University of Florida Homepage

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 NightZoom6:00pm-8:00pmPlay online games with students and LAs like trivia and jeopardy!
Tuesday Plaza HangoutPlaza of the Americas - Requires a signup5:15pm-7:15pmHave a regular socially distanced walk around downtown! Remember your masks!
Wednesday Coffee and Culture TalkZoom6:00pm-8:00pmMake your favorite warm drink and join us for different cultural discussion each week! Share about your culture!
Thursday Movie NightZoom6:00pm-9:00pmWatch 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!

DayActivityLocationDescription
January 16Icebreakers at the Plaza
UF's Plaza of the Americas
See signup for details
Come meet fellow students and your teachers and play some games to get to know each other! Requires a signup and don't forget your mask!
January 16Virtual Show and TellZoomGet to know your new ELI friends and teachers by finding and sharing fun items related to you!
January 23"Among Us" NightZoomDo you like to play the new App game, Among Us, with friends? Want to learn? Join us for this fun mystery game!
January 30Virtual Origami NightZoomCome make some fun shapes and learn how to do origami paper art! All you need is paper!
February 6Depot ParkDepot ParkCome see on of Gainesville's newest parks with your ELI friends! Requires a signup and don't forget your mask!
February 6Scattegories NightZoomCome play this fun, out-of-the-box word game with your ELI friends and LAs!
February 13Baking NightZoomJoin us in learning how to bake some easy sweet treats together over Zoom!
February 20Virtual Yoga
ZoomSocialize, relax, and stretch with a yoga lesson from a certified yoga teacher!
February 20Paint the Wall
Norman HallCome paint a giant mural on campus with the ELI! Requires a signup and don't forget your mask!
February 27Zoom KaraokeZoomShow off your singing skills and play some fun song games with the ELI.
March 6I SpyZoomJoin a fun competition to see who is the quickest at spotting hidden images!
March 6Kanapaha Botanical GardensKanapaha Botanical GardensCome explore Gainesville's most beautiful garden and see plants from around the world! Requires a signup and don't forget your mask! This event requires ticket purchase.
March 13-April 17Activities to be AnnouncedGainesvilleJoin us for many more activities to be announced in March!

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.