International program teaches English language and diversity

International program teaches English language and diversity

Published: December 29, 2014

On a recent Friday, UW Bothell's Husky Hall was the site for a lively celebration involving an eclectic group of students, teachers, staff and advisory board members. The event was the culmination of Proyecta 100,000.

For one month, the UW Bothell community was host, educator, student and collaborator with 30 students from Mexico, visiting for an English language study course.

Proyecta 100,000, a collective between Mexico and the U.S. Government, has a goal of getting 100,000 students to participate by 2020.

When UW Bothell advisory board member Suzanne Del Rio and her husband, Nelson presented international enrollment manager Dana Brolley with the opportunity to bring the program to UW Bothell, she and her team jumped into action.

Bringing a degree-seeking international student to the university requires an involved process, however most of that process is already in place. Bringing 30 international students for a short term program often requires fast, intensive planning and support for travel, boarding, curriculum and, of course, sightseeing. The program is personalized for each group.

Krista Garg is part of Brolley's team that has been bringing short- term programs to campus for the past three years. She says Proyecta 100,000 was the perfect opportunity for the UW Bothell community, "This and other short-term programs offer a variety of ways to bring other diverse perspectives to our campus while teaching those students about diversity and what it looks like in the United States."

The students, ranging widely in age and English learning needs, arrived at UW Bothell eager to begin their cross cultural experience in honing or learning English language skills, better understanding the culture and getting a taste of student life on and off campus.

In addition to English language classes, the group interacted with faculty and other students groups including the Latino Student Union. They also played tourists - and yes, they visited Fremont's famous gum wall. The group was even treated to a Thanksgiving dinner along with other student groups visiting from Brazil and Italy.

Laura Alejandra Cuautle Campos says she was impressed with the level of support provided by UW Bothell. The Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua student says she hopes her completion of Proyecta 100,000 will be equally impressive as she works toward a degree in aerospace engineering, “I’ve always been interested in languages,” Campos says. “My major is aerospace engineering, so this was a great opportunity to improve my skills,” she explains. “I really want to come back to the United States to finish my studies and I think this opportunity will make a big change on my resume."

The Del Rios attended the celebration and Nelson summed up their hopes for the group with one request, "Go back and make contributions to your country." The students took that request to heart, but before they departed for Mexico, they had two important tasks to complete. They took lots of photos with Holly Husky and proudly presented their experiences through the digital stories below.

Group of students