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Brazilians “Nuts” About New York
University students from Brazil participated in an English language immersion program offered by Monroe College in New Rochelle, NY. They took day trips to nearby New York City to test their new English language skills and loved New Yorkers.
While the thought of venturing into New York City might have been intimidating to them initially, the students reported that they found New Yorkers to be very friendly, helpful and even patient. If they were struggling for the right English words to figure out the subway system or to get to the Statue of Liberty without any unintentional detours, they got the help that they needed from friendly New Yorkers.
“People here are so kind,” said an enthusiastic Amanda Souza, an international relations major at Centro Universitario Jorge Anado, in Salvador, Brazil, known locally as “UniJorge”
UniJorge belongs to an international group of colleges and universities that network with American Universities in order to expose their students to global trends and mores, explained Maria Alessandra, the group’s chaperone. Alessandra, a professor and Coordinator of the Career Center at UniJorge, also participated in Monroe’s English Language Learning Immersion (ELLI) program. “We have to prepare our students to be competitive with people who come into our country to work. English is the most important language in business; having English will better our students to compete,” explained Alessandra.
“ELLI is designed to prepare students, whose primary language is not English, for reading, writing, and verbal skills necessary for success in American colleges and universities,”
ELLI students also participate in an intensive language lab in which students from any number of countries practice their English language skills while also sharing their own personal cultural heritages. It’s this educational philosophy of immersing its students into the diversity of cultures and the realities of a global economy that attracted UniJorge students to the Monroe program, according to Alessandra. “Brazil is the sixth largest economy in the world. Now, all eyes are on Brazil. We think that many people would like to work there, invest in the country and make a life there.”
Soccer and Academics for International Students
Last fall, Jonathan Garbar toured South America extensively to introduce Monroe College and its various associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to local high schools and colleges. Half Colombian, Garbar spent his childhood summers at his grandparents’
. He is also Head Coach of Monroe’s women’
Garbar emphasizes that “Monroe’s ELLI program is designed not just for international students to advance their English language skills to a college level, but also for new immigrants and U.S. citizens for who English is not the primary language spoken at home.” Academically-