When the college hosted its 47th Summer Institute in English in July, we welcomed a contingent of 59 international students from 18 different countries. Students from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Russia and many other countries in between attended the five-week intensive program designed to improve English proficiency.
“The Summer Institute has a long tradition of serving students from all corners of the world,” says senior lecturer and Institute coordinator Toby Brody, who teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) through the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Brody says that speaking, listening, grammar, and writing are at the program’s core. Electives like pronunciation, business English, reading improvement, and presentation skills are also provided. In addition to classroom instruction, students have access to a computer laboratory that supplements course content.
Outside the classroom, students visit historical sites and participate in cross-cultural social activities. 2012 participants toured the old State Capitol and the Legislative Building, and spent a day on the North Carolina coast. Local families hosted students for Sunday meals, always a popular highlight of the program. Another highlight was International Night, hosted by Institute students themselves, who performed native dances and songs, and shared their native foods.
Students returned to their home countries with improved English skills, expanded cultural experiences, new friendships, and fond memories of their American summer in North Carolina.
Small wonder that NC State’s Summer Institute in English has attracted international students for more than four decades. It’s one more example of NC State University’s pride in tradition and its power for transformation.
An earlier version of this article appeared in the college’s Foreign Languages and Literatures enewsletter.