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Cultural Immersion Program (CIP)

Cultural Immersion Program Coordinator: Tate Quinones

Practice enhances learning. The purpose of the ELI Cultural Immersion Program is to create opportunities for practice and to make activities fun so that students will want to practice. Student life at the ELI is an experience you’ll never forget! Follow the CIP on Instagram @UFLELI.

Weekday Activities

Every weekday there will be something to do after your classes are finished. Weekly sports and activities are organized by the Language Assistants. The Language Assistants are your English speaking peers. They meet with students in the evenings to do many different things. The activities change every semester based on the students’ interests. All of these activities are fun and will help you practice real-life English.

DayLocationTimeDescription
Monday Game NightZoom6:30pm-9:30pmPlay online games with students and LAs like trivia and jeopardy!
Wednesday Coffee and Culture TalkZoom7:30pm-9:30pmMake your favorite warm drink and join us for different cultural discussion each week! Share about your culture!
Thursday Movie NightZoom6:30pm-9:30pmWatch a movie with students and LAs each week. Vote on the movie you watch and chat through the chat feature with everyone while watching! Stay after to socialize!

Weekend Activities

There is a lot to do in Florida! The weather is beautiful and there are many attractions across the state. Each weekend the Cultural Immersion Program plans a trip for the whole ELI. There are three types of trips: tourist spots, cultural events, and outdoor activities. For example, a trip to a tourist spot could be Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL or Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL. A cultural trip could be to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral or an arts festival. An outdoor trip could be to go horseback riding or to go canoeing and snorkeling at one of the famous springs in the area. There will usually be one Language Assistant for every five students on a trip. The weekend activities let you learn about places in the US and practice your English while Language Assistants act as tour guides.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19 we are currently doing virtual activities on Zoom until we can resume face-to-face.  Please see the list of activities below to see what fun virtual activities we have each weekend!

DayActivityDescription
May 23Geographical Quiz Bowl
How many countries can you name? Join us for a fun cooperative competition!
May 30Language SharingTeach your friends and LAs phrases in your native language!
June 6E-Card MakingCreate Ecards together to send to local retirement homes!
June 13Baking NightJoin us for an easy recipe to make at home, or just come and watch!
June 20Dance TutorialsTeach fellow students and LAs a dance from your country!
June 27Escape Room
Do a virtual escape room with an ELI team!
July 11Craft NightMake (or watch) an easy craft online together with ELI friends.
July 18At-Home Scavenger HuntJoin a fun competition to find common household items!
July 25Personality Quiz Night
Take fun personality quizzes together online and have a fun discussion
August 1Tour your Home Country
Give all of your friends a virtual tour of your home country!

Volunteer Program

Volunteering is very popular in the United States. A lot of people spend time helping other people. For example, they visit the elderly at nursing homes, they take care of children at nurseries, or they may build houses for people who cannot afford to buy one. At the ELI, we help our students volunteer for five reasons:

  1. To help other people
  2. To get experience in your professional field
  3. To learn about US culture
  4. To meet people from the United States
  5. To practice speaking English!

After you decide what you want to do, the Language Assistants and the Volunteer Coordinator will help you organize your volunteer time. Each semester we offer a volunteer of the term award to the ELI student who has made the greatest contribution to the Gainesville community through volunteering. One day each semester, the whole ELI gets together to volunteer. Volunteering is an experience you will never forget. Sign up here if you are interested in volunteering!

PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19 we have paused in-person volunteering until we can resume face-to-face.

Conversation Partner Program

The Conversation Partner Program is a popular part of the ELI Volunteer Program. It is a chance for UF students to meet one on one with a student at the ELI. Volunteers are matched with interested ELI students. The partners then meet for about an hour a week, spending at least half of the time conversing in English. Sometimes the partner who speaks English is trying to learn the native language of the ELI student. If they are, the partners will spend about half of the time speaking in that language. If you would like more information about the Conversation Partner Program, please email us.

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to COVID-19 this program is now virtual, and you can meet your partner by phone or on Zoom.