University of Georgia’s New Intensive English Program – With a Personal Touch
With nearly 100 students enrolled this year, the University of Georgia’s (UGA) new Intensive English Program (IEP) has become a huge success, with many new students attending the program based on the positive experiences of their friends and peers.
The IEP, which focuses on preparing international students for academic studies in the US, has seen many of its participants continue on to degree programs at UGA after completing Level 5 of the IEP (the UGA English language proficiency requirement is waived for these applicants). Since 2014, the IEP has hosted over 60 students in the Scientific Mobility Program and most of these students have been accepted to UGA for their academic programs.
Founded in 1785, UGA is a major public research university located in Athens, Georgia, with more than 35,000 students and hundreds of academic majors. UGA is ranked #20 among top public universities in the nation by U.S. News Top College Rankings 2015.
Not only does UGA have one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, but it has great facilities like a state-of-the art sports and recreation center. IEP students get a student discount to attend many events on campus such as music performances, plays, lectures, basketball and baseball games, gymnastics, and other events. What’s more, the university is located downtown where there are many restaurants and trendy stores as well as a vibrant music scene.
Partnering with UGA’s Portuguese Flagship Program
This summer, the IEP is hosting 15 Brazilian students who will continue their academic studies at UGA in the fall. Brazilian students have enjoyed the IEP, due in part to UGA’s Portuguese Flagship Program, which sends American students to study in Brazil after taking Portuguese classes at UGA.
This partnership presents a strategic opportunity for Brazilian and American students at UGA to collaborate. “The advantage for Brazilian students who come here is that we have this big group of students here who are interested in learning more about Brazil and learning Portuguese. So it really helps our students to find good conversation partners and make friends,” said IEP Director Dr. Karen Braxley.
In addition to facilitating conversation partners, the IEP organizes social activities such as picnics and trips to nearby Atlanta.
A Touch of Home
IEP faculty and staff go the extra mile to make sure international students are well adjusted to life at UGA. “We have their best interests at heart, both in terms of preparing them academically and helping them to adapt to a new country and a new culture. Giving advice on accommodation, healthcare and things like that – that is really important,” explained Dr. Braxley.
“We are trying to offer a program that is academically rigorous, but we want them to be happy here,” Dr. Braxley continued. “When the Scientific Mobility students arrive, we always pick them up from the airport. It’s not covered by their scholarship, but when you arrive in a new country, there should be someone waiting there to welcome you.” This personal touch is what sets UGA’s Intensive English Program apart from the rest. International students arriving at UGA will immediately feel at home in this friendly, supportive community.
Gabriela, Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo:
“UGA is such an amazing university, and it’s located in an excellent city which have around wonderful places to go easily. Beyond that, UGA is one of the most beautiful universities that I have been in and have excellent professors to teach us. I arrived at UGA with very, very poor English, and when I was finishing my classes, my professors talked about my improvement with me and praised my progress. That means that UGA has an excellent IEP.”
Aleff, Brasilia, Distrito Federal:
“The Intensive English Program (IEP) has helped me with almost everything about English. I’m not an expert, but now I know how I can improve myself more. Also, all the IEP professors are really good. They are always giving us tips and asking if we need something else that can help us. The University of Georgia for me is definitely a universe. There are a lot of people in UGA and they’re really nice. Anything you need, you just ask and they’ll help you. Also, UGA always has something to do. Furthermore, UGA has great professors. They worry if you are understanding things and you can ask them anything. I’m sure I met great friends over here, and for sure I’m going to come back and see them all.”
Taner, Cukurova, Turkey:
“I believe we will never forget this amazing IEP experience. Thanks to you and your team, we have added such a valuable year to our life. By serving us your kindness, respecting our beliefs and doing your best to supply our demands, you did a very great job.”