Four students who attended Collegetown in July will remain at Concordia to attend classes this fall. All four, who are from China, intend to earn their undergraduate degrees here.
Collegetown is a program for international students to learn and experience American culture while enhancing their English proficiency skills. This year, 16 students came from China, two from India and one from Tanzania.
The four students are from different regions of China and chose Collegetown to measure if they could succeed at an American college.
“Collegetown has been good for me,” says Cici Huang, who will study biology. “The writing sections have been very useful.”
Beijing native Cynthia Ma will study biology and psychology. She says Collegetown gave her more time to understand American culture than if she had come to college directly from China.
“I’m looking forward to starting classes,” Ma says. “I have cousins who studied in America and they all had many positive changes after being in America.”
Emily Lai will study finance. Collegetown taught her how to study for college while introducing her to the teaching style of Concordia faculty.
Jiaxun “Frank” Gao will study business and hopes to start his own business after college. His parents encourage him to try new things and to be self-sufficient. Because of that, they are happy he can study in America, Gao says.
All four students are also interested in joining activities on campus.
“I think being with other students will help us gain more confidence with our English, but also help us make friends and grow more independent,” Huang says.
Collegetown instructor Dr. Amy Watkin, associate professor of English, stressed to the students that they must participate in class.
“It’s a big cultural difference for them,” she says. “Chinese students are taught not to question a teacher. But at Concordia, discussion, answering questions and speaking up play a big role in our classrooms.”