Last month, our Virtual English Language Training (ELT) participants were asked to consider the importance of international exchange and what it means to them. Some observed International Education Week, taking part in online U.S. Department of State-organized events. Two current Virtual ELT students, Aung Khant Ko and Heidy Molina, shared their experiences at virtual IEW events and how international education has impacted their lives.
Aung Khant Ko, Burma
I have to admit that by attending the IEW event, I felt like it gave me a sort of inspiration to study abroad as an international student. I have attended three webinars and one live session during IEW. I am interested in studying the STEM fields, especially electric engineering. With this interest, I joined the live session via Facebook on the topic of “STEM career opportunities,” from Missouri University of Science and Technology. I learned about a variety of careers and opportunities in the application process. I was inspired by that session, and then I decided to participate in the session which shared about graduate programs by the Ohio State University to find out whether I should apply to a master’s or Ph.D. degree program in a U.S. institution. I have always wanted to know if a candidate can pursue a Ph.D. if the candidate has a master’s degree already or not. I got a clear answer to my question. Generally, I learned that degree requirements can vary from faculty to faculty. I was amazed because this norm is different compared with our educational system at home. Moreover, I have participated in the “Graduate Business Education in the USA” session by Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. I always wanted to find out what makes an MBA special when it comes to considering a higher position. This session helped me a lot in considering the importance of an MBA and general knowledge regarding the demand for an MBA in the different industries. Overall, for me, these sessions are worth participating in and also provide general knowledge of academic administration. I am inspired by all these sessions to study abroad.
Heidy Molina, Dominican Republic
For me, International Education can change our lives forever. Not only the academic life, instead, our entire life. Opening many doors that were closed before and allowing us to demonstrate the knowledge we acquired. As an international student, I can say that we see this experience as one the most important opportunities and one of the best opportunities we can have in our life.
My personal experiences with international education and the virtual ELT course have been amazing. I’ve had the opportunity to meet students all over the world. I’ve had the chance to share my culture and know about other cultures as well. I’ve also had the opportunity to receive classes from one of the instructors in the United States. I’ve learned many different things that I didn’t know in the past, but also I’ve been developing my English skills in an efficient way. At the beginning of this semester, I was kind of afraid but then looking at my peers and instructor, I got the confidence I needed to work with them. It has been great to meet them and share with them a lot. However, it would be better to meet them in person.
As a student, the ELT course has helped me to be active, powerful, and strong in the English field. The ELT course has allowed me to see the perspective of Americans in the academic life, professional life, and personal life. It also has taught me that there is nothing I can’t do, instead, I can do everything I want to. This experience makes me feel more ready, confident, and secure of my academic life in the United States. I see the ELT course as a trampoline to reach all my goals and also as a way to help my community and other communities around me.