New students from Argentina and Brazil had arrived at Maryville College on Jan. 5-6 to learn English and experience American culture.
The Center for the International Education (CIE) at Maryville College has kept a positive relationship with ARCANA, Asociacion Rosarina de Intercambio Cultural Argentino Nortemearicano, in Rosario, Argentina over the past 15 years. CIE has had sessions of doing an exchange program with ESL teachers where the teachers at CIE would go to Argentina to teach, and teachers from Argentina come to teach for a session at MC
This year, 16 students and two chaperones from Argentina, and four students from Brazil came to MC for J-Term.
“We are hoping to grow that program every year because this is their first time to visit here,” said Micki Pruitt, office manager and ESL program coordinator.
A range of the students’ ages vary from 16-year-olds from Argentina to late 50s from Brazil. Some students are professionals and traveled to MC to increase their English for their jobs when they go back home. Others came to MC to study English for out of their own desire to travel.
CIE has various activities planned for students this year as well. They have three weeks of classes in the morning from 9 a.m. to noon, and activities in the afternoon or sometimes at night. They started their adventure at MC by doing Mountain Challenge to build teamwork among the students.
Some activities included visiting the Knoxville Museum of Art, presenting at a local high school and a cultural night where they also did presentations about their individual countries, and shared traditional foods, music and dance at Isaac’s café on Jan. 21.
Another activity that they did this year that they have not done in the past was team up with the J-Term Tourism class of Kristen Sheppard, consisting of 17 American students. Students from Argentina and Brazil went to a class with them, and traveled together to Atlanta.
The first weekend, students went to Gatlinburg to have a winter experience in the East Tennessee, which they might not have accustomed to. They were able to ski, ice skate, participate in scavenger hunts and do assignments that they have for every weekend trip. The assignments were designed for the students to use especially listening and speaking skills. The second weekend, students visited Atlanta. They toured CNN, the World of Coke and Martin Luther King’s community, church and museum.
CIE kept the students from living clustered together in order to improving their English skills, and have a better chance of making friends during their stay on campus. The students will be leaving for their countries on Jan. 25, and having a farewell dinner on Jan. 24.
CIE said that they have high hopes they will be able to grow each year.