What is ELS?
ELS is an abbreviation for English Language School. Started in 1961 in Washington, D.C., there are over 50 ELS centers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Mexico. Millions of students from over 140 countries have participated in the ELS program. ELS holds twelve Sessions, year-round; each session being four weeks long.

Where is it located?
The Oklahoma City ELS center is located on the Oklahoma City University campus at 1915 N.W. 24th street.

What is a homestay?
Since ELS students come from all around the world to improve their English skills, the best way to speed their progress in learning English is to live with an American family. Sharing your lifestyle with an international student will enrich their stay in the United States. You don’t have to dramatically alter your life to accommodate an ELS student. Simply include your student (or students) in all the normal things you do, just like you would with the other members of your family. Take your student(s) to the store with you. Invite him or her to movies, ball games, sight seeing, to church, etc.

What are the requirements of a homestay?
The most important thing is to provide your student with a private bedroom and access to a bathroom (either shared or private). You will need to provide transportation to and from school, and daily breakfast and dinner (14 meals, weekly; breakfast can be continental). Be ready and willing to do life with your student. Finally, it goes without saying that your family should be fluent in English.

How many students can I host?
Each homestay can have a maximum of two students living with them at any given time. In those cases where more than one student lives in a homestay, we attempt to place students of differing languages so the speaking of English is encouraged. The acception to this rule would be siblings who request to live in the same home. When more than one student is placed in a homestay we require they be of the same sex, either male or female.

When does my student need to be at school?
Classes start each day at 8:30am and end at 3:45pm. Working families may feel free to bring their students earlier in the morning (while on their way to work) and pick them up later in the afternoon (while on their way home from work). Many students spend their extra time on campus at the library or at the school gymnasium. Some homestay families car pool with other homestay families to simplify their transportation duties.

What is the average length of a homestay?
In our own home, the average length of stay has been about 3 to 4 months. Some students come for only a month or two, during their country’s summer break. Other students are sent by their employer for a few months. A few stay for all 12 sessions. Many students choose to stay in the U.S. after graduating from ELS (or after passing the TOEFL exam(Test of English as a Foreign Language)) in order to continue their education at the university level. Any students who stay to enroll in University must move from their homestay after graduating from ELS.

What about expenses?
You are compensated monthly for room and board. This compensation helps cover the additional food, travel, and utility costs incurred by having a student (or students) live with you. Additionally, your expenses are tax deductible by a percentage of the number of students you have living with you. We will be happy to discuss the details of homestay compensation in greater depth with you.

Why would I want to become a homestay?
In our situation, owning our own business keeps us pretty well tied down and it is difficult to get away to travel. We have enjoyed having many students live in our home over the past eleven years as it has allowed us to learn about other cultures from around the world. Our students have been gracious, respectful, appreciative, and fun to live with. We have come to love many of them as part of the family.

How do I become a homestay?
Just give Denny a call to let her know you are interested. She and Bill will take a few minutes to share more with you during an in-home visit. We have students coming next semester that need homes. Please consider hosting them!


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