(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.
The community is invited to the inauguration of UTSA President Taylor Eighmy, the sixth president of UTSA.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
The Provost's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council hosts this forum to share and further explain the results of the survey and to offer the opportunity for faculty and staff to provide feedback.
Durango Building La Villita Room (DB 1.116), Downtown Campus
For more than 20 years, Josie Méndez-Negrete, a UTSA associate professor in Mexican American Studies, has endured the emotional journey of watching her son, Tito, struggle with schizophrenia. Her powerful account is the first memoir by a Mexican American author to share the devastation and hope a family experiences in dealing with this mental illness.
H-E-B Student Union Travis Room (HSU 2.212), Main Campus
Graduate and undergraduate student researchers pursuing majors in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts will present their original work.
Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
March Into Your Major is a major exploration fair intended to provide students with information on selecting their major.
H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
The UTSA community is invited to this town hall meeting to learn more about progress of the Student Success Presidential initiative.
Frio Street Building (FS 1.512), Downtown Campus
Author Annette Angela Portillo will read her book, which examines Native American women’s autobiographical discourses and multiple-voiced life stories that resist generic conventional notions of first-person narrative.
McKinney Humanities Building (MH 3.02.24), Main Campus
Chelsea Wentworth, anthropology professor at High Point University, will discuss women’s roles in changing customary feasting patterns so that feasts can serve as a coping mechanism for children’s food insecurity in urban areas the South Pacific Island nation, Vanuatu.
H-E-B Student Union Travis Room (HSU 2.202), 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.
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