University Relations and Communications

MSUB International Studies welcoming 15 Korean students Wednesday afternoon for month-long English as a Second Language Program

January 15, 2014



Paul Foster, Director of International Studies and Outreach, at 896-5785 or
Anne Kooistra-Manning, ESL Program Coordinator, at 896-5915 or
Carmen Price, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Fifteen Korean students from Konkuk University will arrive in Billings Wednesday afternoon for a month-long intensive English language program offered at Montana State University Billings.


Dr. Paul Foster

The students will be welcomed at the Logan International Airport at 4 p.m. by MSUB’s Office of International Studies and Outreach Director Dr. Paul Foster and other university representatives.


The intensive English as Second Language program (ESL) is a robust, short-term program designed for international students to develop their English language skills while being immersed in cultural experiences.


Each year Konkuk University—a private university in South Korea—awards its top 15 students to participate in the MSUB ESL program.


The students have backgrounds in various disciplines—international trade, biomedical engineering, mass communications, English literature, interior design and nursing—and are selected for the scholarship based on merit.


“Many of the students are studying in fields that are very dependent on the English language, so this program gives them an advantage in the advancement of their education and careers,” Ann Kooistra-Manning, ESL program coordinator, said.


Foster said the ESL program is also designed to prepare international students for study in United States colleges and universities. The program—offered during winter and summer sessions—is primarily for students who need to improve their English to effectively participate and engage in university-level coursework and plan on furthering their education at either undergraduate or graduate levels.


Upon arrival, the students will be given a tour of the university campus before settling into the residence hall rooms where they’ll stay for the duration of their stay.


On Thursday morning, the Office of International Studies will host a brunch to welcome them and the other 167 international students they’ll be joining. Following an orientation, students will be taken on a tour of Billings where they’ll make shopping stops at various stores.


Friday, the group will head for Yellowstone National Park for three days where they’ll take a snow-coach tour of the park.


They will begin their English classroom studies Monday. Because the students have basic English speaking skills, the curriculum provides students with advanced coursework to enhance their English language skills, such as conversation and writing classes.


In addition to four hours in the classroom each day, students will tour various Billings attractions such as the Yellowstone Art Museum, the Moss Mansion and the Western Heritage Center.


After their classroom work, daily activities include a visit with Mayor Tom Hanel, game nights, ice-skating, bowling and the Billings downtown Art Walk.


Weekend trips include a trip to the Museum of the Rockies, in Bozeman; a tour of the King Ranch Hutterite Colony, in Lewistown; and a day of skiing, in Red Lodge.


Students will also participate once a week in Global Connections, a university conversation group comprised of international and domestic students.


“They are learning both theory and practice,” Foster said. “The program is just as much about cultural immersion as it is developing their English language skills.”


PHOTO ABOVE: Director of International Studies & Outreach, Dr. Paul Foster.