Thursday, December 6, 2007

Frequently asked questions about international students

Compiled by Lindsay Dickson

What programs are offered?
Undergraduate international students are able to take part in either the Intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Bridge (ELB) programs. There are also separate graduate programs offered at SMU.

ESL Program: This is for students from non-English speaking countries who desire to improve their English language skills. Students study the history, traditions, culture and customs of the United States. All coursework is based on an integrated skills approach with listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar components.

ELB Program: This is a one-year program offered to full-time freshmen who speak a first language other than English and meet other qualifying conditions. The ELB program consists of specialized academic advising and a succession of credit bearing courses designed to improve academic English skills, completed along with several requisite courses standard for a first year Saint Mary’s University student.

How many new students are coming next semester?
Over 60 applications have been received for the Spring 2008 semester. The countries they represent include: Nepal, Bahrain, Malaysia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Congo, India, and Sri Lanka.

How many undergraduate international students are there at SMU?
As of now, there are 42 students total, 22 female and 20 male. Most of the new international students this year are in the ESL and ELM programs, while 10 returning students are in the regular undergraduate program at SMU.

Where are the current undergraduate students from?
While the students come from countries like Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Haiti, Korea, Mexico, Rwanda, and Taiwan, the majority come from Japan, Poland, and China.

How many graduate international students are there at SMU?
There are 18 students, half male and half female. They come from seven different countries. As of now, three more students will be here next semester.

Sources: Jay Skanka, dean of international student initiatives; Lupita Garza-Cienfuegos, director of international admission; Tessy Dias, international student activities coordinator.

No comments: