UA Prepping International Fulbright Scholars for Studies in the States
Students are fine tuning their English skills, preparing for graduate school and learning about U.S. culture.

Rebecca Ruiz-McGill
Aug. 1, 2008

For the third consecutive year, The University of Arizona’s Center for English as a Second Language, known as CESL, is hosting a pre-academic orientation program for international Fulbright scholars.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program brings students from other countries to the United States to pursue their master’s or doctoral degrees. The program has brought premier students from around the world to U.S. universities, and offers students insight into U.S. society and values.

This year, 41 Fulbright scholars from 28 countries are on the UA campus through Aug. 8 fine-tuning their English, learning about the many aspects of graduate study and interacting with the community.

The students volunteered at the Tucson Community Food Bank to gain first-hand experience of American volunteerism.

CESL is one of the country's oldest English-language programs and serves as a gateway to help students from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe master the English language and gain the experience of a U.S. college education.

CESL offers the Fulbright pre-academic orientation program to prepare students for graduate studies at a number of universities around the country.

“The students wrap up their three-week program with a one-day workshop on this year's theme, 'Quality of Life.' Students work in groups of six to seven, led by a UA graduate student mentor, to research and prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the workshop. We have groups preparing presentations this year on hunger, access to clean water and discrimination, to name just a few 'Quality of Life' issues,” said the program’s coordinator Sheila Dooley.

The program includes social events as well as academic ones. “Each student enjoys a meal with a host family from the UA community during their stay here, and the whole group has a chance to bond during visits to the Grand Canyon and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

"At the end of the one-day workshop, students get to unwind with a soccer challenge game at Bear Down Field against other CESL program students,” added Dooley.

The program ends with official closing ceremonies to be held Aug. 8 with the Fulbright Fellows departing for their graduate programs all over the country. One of the students staying in Tucson to pursue a degree in geography at the UA.


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Sheila Dooley