Alfred Sunaryo, an incoming UW–Madison freshman, began learning English at age 6 in his native Indonesia.
He feels confident speaking and writing in his second language, yet he worried that the academic demands of a U.S. college curriculum might tax his English fluency. He also wanted a little extra time to ease into American university life.
“I didn’t want to experience culture shock,” says the 17-year-old.
He’s addressing both concerns as one of 25 students in UW–Madison’s first-ever International Student Summer Institute.
The new program allows first-year international students to arrive several weeks ahead of the fall semester and take an academic reading and writing class for non-native English speakers. The students also participate in a wide array of campus and community activities and meet current domestic and international students, all with the goal of helping them acclimate to U.S. life.