As part of Elmhurst College’s ongoing efforts to become a more global campus, the College recently celebrated 10 international high school students who took part in the second annual Elmhurst College 2018 Summer Immersion Program.
During the nearly monthlong academic and cultural program, international students experienced what college life in the U.S. is like, and immersed themselves in the fun and excitement of a busy Chicago summer. They took a course in global business, and learned about choosing and attending a college in the U.S. They also plunged into a whirlwind of cultural activities that included Major League Baseball, high-end shopping, Chicago sightseeing and even a camping trip.
At the program’s graduation ceremony on Aug. 1, the students, from different cities and high schools in Vietnam and Greece, received a certificate of achievement, college credit for their coursework, and a $2,000 scholarship. They also were enthusiastically invited to rejoin the Elmhurst College community one day, as full-time students.
“We created this program because we wanted to provide international students with a unique experience,” said Timothy Ricordati, vice president for admission. “America always has been, and always will be, a place that welcomes everyone from around the world. Hopefully, over the last three and a half weeks, Elmhurst College has provided a little of that welcome to you. What you have seen here is truly what America is about. Thank you for being here.”
Rick Fobes, who taught the program’s Introduction to Global Business class, said that working with the students had been “an honor and a joy,” and he congratulated them for their commitment and strong desire to learn. He also enjoyed the chance for the students and him to learn more about each other’s culture. “I hope they learned as much from me as I did from them.”
President Troy D. VanAken said that the Summer Immersion Program has been a source of great personal pride. “It’s paving the way for Elmhurst College to become even more of a global campus,” he said, and he applauded the students for working and playing hard throughout the program. “We hope many of you will choose to study here.”
That’s the wish of 16-year-old Evelyn Do, from Da Nang, Vietnam. The Summer Immersion Program marked Do’s first trip to the U.S., and she was painfully shy during her first days here. But by the end, she had grown far more outgoing and confident. Her favorite experience from the program was the camping trip and sitting around the fire, talking.
Once she finishes high school in two more years, she plans to come back to study criminal justice or law. “I really appreciate that Elmhurst College gave me a lot of opportunities to develop my academic and communication skills,” she said. “I loved it so much.”