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ELS San Francisco, North Bay, California at Dominican University of California

Learn English in San Francisco, North Bay on a university campus with ELS Language Centers.


About ELS San Francisco, North Bay

Located in the heart of California's San Francisco Bay Area, San Rafael exudes a unique charm with its rich history, cultural diversity, and access to scenic landscapes.

Learn English at ELS San Francisco North Bay, on the campus of Dominican University of California, where you can enjoy the perfect blend of academic excellence and the diverse attractions of San Rafael. The campus, surrounded by the natural beauty of Marin County, provides students with easy access to local gems like Downtown San Rafael, the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods, and China Camp State Park. Beyond the university, students can discover the historic architecture, cultural events, and community-friendly atmosphere that make San Rafael a welcoming place for students seeking both educational and cultural enrichment.

From the charming downtown district to the scenic wonders of Marin County, students can explore the unique shops, restaurants, and cultural events that contribute to the distinctive appeal of this North Bay Area city, creating an enriching experience during your language learning journey.


Learn English in San Francisco, North Bay
at ELS on the campus of
 dominican-university-of-california-logo 1-min

The private, independent Dominican University of California is the only four-year university in Marin County, just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. This progressive, forward thinking university prides itself on innovation, incorporating a variety of learning techniques into the curriculum. ELS students enjoy access to the same facilities as students, allowing them to congregate in the student lounge and share coffee in the courtyards or take advantage of the sports fields, fitness center and gymnasium.

Planning to transfer to an American college or university after your studies? Upon successful completion of ELS Intensive English level 112, you will fulfill the English language entry requirement for conditional admission to Dominican University of California, as well as additional nearby partner colleges and universities, and upon successful completion of level 109, students will fulfill the proficiency requirement for partner community colleges.

Explore Dominican University of California
An exterior view of Angelico Hall at Dominican University of California, the host institution of ELS Language Centers in San Rafael, California, USA, near ELS San Francisco, North Bay.

Why you should Choose
ELS San Francisco, North Bay for Your English
Learning Experience

  • San Rafael is surrounded by the natural beauty of Marin County, offering you a tranquil retreat with its scenic landscapes, parks, and hiking trails.
  • Get the full American student experience as you connect with students around the Dominican University of California campus, and while you use the university facilities.
  • When you’re not studying in San Rafael, you can take advantage of the city’s close proximity to San Francisco, where you can discover the vibrant cultural scene and iconic landmarks of this famous “City by the Bay”.
  • Choose the right program to meet your goals and interests, whether you’re looking for intensive English study, or a program that supports more free time to explore and experience the US, we have something to meet your needs.
  • Study with our customized engaging curriculum and reputable high quality English training – ELS’s Intensive English levels 109 or 112 meet the English language entry requirement for more than 600 colleges and universities throughout the USA!

Unique opportunities at
Dominican University of California

Class Visitation

University Class Visitation

Once you’ve reached ELS level 109, we can arrange free class visits for you so you can see what it’s like to learn at Dominican University of California.


Volunteer Experience

ELS San Francisco North Bay students have access to a variety of volunteer opportunities for students in the area, providing a great way to practice English and deepen your cultural immersion!


Concurrent Enrollment

Students who meet Dominican University of California entry requirements and have achieved ELS level 110 can take concurrent studies at the university while still an ELS student.


American Conversation Partnerships

ELS students can connect with current Dominican University of California students to practice their English conversation.


IELTS Testing Center

Planning to take the IELTS test? You can take the test at our ELS San Francisco IELTS test center in downtown San Francisco.

Learn More

Explore the ELS San Francisco, North Bay Campus


Dean Wright
ELS San Francisco, North Bay Center Director

Dean is a graduate of Dominican University of California and has been welcoming international students to the ELS San Francisco North Bay center for almost 30 years. He has studied and lived in China, Germany, Taiwan, and England and strongly believes that studying abroad at ELS should be a life-changing and enriching experience for all students. For those interested in continuing their education in the United States, Dean is very experienced in helping students prepare for and transfer to American colleges and universities.


Important Campus Info


  • 16
    Years Old
  • 12-15
  • 18

ELS San Francisco, North Bay | Dominican University of California Campus Facilities

  • sports-fields
  • basketball-court
  • cafeteria
  • computer-lab
  • fitness-center
  • free-parking
  • gymnasium
  • library
  • Music Practice Room
  • football-soccer-field
  • swimming-pool
  • tennis-court
  • wi-fi

Things to do in San Francisco, North Bay

Explore San Francisco, North Bay’s top attractions to make your English study experience unforgettable. 
Sunshine shining through trees along a trail at Muir Woods National Monument, a nature preserve in California, USA, near ELS San Francisco, North Bay.

Muir Woods National Monument

Embark on a short 30-minute journey to explore California's cherished 115-meter redwood forest at Muir Woods National Monument.

A view of the famous abandoned federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California, USA.

Alcatraz Island

Visit the historic Alcatraz Island and tour the infamous former prison. The ferry ride provides panoramic views of the city and the bay.

A roller coaster at Six Flags® Discovery Kingdom in Valejo, California, USA, near ELS San Francisco, North Bay.

Six Flags® Discovery Kingdom

Experience wildlife wonders at this theme park featuring sensational exhibits and shows, including Northern California's exclusive "swim with the dolphins" program.

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, USA, near ELS Language Centers.

Golden Gate Bridge

Discover the iconic symbol of the Bay Area, the Golden Gate Bridge, offering breathtaking views of the city and the bay. Walk, bike, or drive across for an unforgettable experience.

Waves washing up along the beach at Half Moon Bay in California, USA, near ELS Language Centers.

Bay Area Beaches

Indulge in a leisurely day at picturesque Bay Area beaches like Stinson Beach, Ocean Beach, and Half Moon Bay for a relaxing day by the Pacific Ocean.

An aerial view of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in California, USA, near ELS San Francisco, North Bay.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Experience the best of both worlds at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an iconic seaside amusement park captivating visitors for more than a century. Whether you're craving exhilarating rides on roller coasters or longing to immerse yourself in the coastal ambiance, this boardwalk seamlessly blends seaside charm with exciting amusements for an unforgettable experience.

A gold ball on the grass at a golf course, a popular sport in San Rafael, California, USA, near ELS Language Centers.


Enjoy affordable, local options to play golf in scenic surroundings. Nearby courses such as McIness Golf Course and Peacock Gap Golf Club offer reasonably priced rounds, providing an accessible and enjoyable golfing experience that caters to a range of skill levels.

ELS San Francisco, North Bay
Homestay Accommodation

Live with a local family for a unique cultural immersion experience. In homestays, students are responsible for their own transportation. Most students commute to class by bus or bike, while some families are within walking distance.

Housing availability and confirmations are contingent on university and/or provider approval and are subject to change.

  • price
    Cost per week
  • single
  • Meals
    Meals per week
  • age
    Minimum age

ELS San Francisco, North Bay
Student Residence

The San Rafael Student Home is located in a safe, quiet area of San Rafael. It’s a five minute free shuttle ride to and from the center.

Housing availability and confirmations are contingent on university and/or provider approval and are subject to change.

An exterior view of the San Rafael Student Home, an accommodation option for students studying at ELS San Francisco, North Bay in California, USA.
  • price
    Cost per week
  • double
  • age
    Minimum age
  • shared-kitchen
    Meals not included
    Shared fully-equipped kitchen
  • off-campus
    Off Campus
    Get to the ELS campus in ten minutes by driving or 15 minutes by cycling.

Discover ELS English Programs in San Francisco, North Bay

Intensive English

Our most complete English learning experience, designed to develop your language proficiency to support success in English-speaking higher education, business, or in any activity where you need to speak English well. Choose this program if you plan to attend one of the 600+ colleges that recognize ELS level 109 or 112 for language entry. 

Semi-Intensive English

Make English language development a priority while still leaving plenty of time to discover local culture and activities. Enjoy four daily English lessons designed to quickly improve your English communication skills. Outside the classroom, connect with locals and discover the attractions in your USA study city. 

American Explorer

The American Explorer Program offers a casual English learning experience while providing plenty of free time for local discovery and American cultural immersion. Designed for the curious explorer, this relaxed study program will help you improve your English to enrich a short-term study adventure. 

English for Executives

English for Executives is built to cater to the unique needs of business executives and professionals. Combine group classes designed to build comprehensive English skills with private lessons tailored to your specific learning needs and business communication goals.  Available for individuals or for teams. 

Super Intensive English

A fully customizable, one-on-one course designed for executives and professionals to quickly gain proficiency in business English. Choose 15, 20 or 30 lessons per week, and schedule this flexible program at a time that fits around your professional and personal commitments. 

ELS 2 + 2 Program

Combine ELS study with 2 years at a California community college, followed by 2 years at a top university. Realize your dream of earning a degree from a world-recognized university while you take advantage of tuition savings, lots of support, individualized attention, and smaller class sizes. 

College Year Program

Study English at ELS San Francisco, North Bay, then complete one full first-year semester or quarter at Foothill, De Anza, or Santa Rosa Junior College, choosing from a wide variety of first year courses. Enjoy an English language immersion experience that will enrich your life and support your future study goals. 

Where to Find ELS San Francisco, North Bay

ELS San Francisco, North Bay is located on the Campus of Dominican University of California:

  • 190 Palm Ave,
    San Rafael,
    California, United States
  • (415) 485-3224