Intensive English Program helps international students succeed at WCU

Imagine entering a foreign university where you barely know the native language and virtually no one knows yours. Think how challenging it would be to meet new friends or communicate with your roommate.

That’s what it was like for Ghalib Shutayfi, who came to Western Carolina University for spring semester in 2013 to enroll in the Intensive English Program. After successful completion of the program, not only did Shutayfi, who is from Saudi Arabia, learn to communicate in English, but he acquired the necessary skills to succeed in college.

Shutayfi made the dean’s list in the spring of 2014, the fall of 2015 and the spring of 2016.

“I couldn’t sleep that night,” Shutayfi said of learning he made the dean’s list. “I jumped in the sky and said, ‘I made it.’ I’ve always believed hard work does pay off. No matter how hard it is, it will pay off later and make you happy. That’s what happened to me.”

Shutayfi is but one example of the success international students have had after going through WCU’s Intensive English Program, which began in 2009. It started with a small number of students from Saudi Arabia. It has grown to include students from Japan, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Chile and South Korea.

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