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Washington College expands international education programmes

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Washington College students popular goal is to study abroad, hence expanding international education programmes. However, there is more to the international program than just any other programmes.

President Mitchell Reiss who returned from a trip abroad in Doha, Quarter said, "A major reason for the trip was to recruit top-flight international students to attend Washington College."

He believes that international students bring the beneficial advantage of diversity and experience to the college. He hopes to bring more international students to college in upcoming years.

Dr. Kathryn McCleary, director of the Global Education Office (GEO), believes they bring to the campus "the opportunity for a plurality of thought."

Admissions and the GEO constantly try to reach out to more of these students. One example is the partnership WC shares with an international institution called Education First Academy in New York.

Washington College expands international edu prgms

Sophomore Raquel Gomez Fernandez explained that before attending WC, she was enrolled in EF. "That school was for international students... learning more technical English, and taking classes for taking the SATs and for taking the Test on English as a Foreign Language, and American government class. They help you write, help you speak, and it's really good for meeting thousands of international people," Fernandez said.

What's more, the office has been moved closer to campus to give international students a place to study, hold events, and meet with the GEO staff. "The GEO is really helpful," Fernandez said. "If I have a problem, that's the office I go to. I know they're there for me, and that's the closest thing to home."

The GEO's events are open to international and American students. However, according to Fernandez, "there's a lot of mixing that is missing, because I know a lot of cases that are not really involved with American students. I think that's not an issue, but I think they're not taking advantages either way."

"It really is an opportunity to meet an international student. There's a lot one can learn about the different cultures. One example simply includes the education systems in other countries. According to Lorenz, German universities is where you attend for three years but don't have a campus to live in. It's much more that you go find a place to live on your own," Lorenz said.

Some tips Fernandez gave included traveling and practicing, watching foreign movies or listening to foreign music. Another tip she gave to learning a foreign language was, "to read a book you have read in your own language... again in a different language. That helps a lot because you already understand the plot, so you can lead the way into it and infer a lot of it."

These international students can not only teach American students about their culture, but they can teach us about our own culture. Fernandez explained that there is so much to learn here that American students are missing out on.

She said the college "provides so much stuff, especially cultural stuff. I love going to concerts, plays: I feel like I don't have to be in a big city... you just have to search for them, because there's always something happening."

It really would be beneficial to both international students and American students to get to know and learn from each other. Just simply talking to each other can teach them something new.

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