Hello everyone, my name is Yazeed Aljebreen, and I am from Saudi Arabia. I am currently a Finance student at George Mason University in the U.S. It is my pleasure to share my experience in applying to ESL (English as a Second Language) and pathway programs in the U.S.
1. What were some of the factors that determined your decision to pursue an ESL program in the U.S.?
There were several factors that determined my decision to learn English through an ESL program in the U.S. A couple of factors were:
- English is very important in today competitive job market; Mostly, all business around the world require their employees to have English. It is critical to businesses that their employees speak English so they can communicate easily with one another to perform an effective business community since multiculturalism is an advantage for businesses these days.
- There is no better place for learning a language other than a country where this language is spoken;
- As the U.S. has the most advanced financial market, I choose it to be where I obtain my Finance degree from.
2. How did you find and come to choose George Mason University’s English Language Institute (ELI)?
I choose George Mason University’s English Language Institute (ELI) because it met my requirements. My requirements are that I can reach the highest level in no more than 18 months because this is how long my scholarship offer was, to me as an ESL student. Plus, it is in a good location, it is a part of a university because ESL programs that are part of universities focus in preparing their student for academic studies. In addition, some universities do not require TOEFL if the student has passed the highest level of English in the ESL program that is part of it. Another requirement is that it is a recognized ESL program by the Saudi government who is my sponsor.
3. What was your first day in ESL class like?
In my first day, I was overwhelmed by the teacher’s expectations since my level was very poor. I was questioning my ability to reach my goals, and at the same time, pushing myself forward by thinking of the millions of other people who were able to learn English.
The way that I used to overcome this thinking is by focusing on the next step which is passing the current English level that will lead me to my goal of reaching the highest level in 18 months instead of thinking about all the levels that I will go through at a time.