Coastal Carolina University (CCU) is starting a program through which it intends to help international students to defy language barriers and freely navigate through differences in American higher education. The program, which is named the Global Achievement Pathway program, will launch next semester, Erudera.com informs.
According to Associate Provost for Global Initiatives Darla Domke-Damonte, the program has two levels. Students with limited English-speaking skills will attend the first level to take English programs taught by English-as-a-second-language professionals.
The first level prepares students to attend a university 110 course which exposes them to the campus community, while the second level focuses on improving research abilities and other skills that are beneficial for students.
“Level two will focus on developing research and communication skills more effectively, but also put them in other University studies classes,” Domke-Damonte said.
CCU’s director for international recruitment and admission, Leisha Desiro, claimed that the program aims to do more than just assist international students in studying English.
“Students coming in while they may have limited or even great English abilities, getting used to the culture of the United States higher institution is very important as well; learning what university professors expect in the US, how to communicate with them, how to write papers, those types of expectations are a big part of the program as well,” Desiro further said.
If this program was available to students before, they would have benefited greatly, says Nic Planchard, a Luxembourg international student at CCU. His dream was to play tennis at the division one level, but he settled for a division two Tennessee’s university since his English skills were limited.
“I had to go to a school that accepted my low grades which was only one school out of 10 schools. If I could have come to Coastal right away I think it would have been better,” he said.
Planchard also says the language barrier for international students is a challenge since international students opt to socialize with other foreign students, afraid to start conversations with Americans, although they can be very friendly towards their international counterparts.
As of now, CCU counts more than 200 international students from 56 countries.
According to NAFSA, over one million international students at US higher education institutions have contributed more than $40 billion to the country’s economy. South Carolina alone gained almost $2 million in revenue from over 6,000 international students in 2020.
International students planning to come back to the US for the fall semester might not be able to return since many consulates and embassies are not having resumed visa processing yet, as many travel restrictions are still effective for many countries.