Monday, September 22, 2014

Learning English to get degrees

International student enrollment is up 115 percent over last year at the University Illinois Springfield. 

One of the main attractions to students from other countries is that UIS offers an intensive English as a second language program over eight weeks, that if passed, allows international students the chance to earn a degree from an American university.

Because of the program more international students are calling UIS home. 

"It's also helped create more exchange as the level of the culture, because of the level of traditions You can also be walking on campus and hear people speaking different languages, like you are in Times Square which is really an interesting thing on campus," said Driss El-Akrich, Interim Director, UIS Intensive English Program.

Yawen Li could have studied anywhere in the world, but she chose the United States. "Young people like America because they think this country is so amazing. People in China now really want to go to America," said Li, student from China. 

Students spend 22 hours a week in class studying the language and using it. "Actually we learn a lot, a lot of things, vocabulary, grammar and writing too," said Yionis Al-Ghandi, student from Saudi Arabia. 

There are 52 students in the program.  Next term, even more students are expected to come to the U.S. to take part in the program.

The story was reported by WICS-TV 20 on September 22, 2014.

Watch the full story online.