The Office of English Language Learning supports international students throughout their academic careers at Washington College, especially during their first semesters as they acculturate to the American system of higher education.
While attending classes taught in another language is the most obvious challenge that English language learning students face, the academic environment itself is vastly different from their high schools at home. Students must adjust to a classroom culture that may be quite different from that in which they previously were educated. As part of the tradition of a liberal arts education, classrooms at Washington College are sites of dynamic learning and expression. Collaboration and cooperation between students and faculty, both inside and outside the classroom, are highly valued. For some, this educational setting is a dramatic departure from their previous experience.
In addition to individualized student and faculty support, the Office of English Language Learning offers credit-bearing courses designed to prepare students for Washington College’s academic environment. These courses, housed in the Modern Languages department, focus on English language instruction, including first-year composition, as well as explanations of the often unfamiliar academic policies and procedures students encounter. The courses introduce international students to the standards of academic writing and research valued in American institutions of higher education.
International students working for the Office of English Language Learning are creating a video series that introduces students from around the globe to Washington College. By international students, for international students, the virtual orientation series closes the gap between imagination and reality for those preparing to attend Washington College.
The first Community Unity Day aimed to bridge the gap between WC students and local Chestertown community members in a street fair-style day of activities.
The annual family picnic of the Washington College students and local community brought people together through the celebration of food, reading, soccer, language, and culture.
Two times each semester, students in ELL 101 publish a newsletter, Global Voices, for all current and future international students. They work together on this whole-class activity to create the publication, including the design and content.
Our Top 3 Questions
What is the difference between a College and a University?
In the United States, the terms are frequently interchangeable. Both colleges and universities offer four-year undergraduate degrees. Some colleges and many universities also offer graduate programs leading to a Master’s degree or a doctoral degree. If students want small class sizes and a closer relationship with professors, then a college is the best option. If they prefer more variety in classes and programs, then a university may be a better choice.
What specialized programs can I pursue at Washington College?
Washington College offers partnerships with Columbia University (Engineering), and the University of Delaware or the University of Maryland (Nursing). Students majoring in the premedical program frequently pursue advanced degrees at respected institutions in such fields as dentistry at Boston University and veterinary medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
How many classes do students take each semester?
The normal semester course load is four courses. Courses are worth four credits. Some students may elect to take five courses per semester, and registering for a minimum of three courses ensures students maintain full-time status. No student is allowed to take more than 22 credits in a single semester.