(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.
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
Celebrate 40 years of BestFest, an annual event hosted by Roadrunner Productions as a part of UTSA Homecoming festivities. The event will feature a carnival, food and drink booths, a golf cart parade, firework and live music from Anthem.
Brackenridge Lot 1, Main Campus
Celebrate homecoming as the Roadrunners take on Rice. Come early for the Spirit Walk, tailgating, games, music and food. Stick around for a halftime show with SOSA and the crowning of Mr. and Ms. UTSA.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St., Downtown San Antonio
The Leadership Storytelling Homecoming Brunch brings together UTSA alumni and students to share a delicious meal as well as a roundtable conversation about how experiences in college carry us forward on unique leadership journeys.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization. The conference fee is $45 and includes breakfast, lunch & parking. Free for students and non-academic government employees. Register here: https://www.regonline.com/UTSAdataconference2017.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (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.
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