ATLANTA—Georgia State University’s Intensive English Program (IEP), in collaboration with the Robinson College of Business, launched English for Professional Purposes: Business (EPP:B) this summer to prepare international Robinson students for the demands of graduate coursework.
The seven-week, intensive program provides international students with a head start at Georgia State by teaching them valuable skills, including networking, resume writing, business writing and teamwork, to succeed not only as a graduate student but also as a professional in the United States.
“Getting acclimated to a new culture and having to get started with your degree program is overwhelming,” said Alison Camacho, program director. “We’ve found that students in short, yearlong programs don’t have enough time to get used to life here in the U.S., so our program is a culmination of business skills, networking, culture etiquette and more with a language focus. These students now have time to get used to finding the campus library, meeting friends or even learning to use Marta.”
“Universities around the country with similar programs report that International students who participate in this kind of program do better in their courses once the semester starts. They’ve been able to establish connections, meet professors, make friends and dive into the culture of the university. It sets them up for success,” added Margareta Larsson, applied linguistics and English as a second language lecturer.
Participants in the EPP:B program attended five courses weekly, learning skills such as business reading and writing, presentation speaking and American classroom culture.
Each week culminated with “Experiential Fridays,” where students formally exercised the lessons. From business lunches with successful Robinson alumni to visits at Google’s Atlanta office, the students were able to apply the skills they honed weekly.
“The program made me more comfortable,” said EPP:B student Mariama Balde. “I was able to learn how to admit that I didn’t know certain things and find solutions. It not only helped me with my speaking and writing but also with my posture while speaking. I now feel more confident talking to people and in my ability to be successful. I hope the program continues.”
IEP has already begun brainstorming what’s next for the EPP program, with plans to offer similar tailor-made programs to other colleges within the university.
“EPP:B allows students to acclimate to life in Atlanta and the United States during the summer and gives students an advantage over those arriving from abroad only days before their fast-paced graduate studies start,” said Jacobus Boers, assistant dean for international engagement at Robinson. “The program helps speakers of languages other than English prepare for the demands of a graduate professional degree program.”
To learn more about Georgia State’s Intensive English Program, please click here.