What IEC Students Think about the IEC, SCSU, and Daily Life in the U.S.A.
The following passages were written by IEC students as a part of their coursework in our Technology Lab. Click on the title to read the full passage.
Introduction to the IEC
IEC Is Good For You
Can you enjoy living in a cold place? Do you like to watch movies that represent old America such as "Stand by me"? If so, but you don't have enough English skills, you should attend the Intensive English Center (IEC) at St.Cloud State University (SCSU) in Minnesota. Why do I recommend the IEC for you? One reason is because Minnesota is a wonderful state in the US. Another reason is because you can study American culture at the IEC.
Minnesota is a great state in the US. If you come to Minnesota, you will sense four seasons; spring, summer, fall, and winter. You will be able to see many interesting things in each season. For example, in winter you will see the ice-fishing on many lakes. Besides, Minnesota is safer than other states such as California; of couurse there can be danger anywhere, but Minnesota is safer than others are. I think, especially, St.Cloud is safer than other cities in MN. I can be totally satisfied with the environment around St. Cloud.
If you are interested in American culture, you will study it at the IEC. We have American culture class every Friday. You will be able to study it in the class and on field trips. For instance, you will be able to go to the Indian museum and the St.Cloud heritage center. When you go there, you will remember one scene of your favorite movies such as "Stand by me." You will be able to enjoy American culture class.
The IEC at SCSU is good for you. If you haven't decided on a university you will attend yet, you should pay attention to the IEC.
Experience In Intensive English Center
How time flies! Suddenly, I realize that I have been in the US for 3 months, and I have studied in IEC for a whole semester already. I love this course which gave me a big improvement in English during the term. In addition, I love all of the teachers and classmates. They are very kind and friendly. It is very interesting to be in the IEC class for me. There are a lot of funs, and I can learn very good English skill here.
Now, I want to talk about the one-day class in our IEC, and share the interesting part with you.
On 8th of December 1999, the pronunciation class started at 9:00 in the morning. Kelly was not only teaching how to pronounce the English word, but also teaching us the slang. This is my favorite part. I can learn the native language, which I have never heard from her. Today she taught us about the slang at the airport. I knew what "my carry-on" was, and what "layover" was, and so on. I think the slang is very useful. People speak with slang is very normal here, and some of them are also very funny.
After 10 minutes break, there was the reading class. Throughout reading the article, Libbie made us know how the situation of the endangered species was, and she told us the extinction of mammals was still going on by the human's destruction. According to the class, we knew that it was a very serious problem all over the globe. Everyone on the earth needs to notice this problem and go to protect the animals.
Culture Orientation was started at 11:00. Erina asked us to discuss about the traditional food in our own countries. It seemed that the Russian food contains a lot of chicken and bread, but people cook in the different way from here. I think it should be very delicious, but unfortunately, I have never tried before. Food in Indonesia is more like Chinese food. However, they have a very interesting food that is called sate. It is like a chicken or lamb stick, and cook it as BBQ. It is also nice because I have tried it when I was working in a restaurant. Afterward, I knew what the food was like in Kuwait. I had never known that people use the huge plate, which is as big as a table in Kuwait. However, when my classmate-- Ahmed was talking about the food, he was in fasting, so it made him hungry, I think.
Presentation class was at 2:00 in the afternoon. We were preparing the speech for next class. I was going to talk about the traditional festival in China, so that I could share the Chinese culture and history with the others. Brette was very interested in my topic because he has been to China before. He marked some grammatical mistakes in my paper. I think he wants me to give a wonderful presentation at the end of the semester.
We were in the computer lab at 3:00. John is just the kind of person who always makes jokes. When he saw me today, he purposely said my name in a very funny way. My last name is "XU" which should be pronounced as "HSU". However, he called me "Shan Shan zoo". I was just wondering, "did he mean I am the family of animals?"
I was in the very good mood, and I had a wonderful time today, and the same thing happens every day in our IEC. I love IEC; I also love the people here. I think Intensive English center is the international students' family. Here, we feel happy and grateful.
Thank you---- IEC!
The IEC, A Good Decision
Studying English in the IEC has been a good decision in my life. After finishing this course, I feel that my knowledge of the English language and the American culture has improved a lot. I think that a big part of the success is: the carefully designed curricula, the capability of the faculty, and the logistic support of using the SCSU installations.
First of all, the program is very complete, the curricula involves important issues such as: reading, writing, grammar, listening, speaking, cultural orientation and computer lab. The combination of these classes, with field trips which cover important aspects of the American culture, guarantee a well balanced course.
Secondly, I would say that the IEC faculty is very capable, the majority of the professors have a masters degree, an abroad experience of teaching English as second language and a vast traveling experience overseas. Moreover, they always are willing to help the students one to one, which is possible because the small size of the classes.
Finally, I feel that it is very important that the students have access to the installations of SCSU. I consider that the most important of these are: The Learning Resources Center and the several computer labs that exist on campus. Moreover the environment at SCSU is very friendly.
In summary, I would say that I am very happy about studying in the IEC. My English skills have improved tremendously. I feel confident, after having survived the severe scrutiny of the professors, of being capable of performing in a more academic and professional manner, anything that I decide to try in the future.
Now My English Is Much Better
Do you want to learn English? Do you want to find a fun way to learn English? I can give you a good choice, that is the Intensive English Center which is called IEC. Today I am going to write about the ICE. I come from China. I have been here about six months. Before I came here, I did not know how to speak English, I also had problems with reading and listening . I learned many things in IEC. Now my English is much better.
Those teachers are very friendly and funny. They always help students to do something. You know we have many kinds of classes. My favorite is American Culture class. In this class we visit some famous or important American things or culture. I went ice fishing, skiing, camping, and many other things. We have a lot of fun when we have American Culture class. I like IEC.
Do you think this is an advertisement? No, it is not. Now I will talk about the daily life in St. Cloud, Minnesota. In the summer time here is really beautiful. Now I can feel sunshine every day and see flowers, green trees, and small animals everywhere. I like this weather. In the winter time it is not fun. Minnesota is very cold in the winter. it's okay for me but some people maybe do not like it.
St. Cloud State University (SCSU) is not a big university. It has a small campus but it is nice, not too many people, not too many noises. Students can live in the dormitory or rent an apartment. It will cost one to two hundred dollars each month. And you must buy food, right? I think it costs one hundred each month.
What do you think? Is it too expensive for you? That is not too bad. I mean it is really cheaper than other big cities. It is fair. And I think I can find a job on campus to make four hundred dollars each month, even if I am not a real university student. It is a part-time job. And you can buy a vehicle if you like that. I have a van now, that is fun, but sometimes it would cost some money.
How about some Chinese people? Do you want to come here? There are not a lot of Chinese here. I hope I can meet more Chinese here. The Intensive English Center is a good place to learn English. Students can learn a lot of things here. If you want to learn English and American culture, why don't you try the Intensive English Center?
Studying English as a Learning Experience
People in my country speak Indonesian, so I cannot improve my English in my country. Therefore I want to study English in an English speaking country. I compared English speaking countries such as Australia, the United States and England, but my choice was the United States. There are three reasons why I chose to study English in the US: I want to improve my English, I want to practice my English, and I want to learn about American Culture.
First of all, the US is a good place to improve my English. My goal is to get my Master's degree in Applied Economics. English is the most important language in the world for this field or for the business world. Therefore I want to improve my English to the point of excellence. In order to improve my English, I have studied in the Intensive English Center here at St. Cloud State University. Here I have learned how to organize an essay. There is no instruction in essay organization in my country. I have also learned about American pronunciation. I think pronunciation class was the most difficult of my classes. In addition, I have learned how to summarize from the texts in reading class, and I have practiced my presentation skill in oral presentation class.
In the United States, I can practice my English because everyday I meet people who speak it. If I don't speak English here, I cannot communicate with others. For instance, my friends in IEC come from different countries which have different languages; therefore, for communication we have to use English. Besides, my teachers are also native speakers.
In addition, in the United States I can learn about American culture. One kind of culture shock for me was the difficulty in communicating with Americans. I lack vocabulary, and I have poor pronunciation, so American people do not understand me. Moreover, Americans use a lot of slang and idioms, so a nonnative speaker like me does not understand.
In conclusion, by living and studying in the United States I hope I can improve my English. Here, I can practice my English, especially conversation, and I can learn more about American culture. After I graduate from IEC, I plan to continue my study in the Master of Applied Economics program.
What Students Think about the IEC
I am an IEC student at SCSU. We can make use of all facilities at SCSU the same as SCSU students. It is convenient for us. I will tell you about computers.
First, I will explain about the library. We usually call that Centennial Hall. There are a lot of books, therefore we usually use computers to find our books. Before we use the computer, we need to know how to use the computer, because the computers have special home page (http://lrs.stcloudstate.edu/ ) If you open this page, you click "Webpals: Catalog Online" and then you put your book's name or something you know or your keyword in the search box, then we can get information about our book or location or summary. It sounds difficult, but don't worry that is easy. If you can learn how to use the computer, you should find it is easy to find the books. Also, you can not only borrow some books but also some videos in the same way . We can make use of the library from 8 am to midnight.
Next, I will explain Engineering & Computer Center (ECC). They have a lot of computers for students. We can use those computers anytime also we can type essays and E-mail and so on. Actually, we have at least 8 computer rooms on campus. Each of them has different computers and they have different times to be opened and to be closed. Therefore, you can find your favorite computer room. Nevertheless, ECC is the most popular among the students because it is the biggest computer room and there are many kinds of computers. Moreover, ECC is opened until 1: 00 am. It is very convenient for us.
In conclusion, at SCSU we can use computer easily. Also, it is convenient for us to find something.
At the IEC we have a Computer Lab class every day.
It is a good program because we learn how to use the computer for many things. One of my favorite things is MOOing. We do the MOO on every Monday. It's very good exercise to learn English for us. We can learn reading and writing skills in the MOO.
In the MOO we can have a conversation in each computer. It's so interesting. But sometimes I don't understand what a friend is writing about. Then I'll check my dictionary so I can know new word. Also we can get better at typing (I mean keyboard) faster.
If you want to MOO click on the address below:
GANBARE! (GOOD LUCK!)
Write about one specific experience in IEC is really difficult because I learned English and the same time enjoyed the program with professors and classmates. I like this program because it was so pedagogic, furthermore I knew in American Culture class different places in Minnesota every Friday with John. It was unforgettable.
About my professors, they are good persons because they always were too worry for our study, for our confort as at University as off University, our house and our feelings. Now I can only express my gratitude for Marya, John, Kelly, Ndeye, Megumi, Troy, Brett, Libbie and Bill.
In addition, with my classmates I lived special moments to happiness because each one is special. Thanks Suky, Mafoule, Tony, Partrick, Haitham and Ricardo. We will meet you next semester.
My experience in the I.E.C. or the Intensive English Center was very interesting. This was my first semester here, and I enjoyed it a lot. I had great teachers that helped me out whenever I needed them. And the students here are extremely friendly, more so than I expected. I learned a lot of new things from the IEC. Some of them are: How to say speeches, how to write essays, and how to use the computer. This is an experience that I will never forget, especially the good times with all of the people of the IEC. These memories will stay with me forever. And I want to say thank you to the teachers and all of the students for all of the help that they have given me. And they made this semester a very interesting, yet fun semester that I will never forget.
My Experience in IEC
I have studied in Intensive English Center for almost four months. The reason why I came here to study English is the following. I have wanted to teach English as a Second Language at junior high school in Japan and wanted to study it in an English-speaking country. Moreover, some of my seniors in Japan also came here to study English a few years ago, and they recommended this school for me. That is why I chose this school especially.
The most impressive experiences in IEC were what we did in American Culture classes. I loved the classes. We walked to the garden by the Mississippi river, paddled canoes, visited an Apple Orchard, went to a farm to pick pumpkins up, curved them, had a Halloween party, and visited a funeral home, a cemetery, museums in Minneapolis, and Jefferson elementary school.
And also, I could make many new friends with people from foreign countries and know about their cultures. That will be a great help when I tell about cultures in classrooms in the future.
When I left Japan, I cried and cried from the loneliness, and I regretted studying abroad a little. However, I am really happy to have such a great experiences. I sometimes forget to call my family and my friends because I do not feel lonely at all now.
IEC is a wonderful English-learning program!!
What Students Think about SCSU
Taking Music Lessons at SCSU
Do you have a favorite musical activity? If you do, you are so lucky because while you are attending IEC in SCSU, you can take private music lessons: the piano, the violin, the guitar and so on.
SCSU has a Performing Arts Center. The Department of Music is in the Performing Arts Center. If you want to take piano lessons, you can call the Department of Music. You can take lessons, but you have to pay an amount of money which the teacher decides, for each lesson. In the case of my violin lessons, I take one lesson a week, and I pay $20 to my violin teacher for each lesson.
It is good for you to play a musical instrument for your recreation. IEC has a hard class schedule!! If you have a musical instrument, you can bring it to SCSU. And also, if you like playing the musical instrument, you can play in the Performing Arts Center. The Performing Arts Center will be your oasis!!
If you want to get more details about music programs at SCSU click on the address below:
Major and Minor Programs
Basically, we can separate Graduate and Undergraduate students. But both of them need to understand the Major and Minor programs. Now I will tell you something about the Major and Minor Programs.
Major Programs: At SCSU there are 86 major programs, for example, Accounting, BCIS, Management and International Business. In each major program, you can find out their information, for example, how much and what kinds of credits you need to take and who is the director. Also, it will tell you what kind of bachelor's degree you will have when you graduate, for example B.A. or B.S. it is very useful for all students.
Minor Programs: At SCSU there are 26 minor programs, for example, Dance, East Asian studies, Environmental Studies, Foreign Languages and Film Studies. It is the same as major programs, but the title is Minor Programs (this means it is not your main subject). You also can find out the information of how many credits you will need in order to achieve a Minor Program.
I think the information about Major and Minor Programs is very important for each international student. This information allows us to choose the best suitable program, what class is useful if we want to change our major and when we can graduate. We can have our own choice to plan our future.
If you would like more information about Major and Minor programs just click here:
Center for International Studies
We have to know the name of CIS that means Center for International Studies, especially being an international student in SCSU. CIS is the only one service department for students studying abroad or international studies which has different kinds of programs and information for students who want to know and participate. Of course, it responds by helping international students. For example, we have to go there for our I-20 or visa if they accept our application. Also a work permit which allows us to work on campus. In fact, anything about our permits can be proven by CIS.
One more important thing for international students at SCSU is how to get the same tuition fee as resident students. It is a big advantage, if we do at least 30 hours of volunteer each quarter we get resident tuition. We can call this phone number (320)255-4287 if we have any questions or check the CIS website at:
Help with Discrimination and Harassment
The policy of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) is to protect the rights of every individual with freedom, dignity and security. Harassment based on race, color, religion, age, national origin, disability, sex and sexual preference are those which need to be punished. Because of this, if you are ever, ever a victim of any kind of harassment you must let suitable people know. They will do anything to help you and try to prevent that from happening again.
For more information about the harassment policy of SCSU click the following addresses:
Driving in Minnesota
If you want to drive, what should you do?
First of all, you might have to go to the Driver's License Examination Station to take a written test. When you are ready to take the written test, you do not need to make an appointment. You just go there fill out some forms and then do your test. Before doing your test you have to show your passport or State ID. Furthermore, You can take the dictionary for your written test, if you are an International Student. The minimum mark is 43/50. When you get 7 questions wrong the computer will stop, that means you have failed. So, you have to retake the written test again on another day and that is free. If you pass the written test, you have to pay about $15 dollars for a driving permit.
Second, after passing the written test you have to take the driving test also called road test and make an appointment. You can only take the road test five times. If you fail the road test more than five times, then the officers will advise you go to driving school to take a driving class. After finishing the driving class, the officers will allow you to continue your road test until you pass it. You may pass your road test in one time, and get the driver's license on that day.
If you want to know more information about driving tests, you can either call 612-296-6911 or online to the website address is http://www.dps.state.mn.us/ check it out!