The final class of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students from Shanghai to participate in the CSI Office of Continuing Education Summer Camp received their completion certificates last Thursday for a job well done. Dr. Ann Lubrano, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Academic Programs, brought greetings on behalf of CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales.

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Discussing her experience in the program and in the U.S., Wu Peiling, from Shanghai Nanyang High School, said, “It’s a good chance to improve my English, make a lot of friends here, and learn some American culture.” Hu Yi, from Shanghai Yucai High School, seemed to agree, “I can get more knowledge studying English in this [College], and the teacher is very good.” Wang Tuo, from Shanghai Luwan High School, added “I got a chance to learn English and visit some beautiful places.”

Also on hand at the event were Elaine Caputo-Ferrara, the program’s manager, and her daughter Alessandra Ferrara, who served as a camp counselor. When asked what she thought of the program, Alessandra said, “It was a new experience. I’ve worked with other students from other parts of the [U.S.], but never anything like this. They were really fun and I enjoyed working with them.” Alessandra, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, hopes to be a teacher and she noted that her experience with the students helped to improve her teaching skills.

As for the students, they were able to tour Manhattan and they also took trips to Harvard and Yale the previous weekend. Their program at CSI wrapped up Thursday night with a talent show. They headed to Washington, DC to see our nation’s capital the following day.

Now that this summer’s camp is almost over, program co-coordinator Ellen Navarro offered some of the highlights of the seven visits. “In recent, very touching, narrative accounts collected by Prof. Caputo-Ferrara in class, students raved about their experiences, eating in the College cafeteria–loved the food and the inclusive atmosphere. They did not know each other before this trip and really bonded once they came to visit us and met our students. Most had never traveled to the U.S. before. Especially encouraging were dancing segments with the program assistants (CSI students, etc.) at the Hilton during the evening program and the commentaries regarding the overall kindness of everyone they met at CSI and how much they love the campus, its sights, and sounds, and of course, the people.”