visit Angel Island. We took the ferry over there. It was super interesting because there was a Civil War demonstration and we were able to take a picture with the old American army.

ELS: Did you participate in any activities during your stay? What were they?
Mutlu: I participated in the San Francisco tour, which was one of my other favorite memories. We took the ferry into the city and walked around Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square. I also went many places with my friends and host family.

ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Mutlu: I noticed that the cars in California always stop and wait for people who may want to cross the street. This is something that I wished they would do back in Turkey.

-Mutlu,Turkey

Elizaveta (Liza)

June 20, 2013

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ELS: How did you decide on your university?
Elizaveta: Dominican University of CA is in a good area. The program was what I was looking for and it was highly recommended to me. The people at Dominican are very nice and helpful. I have been studying at ELS for seven months and made many friends already.

ELS: How did you go about in applying to Dominican?
Elizaveta: ELS and Matt, in particular, helped me to apply to Dominican and with the entire application process. I also met with people from the Admissions Office to go over the process and help me get admitted.

ELS: What major do you plan on studying and why?
Elizaveta: I am studying to get my Masters in Business Administration. I chose this major because I have a huge interest in it and I want to learn all about it. I like to communicate my ideas and would like to learn how to present them well.

ELS: What would you recommend to other students who are undecided on a college or university?
Elizaveta: I really think it is up to the individual. The university must be interesting to the student. My advice is to learn as much as possible about the university in which you may attend and then make the decision. It is your choice.

ELS: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years from now?
Elizaveta: I want to be a businesswoman, somewhere in the Hospitality industry (restaurants/hotels). I would love to have a family with children. I have yet to decide in which country; maybe Russia, but at this point anywhere in the world is a possibility.

ELS: What was your favorite part of ELS San Francisco- North Bay?
Elizaveta: I loved learning about the culture, people, and everything that was new to me. ELS is very special to me and I will always remember my studies here.

-Elizaveta (Liza),Russia

Younga (Lily)

June 12, 2013

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ELS: Why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay as the center for your studies?
Younga: Before I came here, I asked my agency to find a university in California since I expected the weather to be perfect. Because I was bringing my 10 year old daughter, the director of my agency strongly recommended San Rafael for its stability and safety.

ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Younga: The ELS office hosted many events during my study. The two activities I enjoyed the most were the Halloween party because everyone (including the teachers) wore Halloween costumes and the International Festival, because we were able to share many different foods and cultures.
ELS: You recently graduated with your Masters from Dominican University of CA. How did ELS San Francisco- North Bay help you with the transition to the university?
Younga: The ELS office helped me a lot to apply for my Masters Program. They submitted all documents for me that included my graduation certification and I-20 to Dominican University of CA’s Admissions Office. My studies at ELS helped me a lot in my Masters’ courses. The presentations that I gave while an ELS student gave me the confidence I needed to give Masters’ presentations. The essay writing class at ELS enhanced my writing and research skills to enable me to write my thesis and research papers.
ELS: What is some advice or recommendations do you have for future students who plan to study at our center?
Younga: Studying abroad and learning different languages is not easy, but the warm and cheerful atmosphere at ELS is very important. The ELS San Francisco- North Bay center is the perfect place to learn English. The office is so helpful and the teachers are very knowledgeable and highly skilled. Students should have an open mind to learn not only English, but also different cultures from all over the world. When you are open to learning, you will enjoy your learning more and achieve your goals faster.

-Younga (Lily),South Korea

Jessica

June 7, 2013

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We asked Jessica to answer some questions before she returned to Brazil.
ELS: How long have you studied with our center and why did you choose San Francisco-North Bay for your studies?
Jessica: I have stayed for one session. I think it was too short. I wish I could stay for two more months. My agent in Brazil told me that San Rafael was a small city and it had good opportunities for me to meet many different students.
ELS: What was one of your favorite memories while studying here?
Jessica: I love it here! Everything! My host mother- she is wonderful because she is like my second mom. We do everything together. Every night we eat dinner together.
ELS: Did you participate in any activities during your stay? What were they?
Jessica: I went bowling and on the San Francisco tour through ELS. I went to Los Angeles through California Tours. Besides that, with my host mom we visited the Petaluma outlets, Farmer’s Market, San Francisco, Chinatown, Petaluma, Napa Valley, and Sausalito.
ELS: What is one thing you learned about American culture that you did not know before studying here?
Jessica: I noticed that whenever you are on the bus or in public, people always ask how your day has been and if you sneeze they always say “bless you.” Americans were always so kind and nice to me.

-Jessica,Brazil

Tamaki

February 25, 2013

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Last week, ELS San Francisco North Bay had an unexpected guest - a former Japanese student visiting his roots here in San Rafael and saying goodbye one last time to friends and family here in San Francisco.

ELS: So why are you back here in San Rafael?

Tamaki: I just graduated from University of La Verne, and have three weeks off until I go back to Japan. I wanted to say bye to the staff, teachers and my host family here. I also wanted to drive the west coast again on Route 1 before I left.

ELS: What was your first impression of ELS here in San Francisco-North Bay?

Tamaki: The campus is very nice and the people are very friendly. I was able to meet a lot of new students and learn quickly about American culture.

ELS: What was your favorite memory while here?

Tamaki: My favorite memory was Halloween. This was the first time I dressed for the occasion and found it really funny that EVERYONE dressed up, even the teachers.

-Tamaki,Japan

Hawaiian Luau

June 23, 2015


For a final activity for Session 6, we hosted a luau at the Dominican University of CA cafeteria. We had a Hawaiian-inspired menu and distributed leis to everyone in the cafeteria that day. It was super fun with limbo and also the use of temporary tattoos. A great way to end a summer session.

San Francisco Ferry Tour

June 23, 2015


A group of students and the ISA traveled to San Francisco by ferry. It was super fun to see the students get super excited about riding the ferry (many for the first time). When we arrived to the ferry building in San Francisco we took the F bus/rail to Pier 39 and Fisherman's wharf. We ate clam chowder on the pier and took many great pictures as a group. We tried to carve out time to ride the famous Cable Cars, but it was going to take too long. It was a super fun day!

Flag Day Activity

June 23, 2015


In honor of flag day on June 14th, we decided to make flag t-shirts. The students were so creative and made very different designs with the paint. It was super fun and relaxing on a hot day.

San Rafael Downtown Walking Tour

June 23, 2015


With a few new students, our ISA took them on a walking tour of San Rafael. It is only a short walk from the ELS center. We visited the public library and some students got a free library card. The students learned that with a library card you can borrow up to 50 books and 10 DVDs at once. We also visited City Hall, the fire station, and a yummy ice cream shop downtown for a treat.

Day Under the Oaks Event at Santa Rosa Junior College

June 23, 2015


Santa Rosa Junior College hosted their annual "Day Under the Oaks" event. They had many presentations, demonstrations, club tables, and fun games. Two of the most popular activities for our students was the official planetarium they have on campus and the chemistry show, where they had fire and super cool scientific experiments.

Kayaking Trip

June 23, 2015


This was a super fun activity as many students haven't kayaked before. The students had so much fun and it was a perfect day to be out on the water. We got a couple of super cool shots and a few of us ventured further closer to the Richmond Bridge until it got too muddy.

Volunteering at Earth Day

June 23, 2015


For Earth Day, the cafeteria at Dominican University of Ca had a challenge to see if students would reduce their food waste if they knew the amount wasted on a previous day. Our students served local food and educated Dominican students of the consequences of wasting food. The students had a lot of fun and were able to practice their English skills and meet American students.

Trip to Sausalito

June 23, 2015


As a fun activity to teach the students how to use the Golden Gate Transit system in Marin, we traveled to Sausalito. We walked downtown and learned about the history of Sausalito and ate delicious and famous ice cream from Lappert's Ice Cream.

Chinese New Years Celebration

June 23, 2015


We took a large group of students to the Annual Chinese New Years Celebration in San Francisco. The parade was fabulous as usual and the students really enjoyed exploring the city and the many different musical demonstrations at this festival. The food was delicious too.

Saint Patrick's Day

May 8, 2015


To celebrate Saint Patrick's Day we had a small gathering at lunchtime and students participated in Irish dances and other activities. They also had the opportunity to dress in different green hats and other accessories.

Holi Festival Celebration

May 8, 2015


To honor the traditional Indian Holi Festival, we decided to design colorful t-shirts. The students really enjoyed this activity and got really creative with their designs. We may make this a center tradition moving forward.

San Francisco City Tour

May 8, 2015


We traveled to San Francisco by bus and visited Golden Gate Park, Haight Street, Union Square, and the Golden Gate Bridge vista point. For many students this was their first time in San Francisco and it was super fun listening to their excitement about each site we visited.

Western Party

March 31, 2015


We hosted a western party event with many activities: line dancing, cowboy and cowgirl swag, where students could dress up with hats, scarves, and glasses, and the best part we had a photo booth! Even the teachers joined in! It was a lot of fun! The food was delicious and western-themed as well!

Religious Leaders visit ELS

March 27, 2015


Three religious leaders from the Inter-Religious Council of Marin spoke to our students about Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. They spoke about the differences and similarities of both. Students had the opportunity to ask questions.

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ELS at the Dominican University of California

ELS at the Dominican University of California

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

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Session 9 Activity Calendar

Session 9 Activity Calendar

In this session's calendar, students will be able to meet many Dominican students through activities such as the Oakland A's Game, Movie Night with Americans, and our Community Service Discussion. Students will always have the opportunity to visit San Rafael and San Francisco, go on a hike overlooking Marin County, and an awesome water balloon capture the flag activity to finish the session off right!

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