Skip to main content

Learn English in Florida!

For nearly four decades, ELS has offered English language and university preparation classes on the Eckerd College campus. Tens of thousands of students from all over the world have benefited from the Eckerd College-ELS connection, enriching both ELS students and the Eckerd College community.

Classes, on-campus housing, and ELS offices are all centrally located at the Continuing Education Center. Housing is also offered with American families through our Homestay Program.

Unique opportunities

  • Meet Eckerd students at social activities, campus lectures, sporting events, as well as informal gatherings
  • Join the Conversation Partner Program linking ELS students with Eckerd students to discuss language and culture
  • Study with Eckerd College faculty and earn a non-credit certificate in International Business and Global Relations (for qualified students only)


  • Baseball field
  • Computer center
  • Gymnasium
  • Running track
  • Snack bar
  • Soccer field
  • Golf course nearby (fee)
  • Tennis courts
  • Language Technology Center (LTC)
  • Kayaking
  • Movie theater
  • Music practice rooms
  • Health center
  • Basketball courts
  • Library
  • Billiards (pool)
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Fitness Center
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Cafeteria
  • Sailing Center

Beautiful waterfront campus

About the Area

When you’re not studying, take advantage of the many things to do and places to go in West Central Florida

Eckerd College is nestled between Fort De Soto Park and downtown St. Petersburg – an arts, cultural and entertainment destination. St. Petersburg boasts dozens of outdoor festivals, concerts, restaurants, Major League Baseball games, theatres, galleries, and museums, including the Salvador Dalí Museum, home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by the late Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí.

Want to get away? Catch a campus shuttle to Eckerd Day at the Dalí Museum, Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens or to the grocery store, mall or Saturday Morning Market downtown.

St. Petersburg

Historic Ybor City, one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida, is located in Tampa, just a quick drive northeast across the bridge over Tampa Bay. Ybor City has been known as Tampa’s Latin Quarter for over a century, offering an exotic blend of aromas, flavors, sights and sounds. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Lightning draw hundreds of thousands of football and hockey fans to the Tampa area.

The State of Florida offers an endless list of day trip adventures, nature shows, sandy beaches, watersports activities, and recreational parks and trails to the resident and visitor alike. Whether it’s by foot, bike, kayak or car, whether you’re the solo traveler or part of a group excursion – Eckerd is at the center of it all.

So many choices

  • Beautiful waterfront campus with sea views
  • Campus Facility Use
  • Year-round warm weather
  • Certificate program options available (Int’l Business/Relations)
  • Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, Busch Gardens
  • Local beaches, Marine life viewing and water sports nearby
  • IELTS Testing Center at ELS Tampa

Key locations nearby

Airport20 (by driving)
Bank3 (by walking)
Downtown Area15 (by driving)
Post Office3 (by walking)
Restaurant(s)5 (by walking)
Shopping Mall/Outlet15 (by driving)
Supermarket10 (by walking)
Bus Stop/Subway3 (by walking)

Explore Florida

ELS Homestay Program

Learning English while living with an American family

Since 1977 Eckerd College has been providing ELS students Homestay experiences with American host families.

What are the advantages of being an International Homestay student?

  • Added opportunities to learn about American culture and language
  • Form lifelong friendships with an American family

What are the advantages of hosting International students?

  • Learn about other countries, cultures and languages! Hear and share stories, and develop memories you can cherish for a lifetime
  • Be an ambassador for your community! Share your home and community with an international student and learn more about the student’s everyday life at home
  • Make lifelong friends from around the world!

Enrich your stay in the U.S. by enrolling in our Homestay program and live with an American family.

Homestay program requirements

  • Kindness. A warm welcome into the home will be the first step towards a great experience for both the family and the student.
  • Acceptance. Students coming to learn English need to feel welcomed.  Students should be made to feel as though they are part of the family.
  • Comfort. A quiet, comfortable place in the home. Students require a private, furnished bedroom with a bed, linens, and a closet or dresser. Bathrooms may be shared.
  • Engage. Boost the student’s confidence by inviting him or her to participate in daily activities.
  • Meals. Hosts provide two meals per day—breakfast and dinner. Breakfast can be continental style. A sit-down dinner five to seven nights per week is required. Dinner is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your student.
  • Transportation. Students are required transportation to and from Eckerd College for their English language courses.
  • Wireless Internet. Students need the opportunity to stay connected and access the internet wirelessly while at home.
  • Laundry. Students are required access to laundry facilities, and assistance using the machines.

Who are our host families?
All host families are known to us. They come by way of referrals. They are Eckerd College faculty, staff and members of our greater community.

Give Your Family the “World”

Host an international student

Every year English Language Services at Eckerd College brings students from around the world to Eckerd College to study English. Hosting an international student provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about other cultures and languages.

The ELS Homestay Program at Eckerd College seeks qualified host families who speak English at home and wish to provide a safe and nurturing home environment for international students of all ages. Regular programs are monthly. In January, a three week Youth Camp Program is offered.

Each host family receives a stipend and can host up to two students.

If you have a spare bedroom, a curiosity about other cultures and a loving heart, perhaps you would make a wonderful host parent. Everyone benefits. Your life will be enriched! Be a host family and make lifelong friendships with people from around the world!

What host families provide

For the Youth Camp:

  • Accommodations for three weeks
  • Two meals a day (breakfast and dinner)
  • Wireless Internet
  • Access and assistance with laundry facilities
  • Transportation to and from Eckerd College

For the Regular Program:

  • Accommodations for four weeks
  • Two meals a day (breakfast and dinner)
  • Wireless Internet
  • Access and assistance with laundry facilities
  • Transportation to and from Eckerd College
Questions about homestay?
Helen Freiday
Homestay Coordinator

Learn more about ELS

Meet our staff

Simon Smith
Center Director

Brittany Janicijevic
Academic Director

Reanna Capra
International Student Advisor