Elmhurst College welcomed 11 Vietnamese high school students to campus this month for the inaugural Summer Immersion Program.
Designed to give international teenagers a taste of American college life, the nearly month-long program combines academic coursework and college admission workshops with cultural activities. The students live in the residence halls, take an economics class for college credit, and experience American culture through museums, baseball games, shopping malls and outdoor concerts.
Attending college in the United States “has been my dream for most of my life,” said Adrian Ngȏ, 16, during a recent shopping excursion. He added that the summer program offers challenging coursework in a welcoming, friendly atmosphere.
“I really feel at home,” said Minh Phan, 16. “I like the library the most. It has everything I need.”
One of the goals of the program is to boost the College’s international enrollment. Fifty international students are enrolled at Elmhurst for Fall Term and the College aims to increase that number in the next few years.
“Being able to bring an international perspective to students in the classrooms, the residence halls and even the tables in the cafeteria is invaluable,” Gail Gilbert said. Gilbert is the director of international education and international student services.
Timothy Ricordati, vice president for admission, said the program gives international students a good introduction to the College’s charms. The program is a good introduction to the College’s welcoming community, ideal location and wide array of academic programs.
“Just like with our domestic students, it’s all about fit,” Ricordati said.