Language classes in jeopardy for international students at Purdue

A program that offers English and writing classes for Purdue's international students could be in jeopardy (WLFI).
A program that offers English and writing classes for Purdue's international students could be in jeopardy (WLFI).

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue’s international student population is growing every year and makes up 25 percent of the overall enrollment. But a program that offers English and writing classes for those students could be in jeopardy. News 18 reports how some professors are fighting to fund it.

Adjusting to college life can be hard for many students. But Siyun Qyao said the transition for international students can be even more difficult.

“I get some what home-sick, I miss my home, I miss my parents,” said Qyao. “I really suffered a lot the first month.”

Qyao expressed it’s mostly difficult because of the language barrier.

Purdue international student Ellaine Tsai said, “You have to force yourself, no matter what. You have to speak English.”

Purdue Univrsity offers a few English classes to first-year international students, but some of the students News 18 spoke to say those classes aren’t enough.

“I feel frustrated,” Qyao said. “Cause I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what actually can express my opinion.”

Qyao expressed he would like to take more classes at Purdue that help with his reading and writing.

April Ginther has been working hard on progressing the international language program for five years. Her goal is to expand the program so international students can take a sequence of English classes throughout their four years.

“What we’ve been asking for and envisioning is an English language center,” said Ginther.

However, the biggest obstacle right now is making sure the funding is there.

Dean of International Programs Michael Brzezinski said the reason the funding would be in jeopardy is because “there’s always competing goals and priorities at universities, so we are trying to find the best model that will allow this program to continue.”

Brzezinski said keeping the program is not just a benefit for international students.

“It’s important for our American students because there’s hardly a white-collar job out there beyond graduation that isn’t going to require interaction with people from other cultures,” Brzezinski said.

Many international students at Purdue hope the program stays because they’re ready to learn more about it.

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