The Intensive English Language Program (IELP) at the University of New Orleans celebrated its 20th anniversary with a reception on April 9 at the Homer L. Hitt Alumni and Visitors Center attended by more than 100 guests. The event also raised money to establish an emergency fund for IELP students who encounter financial hardship during the program.
UNO’s IELP serves non-native English speakers who plan to study at an American university or who wish to improve their English for personal or professional reasons. The program offers seven levels of English instruction ranging from high beginner to advanced levels with emphasis on critical reading and responsive writing. Each session provides 20 hours of English instruction, including activities and events. In addition to developing language skills, participants learn about Louisiana culture and adapting to life in the United States.
Students in the current session come from 23 different countries. The program began in 1995 with 18 students. Today, more than 1,900 students from 120 different countries have participated in the IELP. At least 600 of those students have gone on to study and earn degrees at UNO.
“The power of language is infinite, building bridges where gaps divide. Programs like IELP serve as the stepping stones toward peace, countering hate, bigotry, and misunderstanding through vital cultural exchange,” said Alea Cot, UNO’s assistant provost for international education.
“We have made a point over the years to create a program where students acquire the language skills necessary for university study, but we also want them to make lifelong friends, teach us about their cultures and learn about ours,” said program director Christina Indovina.
IELP is currently accepting applications for its summer 2016 session, which begins on June 9. For more information, contact program coordinator Jamie Larson.