Town News

MADISON, WI – A new summer program at UW-Madison aims to help first-year international students ease into American university life by improving their speaking and writing strength before the start of the fall semester.

UW-Madison’s International Student Summer Institute, a four-week program that began July 31 and ended Aug. 25, allows students to arrive on campus well before the start of the fall semester. Once on campus, students not only take an academic reading and writing class for non-native English speakers, but also participate in campus and community activities, meeting other students in the process.

“Imagine you’re from another country and how scary it could be to embark on this new educational experience,” Sandy Arfa, director of the university’s English as a Second Language program, said in a university news release. “We’re hoping to take some of the edge off that.”

While all students who attend UW-Madison are required to attend the two-day Student Orientation, Advising and Registration program, this new summer program is not only longer, but also allows students to become acclimated to American university life overtime, while also participating in more activities. Moreover, the program offers a rigorous, three-credit ESL class that meets for two hours each weekday, according to a university news release. During the class, students listen to faculty lectures, build note-taking skills, study the conventions of academic writing, and learn how to be an active participant in discussions.

Alfred Sunaryo, a new student from Jakarta, Indonesia and one of twenty-five students to participate in the program this year, said he enjoyed the program, claiming it was helpful in acclimating him to life in the U.S.

“The ESL course is intense but very helpful,” he said in a university statement. “I already feel my academic skills improving. And the rest of it has been tons of fun.”

The cost of the program is about $5,800, which includes tuition, fees, housing, meals, insurance and classroom materials.

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