(Nov. 18, 2009)--Since 1991, UTSA's Intensive English Program (IEP) has helped students from abroad wanting to improve their English speaking skills. The program in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies in the College of Education and Human Development started with 13 students and has grown to more than 60 students representing nearly a dozen countries including Turkey, Japan, Korea, Iraq, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Saudi Arabia.
Conducted in 10-week sessions in the summer or 14-week sessions in the fall or spring, IEP requires students to attend 21-30 hours per week depending on the session.
Jim Kelim, UTSA director of English as a Second Language Services, travels overseas regularly to promote the program at large recruiting fairs that bring in approximately 30,000 students.
"Basically, the tuition, funded by governments or families, costs about $24,000 annually, and the students receive a monthly stipend ranging from $1,200 to $2,000," said Kelim.
Costs associated cover program costs and textbooks, personal expenses, housing on or near campus, meal plans, medical insurance and university fees.
According to Kelim, one advantage of having international students come to UTSA is that it helps break cultural stereotypes and exposes American students to different cultures.
One student, Hakeem from Jedda City, Saudi Arabia, enrolled in the 10-week program to improve his English as he pursues a master's degree in architecture in his home country.
"I was surprised to learn that I shared many of the same things as students I met from the Far East and Africa," said Hakeem. "We would have respectful discussions about the English program and religions as everyone expressed their opinions."
For Maria Elena from Mexico City, the English program offered many challenges including speaking before the entire class and debating an issue in a language with which she was unfamiliar.
"We debated many different topics including whether middle schools should have recess or whether marriages are better when spouses choose each other or when they are selected by other family members, as is common in other cultures," said Maria Elena.
The course was so enjoyable, she plans to pursue a business counseling degree to further the commerce studies she pursued when attending classes in Mexico City.
After the course was complete, there was a farewell luncheon with foods representing the various ethnic groups of the students. The students received certificates acknowledging course completion and gathered each other's contact information so they could build on the friendships that began at UTSA, even though they will be in their home countries.
UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Houston's Russian Children's Theater presents "Wonderful Journey of Nils Holgerson"
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ART 2.03.02B), Main Campus
Take Back the Night is an international initiative to end violence. The event begins with banner making, followed by a march, presentations and poetry reading.
Sombrilla, Main Campus
Members of the UTSA community have published “Adapt and Overcome: Essays of the Student Veteran Experience,” an important book to help active duty military and veterans successfully transition to college life. The event includes a panel discussion with UTSA alumni student veterans who contributed chapters to the book. Guests can also purchase the book. All proceeds benefit the UTSA Student Veteran Association.
Business Building, University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The Graduate School is hosting a panel discussion for all of our current students, alumni and members of the San Antonio community who are interested in learning more about graduate education.
Graduate School and Research Building (GSR 1.204), Main Campus
The annual UTSA Graduate fair gives students an opportunity to meet representatives who can provide the information on admission requirements, fellowship opportunities, and other key information.
University Center, Main Campus
A recruiter will speak to potential candidates for the Archer program. The Archer program has helped students land successful careers in public service.
Durango Building (DB 2.208), Downtown Campus
Canadian scholar Jasmin Hristov will present a lecture on paramilitarism, complex type of politically-motivated violence in different parts of Latin America. This presentation will explain paramilitary violence as a tool of economic globalization.
Buena Vista St. Bldg., Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
The UTSA College of Engineering Technology Symposium showcases innovative student projects and research performed across multiple disciplines including engineering, science and business. The public is invited.
H-E-B UC Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.