FIU’s Diversity Enhanced Through The English Language Institute

Ashley-Anna Aboreden/Contributing Writer

Florida International University’s colorful campus has many students from different nationalities representing various backgrounds, including international students from over 140 diverse countries. Walking through the halls of this campus, students experience different cultures, making this a big part of what makes FIU unique and exciting.

Being a diverse university, FIU has a program to aid international students in learning English. This program is called the English Language Institute. Their mission, taken from their website, is “to provide quality English language instruction to all individuals who have chosen English as their medium of communication for academic or professional pursuits and to promote international and intercultural understanding.”

The English Language Institute has been an integral part of FIU since 1978, assisting nearly 25,000 international students and professionals in learning English.

Ashley-Anna Aboreden/ PantherNOW

Ashley-Anna Aboreden/ PantherNOW

“They [students] come from everywhere. We have a lot [of students] from South America, from the Middle East, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Spanish, Venezuela, Chinese, Germany,” Camila Reveron, FIU nursing student and employee of ELI, said.

As an employee, Camila is able to build relationships with the international students as they participate in the program.

“We try to include the students into the life of FIU,” said Sergio Rodriguez, Registrar Assistant of ELI and FIU graduate.

Not only do the international students create relationships with English-speaking peers, they are enrolled in an intensive English program. If starting at level 1, the students may be a part of the program for up to a year and a half.

“We’ve made a lot of relationships meeting new people from different cultures,” said Rodriguez

In addition, one of the main tasks of the English Language Institute is to prepare its students for the TOEFL exam. Carolina Rodriguez, an FIU Business student, helps register the students in the English programs.

“We offer TOEFL preparation classes to prepare for the TOEFL exam which is like the SAT. Usually the international students have to pass the TOEFL with a certain score to get into FIU.That’s kind of what their main goal is. They come with their bachelors and are like ‘oh, I want to take classes so I can improve my English, pass the TOEFL, and do my masters at FIU.’”

This fall, they begin their 39th year of  teaching international students, adding to the colorful atmosphere of FIU.

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