“An Education for the Mind, Heart, and Spirit” in an Unbeatable Setting
Duquesne University is situated on a green, fifty-acre campus in the dynamic city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The campus’ hilltop location offers a striking view of the Pittsburgh skyline, and also creates a geographic boundary so students can enjoy a safe, small-college feel, but easily venture downtown and explore the city on foot.
“Pittsburgh is a growing city; we have seen major changes in the city and how it’s trying to keep up to stay relevant,” explained Director of International Programs, Dr. Joe DeCrosta. “There are a lot of opportunities for students.”
Not only is the campus ideally located within the city of Pittsburgh, it is also centrally placed between the East Coast and Midwest, granting students easy access to major cities such as New York, Toronto, and Philadelphia.
ESL Program Prepares Students for University Academics
Duquesne’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program is designed for students wishing to earn university degrees and therefore, upon completion, students can be admitted to Duquesne without being required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam.
Duquesne attracts highly qualified ESL instructors to help students achieve their academic goals. “We really have top-notch instructors,” highlighted Director of ESL, Susan Todhunter. “Several of them have PhDs; they have vast experience in second-language teaching. Most of them have been abroad and speak another language and they understand the cultures of the students they are teaching.”
The Intensive ESL program is composed of five (5) levels, all of which emphasize English for academic purposes and prepare students for university-level study. The ESL curriculum is skills-based and covers reading, writing, speaking, listening, and note-taking. At the Advanced levels, students can combine ESL courses with academic coursework before enrolling as full-time university students.
“An Education for the Mind, Heart, and Spirit” in a Tight-knit Community
ESL students are paired with first-year students from various Learning Communities at the university who act as conversation partners and mentors, enabling ESL students to practice their English while receiving social and academic support from US peers. Through regular meetings, activities, and projects, international students are part of a welcoming community from their first days on campus.
Duquesne’s commitment to community and diversity dates back to its beginnings; Catholic missionaries founded Duquesne to provide education to Pittsburgh’s underserved immigrants. “We are a Catholic university with a very ecumenical feel,” added Dr. DeCrosta. “People are attracted to the history and tradition of a Catholic education without having to be Catholic or even following a particular religious tradition.”
Cultural Diversity with English Immersion Opportunities
With over 800 international students in a student body of 10,000, Brazilian students will not feel out of place. Students come to Duquesne from every continent and represent 90 countries, yet the university community is large enough for international students to improve their language skills in an American, academic setting.
As Dr. DeCrosta emphasized: “Many Brazilians expressed that they would like to be in places where there aren’t many other Brazilians; a place where they would really have a chance to focus on improving their language skills. Although we want to increase our [Brazilian student population\ here, it’s not over-saturated. Students will have a truly American English experience at Duquesne.”
Gabriella Donaduzzi, Paraná, Brazil:
“I love Duquesne because it is a very familiar and friendly University. There are people ready to help you in anything and anywhere, especially professors. Also it’s located in Pittsburgh which is a very interesting city to know, it has a strong culture, singular accent, famous sport teams and important companies. As a business student this is very important to me. My experience at Duquesne is new; I have been here for a month but I’m totally adapted and with good friends. I thought that maybe being an International student, things would be harder for me but this is not true.”