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English Language Institute
PO Box 117051
223 Matherly Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7051
Phone: (352) 392-2070
Fax: (352) 392-3744

UCIEP, University and College Intensive English ProgramsThe ELI is a proud member of UCIEP, a consortium of University and College Intensive English Programs


Language Assistants

Andrea Aguilar

HELLO! My name is Andrea. This is my fourth and final year at the University of Florida and I am studying economics (money money money). I was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States when I was 6 years old! I studied French for six years. Languages have always interested me as I speak three. I love talking with students from different countries. It is very interesting to see how different some cultures really are. We can talk about politics, which I love, or anything! I am a big fan of Disney since I grew up in Orlando and I have the annual pass so if you want someone to go to Disney with you, ASK ME!!! I can't wait to meet you!


Camille Armada

Hey everyone! My name is Camille and I'm currently a junior majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and minoring in Teaching English as a Second Language! Im originally from Miami so I love going to the beach, listening to Pitbull songs, and most importantly, drinking Cuban coffee! I absolutely love working at the ELI and am so excited to meet you all!


Kathryn Birdyshaw

Hi there! My name is Katie and I am a fourth-year International Studies major with a minor in Linguistics. I was born in Adana, Turkey, but grew up in Lake City, Florida. I love to meet new people, travel, and spend time outdoors. I am passionate about learning and hope to be a teacher after graduation. This is my third semester as a language assistant and I love my job because I have the privilege of meeting the most extraordinary people from around the world! I can't want to meet you all and have a wonderful semester at the ELI!


Anna Bjorklund

Hi there! My name is Anna, and I'm a third-year dual linguistics and Chinese student originally from Orlando, Florida. This is my first year as a Language Assistant, and I'm beyond excited to be here. I'm a dual Swedish-American citizen whose passion is learning languages (I've studied Swedish, Spanish, Chinese, and as of Fall 2017--Japanese! But of course, there is always room for improvement with all of them, and I am far from perfection). In my travels, I have been to Europe many times (visiting my family in Sweden, as well as several other Western European countries), and this past summer, I studied in Beijing. When I'm not studying languages or learning linguistics, I love reading, writing, science fiction, star gazing, and drinking bubble tea.


Isabella Bobadilla

Hey everyone! My name is Isabella Bobadilla, but everyone calls me Bella. I’m a Junior studying International Studies with a focus in Europe with a minor in French. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida and I have a passion for photography, traveling, languages, and french fries. I absolutely love learning about all the weird things that make everyone's culture so great, so don’t be afraid to say hi! I can talk forever, hope to meet you all this semester!


Zariah Brown

Hello! I'm Zariah, a first year sociology major and Gainesville native. I absolutely love to travel and eat, but then again who doesn't? I got the opportunity to visit Café Friday when I was a freshman in high school. From that point on I was hooked. I knew ELI was where I was meant to be, and am honored to be a first time LA. I'm here for a good time and a long time. I can't wait for you to join us. Welcome to the family!


Jacqueline Chavez

Hello everyone, my name is Jacqueline Chavez and my preferred pronouns are she, her, and hers. I am a fourth-year double major in international relations and political science, with a French minor. I love learning new languages and cultures. I am currently learning my fifth language, Arabic, and I just spent this past year traveling through Europe, Asia, and Africa. Joining the ELI has been one of my best decision during undergrad, and I cannot wait to spend this last year with amazing, diverse students and staff!


Kaitlyn Cheshire

Hey everyone! My name is Kaitlyn, but you can call me Kait. I am a fourth-year Political Science major, with minors in Linguistics and Leadership, and a certificate in International Relations. I absolutely love learning about people and cultures!! I speak four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Turkish. I can't wait to meet you all!!


C'Andre Codner

Hey everybody! My name is C'Andre. I am a fourth year linguistics major with a minor in African Studies and getting my certificate in Teaching English as Second Language. I travelling, love learning languages and cultures from around the world as I'm currently learning Arabic, French, Korean, and Spanish. I am very passionate about aviation and I eventually want to become a pilot in the future. I am excited to be a Language Assistant again and I can't wait to meet all you guys!


Shaina Crum

Hello there! My name is Shaina and I am a 4th year linguistics major here at UF. I'm also working towards getting a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language, or TESL. After I graduate I really want to travel the world and country hop. The dream is to live in a country for a year or two while teaching English there and then moving to a new country and starting all over! I love singing (I'm in an a cappella group called Tone Def) and painting and of course, learning about new cultures. I can't wait for you all to share yours with me!


Joshua Dadural

Hello everyone! My name is Josh. I'm a 4th year International Studies major. I love learning about different perspectives around the world and bridging it together with my passion in medicine. I recently got into UF's Pharmacy School so I will be in Gainesville for another 4 years! I want to one day combine my major with pharmacy and be a part of the international pharmaceutical community. Some of my hobbies include traveling and listening to The Beatles. I look forward to meeting all of you!


Madelyn Diller

Hi everyone! My name is Madelyn Diller, but you can call me Maddie. I am a third-year linguistics major with a minor in TESL and I love learning about different cultures through language. My hobbies include reading good books, cooking and eating new foods, hiking, and spending time with friends, new and old! I've lived in Florida all of my life but I love learning about and traveling to new places. I think the ELI is one of the best organizations at the University of Florida and I'm excited to be a part of it!


Chance Falasiri

Chance Falasiri is a senior who is majoring in International Studies and Linguistics. He has a passion for language and just returned from a 10 week program in Morocco where he was learning Arabic. He also has a passion for Middle Eastern culture and history, spending extensive time in both Iran and Turkey as well.


Josh Fetterman

Josh Fetterman is a UF Senior, studying Telecommunication Production (film and video), and currently in his 5th semester as a Language Assistant. He loves Netflix, shooting movies, volleyball, hiking, talking (about literally anything, though especially religion), playing board and card games, and anything that involves people! If you see him say hello, because he would love to meet you.


Maria Hernandez

Hello everyone! My name is Maria G. Hernandez. I was born in Mexico. I moved to Florida when I was 5 years old. I am a senior double majoring in Psychology and Linguistics at UF. I love to travel and meet people from all over the world. I plan to go abroad to teach English after I graduate. I enjoy learning different languages and cultures. One of my goals in life is to do the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I am a new LA this semester for the fall, and I am very excited for what I can learn from and offer to the ELI.


Nate Hovnanian

Hi all! My name is Nate Hovnanian (yes, another Nate!) I’m a third-year student majoring in Linguistics and International Studies Europe track. I love traveling and learning new languages. I also am taking a minor in French. My hobbies include: yoga, gardening and drinking coffee. I'm very excited to be joining the ELI this semester!


Crystal Jin

Hi everyone! My name is Crystal. I am a fourth-year Marketing major, with a minor and a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language. I was born in China and came to the U.S. when I was sixteen years old. I have lived in both Connecticut and Pennsylvania before I came to UF, and I absolutely love the warm weather and sunshine in Florida! I speak three languages: English, Mandarin, and Korean. I love traveling and meeting people from different countries and cultures, and I am going to study abroad in London next summer! I am so excited to be part of ELI this semester!


Polina Kruglova

Hello my name is Polina Kruglova and I'm a fourth-year Political Science major and a Latin American Studies minor on a prelaw track. I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and grew up in Miami, Florida. Growing up in a bilingual household, I spoke Russian and English. However, growing up around Spanish speakers helped me acquire a third language. Now I know Spanish at an intermediate level and I hope to advance in the language with my studies. I love traveling, photography, Indian cuisine, concerts, foreign films, psychology, nature, volleyball, medieval architecture, reading, and coffee. It's my first semester as a Language Assistant and I’m excited for more events and opportunities to get to know the ELI community better. My aim is to expand my perceptions and knowledge of different cultures and make friends from all over the world along the way.


Nathaniel Lee

Hi Friends! My name is Nathaniel Lee and I'm a third year Biology major with minors in German History and Anthropology! I love learning and speaking new languages, I'm a native speaker of English and understand Spanish and Arabic better than I can speak them, and hope to add German to that list soon! I enjoy running/biking distance, and more than anything in the world I absolutely love soccer! Can't wait for a fun semester.


Anna Levin

Hello hello, everyone! My name is Anna Levin and I’m a senior linguistics major at UF. This is my third semester as a language assistant with the ELI and I absolutely love it! I love traveling and meeting new people from all over the world. After graduation, I plan on doing more traveling so I can experience as much of the world as possible. The ELI has given me so much, including a community. I'm so grateful and hope I can contribute to the future success of this wonderful program.


Lauren Limburg

Hello everyone! My name is Lauren Limburg and this is my first semester as a Language Assistant and I am looking forward to meeting everyone. I am a junior pursuing a degree in English and a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language. I love running, playing volleyball with friends, and learning as many languages as possible. I would love to one day teach abroad and eventually get my Masters degree in English!


Laura Londono

Hiya everyone! My name is Sara Londono and this is my second semester being a Language Assistant. I am currently a sophomore studying Psychology with a minor in French and Business administration. An interesting fact about me is that I grew up in St. Augustine, FL but I also lived 4 years in France! I love traveling, meeting new people and learning about other cultures! I can’t wait to meet everyone and I'm looking forward to a great semester!!


Estefania Martinez

Hi all, I'm currently pursuing a double major in Political Science and Economics here at the University of Florida. Since my freshman year when I first became a gator and began to work at the ELI, I have found that there is nothing I enjoy more than learning from people who are different than me. Through the ELI I've had the privilege of meeting incredible people who have shaped my life for the better and shown me a small piece of the world. Ever since the ELI, I have understood the importance of always keeping an open mind and being curious about the world out there. I hope that your journey at the ELI is as gratifying as mine and that you become a true global citizen!


Estefania Melo

I am Stefanie Melo, a third semester LA at the ELI. My major is Microbiology & cell science and I love playing soccer and volleyball - those are my favorite weekday activities to go to. I was born in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States when I was 2. I am currently trying to learn Portuguese and I have a perpetual craving for Indian food. Speaking of food: I love food! One of my favorite things to do is walk around the grocery store and shop; I probably spend 80% of my money on food but there's no shame because it makes me happy. I love working at the ELI but most of all I love making friends with the wonderful students that I encounter. I've made some great friends and I'm positive that i'll make even more in semesters to come!


Chad Pierre

Hey guys! My name is Chad Pierre and I am a junior studying health education on the pre-medical track! You'll usually see me around campus smiling and studying. I love to travel and go on adventures. I am really into sports mostly soccer, basketball, volleyball but I will play anything! One day, I hope to become a pediatrician and help all children all over the world while traveling. Super excited to meet all of you this semester.


Alex Rabinowitz

Hi all! My name is Alex Rabinowitz, and I entering my fourth and final year here at UF. I am studying both International Studies with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Spanish. I hope to attend law school in the fall of 2018 following my graduation at the end of Spring 2017. I am originally from South New Jersey, outside of Philadelphia, but I moved to Fort Myers, Florida when I was 13. I have an immense passion for culture, connecting different people, and meeting individuals from all walks of life, which is why I love my job here. I am also an avid ping pong player, so anyone who is up for a great table tennis challenge, I am your guy. I look forward to meeting many of you soon!


Emily Simmons

Hi! I am Emily and this is my first semester as a language assistant. I am originally from Sykesville, Maryland, but lived in Orlando for the 6 years before coming to UF. I am a sophomore Linguistics and Arabic double major, with a minor in Hebrew and a Teaching English as a Second Language certificate. Needless to say, I love languages! I am incredibly excited to be working at the ELI this semester and join the family! Please stop and say hello if you see me around campus!


Kyla Slappey

Hello, my name is Kyla Slappey and this is my first semester as a Language Assistant. I am a sophomore here at UF studying International Studies. I was born in New jersey but was raised in Florida. I love the outdoors and am happiest when I am kayaking or hiking in the Florida wilderness. One day I hope to travel the world but for now I will settle with meeting new and exciting people from all over the world. I am so excited to be apart of ELI and cannot wait to meet you all!


Natalia Tohme

Hey guys! My name is Natalia Tohme, this is my first semester as an LA and I’m a fourth year double majoring in International Studies and Medical Geography. I love learning new languages (thanks duolingo), playing volleyball, and soccer! Being raised in Miami and traveling every year to Lebanon and Greece to visit family, I’m always trying new foods, meeting new people, and going out dancing, and I hope to do the same here at the ELI!


Yeni Verdel

Hi everyone, my name is Yeni Verdel. I am a fourth-year student majoring in Health Education. I hope to work with minority population in the future. I have traveled to Guatemala to provide medical care to people in rural villages. I love learning about people, culture, and languages. During my free time, I like to binge watch documentaries on Netflix. I am excited to be a part of the ELI Family this semester!


Madhur Sonny Wadhwa

Hi guys, my name's Madhur but most of my friends call me Sonny. I am now a 3rd year premed nutrition major. I was born in India but have lived in central Florida for most of my life. I really enjoy spending time with students learning about their culture and I can bring food up in just about any situation. I've been told I'm a great cook but I hate to do it so I've stuck to the eating half. If you ever want to talk about basketball, food, or history I'm your guy.


Ryann Welch

Hello, my name is Ryann. I am majoring in International Studies, and I am minoring in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance. I would love to have a career in international law, or something related to sustainability. I enjoy learning new languages, reading, and volunteering.


CIP Assistant

Elizabeth Pantaleon

Tate Quinones

I am a senior pursuing dual degrees in international studies focused in the Middle East and public relations. Additionally, I have a minor in Arabic and am a part of the International Scholars Program and the Peace Corps Prep program. I started out as a Conversation Partner my first semester at UF and since have been a Language Assistant for four years. Now I serve as the Cultural Immersion Program Assistant, which means that I help with planning activities and assisting Language Assistants! I am a cultural enthusiast, therefore I absolutely love making friends from different parts of the world and different walks of life. Personally, I enjoy listening to music in different languages and dancing to anything that sounds good. I particularly enjoy dancing salsa, bachata, belly dancing and dabke! I am so grateful for all the wonderful people I've met and experiences I've had during my time at the ELI, and I am so excited to keep making great memories in the semesters to come!


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