Comments from Former Students
"Before coming to IIEP I was wondering about the teachers and the people I would meet in my new department. However, I was very surprised by the director and the teachers. They are such nice persons, always willing to help us learn more and study in good conditions. Our director is always available for us, helping us with our problems and all the questions we can have. When my friends and I are talking about something or want to have advice or an orientation, we all have the same reaction: 'I will go and talk to the director' because we know that she will always help us.
Our teachers are also amazing. We have really enjoyed our classes and learned quickly how to write and speak English. When I arrived I hardly spoke or understand English, and if you'd asked me to read in English I just couldn't. But after one semester I can read novels, newspapers, and I have improved my speaking and my writing. During this semester, my teachers helped me and were always available to correct my mistakes. Also, studying at IIEP is a great occasion to meet people from different countries. Today I have friends from Korea, Venezuela, Mexico, Taiwan, Czech Republic and other countries.
In conclusion, the IIEP has given me more than I expected when I first arrived here. We study in very good conditions in a department which is very friendly and helpful. I will strongly recommend it to every person who wants to study English efficiently and in good conditions."
Anne Marie Agodio
"I recommend studying English in the IIEP because the IIEP is focused in every important area of English, such as reading, writing, grammar and communication. Moreover, IIEP allows the student to interact with native speakers, helping you to develop a good listening of English. IIEP also offers many activities besides ESL classes. For example, travel, parties, etc. Finally, IIEP will be a good experience that I dare you to live." Carlos Ray, Venezuela
"When I first arrived in Iowa, I didn't know anybody. That made me feel lonely. However, once the class started, I could meet many people from various countries. It was so much fun to talk with them, and it was also a good opportunity to practice English. I had classmates from Korea, Venezuela, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Japan. I remember things when I talked with my friends from Korea, I realized how ignorant I was about their country even if our countries are geographically so close. It made me feel wanting to learn about their country, culture and even languages.
I also learned new things from each of my classes, of course. What I learned here was completely different from what I learned in Japan. We studied English as a subject which is required to enter university, but here I learned to think about the meaning of words deeply, think about them logically, and use them as tools for an actual communication. Sometimes it was fun making dialogue in a grammar class, sometimes it was hard writing an essay in writing class, and every time it was very hard to understand radio programs in communication class, but I still enjoyed those classes, because my friends from class and teachers always helped me. Through those classes, I could see how the classes in university will be, because they were focused on more academic use of English."
"I was planning to continue my study so the first step was to be enrolled in IIEP. The main idea for me was to be able to communicate with others without any hesitation, and afterwards to continue postgraduate studies in biochemistry. Unfortunately, the September 11 incident changed my plan and I decided to go back home. Nevertheless I gained a lot from my stay in the U.S., and my English improved. I thought that we learned all the English grammar and I was wrong, because I learned new things like adverb and adjective clauses and modification of nouns, etc. Our grammar teacher gave us a pre-test in our first day in her class. She kept the results until the last day of the semester. At that time we took the same test again. To prove that we learned from this class, we compared the two results to see our progress. I scored 9 out of 20 in my first pre-test; I scored 20 out of 20 when we took the test again on our last day. That clearly shows how much I progressed throughout the semester.
As for my writing skills, I will leave that to whoever will read this story. I had a lot of non-Arabic friends; therefore, we communicated with each other in English. Furthermore, when I came back home and started my job I was more experienced in English, which allowed my coworkers to depend on me to communicate with others in English. Even when I type in Arabic, I remember the rules we use when we write paragraphs in English.
The most important thing I learned during my stay in Iowa, especially during the September 11 attack, was not to judge all based on the actions of individuals. Principals and teachers and even the students in IIEP helped us during that difficult time. They made sure that we felt safe. For the one who is deciding whether to be enrolled in this program or not, I say go ahead and don't hesitate, because you will learn something new for sure."
"The only way to improve writing and reading ability is to read and write articles, as many as I could. I also learned how to organize an article from introduction, body to conclusion. I could not write such a long essay like this one half a year ago, but now I can. Because of IIEP, I see my progress in English. The same situation also happened in my grammar and communication skills class. In grammar class, I know how to use grammar rules in my daily conversation. In the past, I had many skills to get high score in the test, but I really did not know the reason why I would use the grammar rules in certain situations. Furthermore, in the communication skills class, I can make a 5 minute short speech in English in front of my classmates and teacher. Before I came here, this is impossible."
Quoted from a speech at the IIEP Final Ceremony:
"End of the day it made me ask a question. Did the IIEP help us to change our personalities? To me, answer is obvious. Yes, of course. Today my personality has changed. When I came here, I was an ordinary average person, but today I’m a man with the courage and ambition. This will be a real change of my life. In other words, the IIEP is the most significant turning point of my life. I hope it’s also a turning point for you. So we should be grateful for the IIEP and its great teachers made up such personalities. I’ve learnt from different countries and different teachers. In fact my parents were teachers. However, I have to say honestly that I’ve met best teachers from the US. The important thing is most of them from the IIEP."
Dullas Kumar Alahapperuma
"IIEP has given me the opportunity to learn the English language. The classes are challenging and friendly. They are given in clear and pleasant form. The teachers are very friendly, so they are always available when I need their help. One beautiful experience for me has been to know many people from other countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Venezuela, Mexico and Turkey, because in order for us to know each other we have to speak in English. It has been wonderful because I have learned about other cultures by only speaking English. Another experience has been the comfort and security that the city and its people (Iowans) have given me to improve my communication. These are some experiences about my English learning in the IIEP."
Azalea Guadalupe Suarez Moreno
"Have you ever thought about how pleasant living in Iowa City is? Well, if you don’t agree with this idea, I’ll tell you why it is. I’m from Seoul, the capital of South Korea, which is one of the megalopolises with almost 12 million inhabitants. It is too hard to experience nature in Seoul but here in Iowa City, I can wake up with bright and beautiful sunshine and birds singing. There are a lot of lovely rabbits and squirrels in the yard of my apartment and campus. Also I can enjoy the beautiful sunset and clean and fresh air. In this environment, I feel I have become healthier mentally and physically. I always have dreamed about this kind of life in the small and quiet town and finally this dream has come true in Iowa City."
"If you think the life of a rural town is boring, don’t worry about that. As you know, Iowa City is based on the University so there are a lot of activities to do like sports events, artistic exhibitions, performances and movies. You can be one of the enthusiastic Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium or enjoy the performances or movies in Hancher or the Bijou theater. Living in Iowa City is absolutely not boring! Another benefit from the University is cultural diversity. There are a lot of international students here so you can meet many friends from different countries."
Sung Do Ko