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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.

Monday Game NightZoom6:00pm-8:00pmPlay online games with students and LAs like trivia and jeopardy!
Tuesday Downtown Hang OutDowntown Gainesville - Requires a signup6:00pm-8:00pmHave 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!

September 5Campus Photo Walk
UF Campus
See signup for details
Walk around campus with ELI friends and LAs. Requires a signup and don't forget your mask!
September 5Guess Who Icebreaker ActivityZoomRespond to fun questions anonymously and see if your ELI friends can guess which responses were yours!
September 12Disney Escape RoomZoomSee if you can do this challenging virtual escape room and learn more about Disney Parks from afar! If you know a lot, show us your skills!
September 19Depot Park WalkDepot Park
See signup for details
Come explore one of Gainesville's newest parks and get outside with your ELI friends! Requires a signup and don't forget your mask!
September 19Zooomba!ZoomGet some exercise and learn some moves with your ELI friends and LAs virtually!
September 26Virtual Card NightZoomCome play all kinds of card games in a unique way! Show off your card playing skills!
October 3Gator Craft Night and Watch Party!ZoomJoin us for an easy craft tutorial and watch some of the Homecoming Game over Zoom!
October 10Lake Wauburg
Lake Wauburg
See signup for details
See UF's very own lake and rent boats with your UFID! Requires a signup and don't forget to wear a mask!
October 10ELI Ultimate Trivia
ZoomSee how much you know about the ELI in a friendly competition!
October 24Loblolly ParkLoblolly Nature Trail
See signup for details
Come enjoy a short nature trial in the woods along a creek and hang out in the park after! Requires a signup and don't forget your mask!
October 24I SpyZoomJoin a fun competition to see who is the quickest at spotting hidden images!
October 31Halloween Party!ZoomJoin us for a virtual costume competition, spooky stories, and other Halloween American traditions and games!
November 7UF Bat HousesUF Bat Houses and Student Gardens
See signup for details
Come see thousands of bats come out on UF's campus! Requires a signup and don't forget your mask!
November 7Kahoot Quiz Ultimate CompetitionZoomHow many Kahoot quizzes on various topics can you win? Let's find out who the ELI champion will be!
November 14Cooking TutorialsZoomWant to learn how to make an American dish? Come learn an American Fall favorite before the holidays begin!
November 21Virtual Thanksgiving Potluck and PartyZoomCook your favorite holiday dish from your country and have dinner with the whole ELI! Share what you made and how you made it, and also share what you are thankful for!
December 5Lake Alice Nature HuntLake AliceHow many plants and animals and other surprises can you find as you explore Lake Alice? Requires a signup and don't forget your mask!
December 5ELI Choose Your Own AdventureZoomJoin us for a fun group survival game - specific to the ELI!

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.