New summer program helps international students acclimate before the fall rush

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.

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