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A letter for my friend :)

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Dear, My beloved friend.

I know you are really scared now, because I was very scared at first too. I still remember the anxiety I felt at the Vancouver airport while waiting plane to transfer to Alberta. I was so tensed when I said hello to my host family for the first time. You will face a lot of difficulties you never expected when you are in your home country. Even, I was so nervous when I ordered coffee at the Starbucks for the first time. I wanted to order "white caramel macchiato" but because they couldn't understand my pronunciation I ended up order "just hot coffee please."

I was so embarrassed and upset about myself but, please my friend, don't be afraid. I want you to more brave and confident about yourself first. You are an international student and I know we are so proud of it. Just remember, you are a foreigner who wants to "learn" English. You don't have to be as perfect as like a native speaker of English. When you learn something, especially when you try to learn languages, making mistakes is so natural and important process. Don't be shy. If you are shy, you are just a nonnative speaker of English who are literally "at" the land of America. Don't forget why you are there.

Last thing, I want you to remember that you should learn how to love yourself. Actually, I'm still struggling with that too. Language is not like a math. What you know doesn't mean what you can do. People might treat you like an idiot just because you cannot speak English well, even though it is not true. Whenever I should face with the fact that I cannot be a native speaker, I try to love myself more. Please don't kick yourself for not being fluent in English. You will eventually be so much better.

I hope you feel better after reading this :)

Michelle Hyoeun Chun

ESL program at the University of Minnesota!

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English Literature major. I'm pretty sure it is not a common major to have among the international student. I got a lot of question regarding English.
"How could you survive?"

My answer is, "I would not, if I didn't prepare myself."
English skills are necessary to survive in American college as an international student regardless of their major.

There are few tips for the students who need to improve their English skills through MELP program at the University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota has ESL program call "MELP" (Minnesota English Language Program).
For more than 40 years, the University of Minnesota has led the way in ESL and TESL training. Students have access to a wealth of academic resources, exceptional faculty, cutting-edge technology, and other facilities at one of the largest research universities in the United States.

MELP offers three distinct services:

Academic English Program - Credit classes for students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs who are seeking to improve their English language skills while taking other academic course work.

Intensive English Program - A program designed for students who need to improve their English skills in preparation for study at a University or college, and for those who wish to prepare for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Short-term Learning - Customizable training for groups of 12 or more non-native English speakers.

TOEFL score preparation course

Professional English Course

As an international student, I strongly recommend taking ESL classes both for prospective students and current students who need extra English skills.

1. It will help you to improve not only your basic English skills but also essential academic English skills for university student.

- you may not have any problem to just "live" and "communicate" in your daily life. For being a successful college student, however, you may need extra academic skills!

2. It will help you to prepare yourself

-Jumping into hard major classes can be a lot for most of the students !
Lets take a step by step with MELP Program!
In my case, it help me to adjust myself into University life.

3. You can earn credits though ESL classes as well

- A lot of current international students do not know you ESL classes are also counted as credits!

4. You can meet a lot of friends!

- This is your chance to meet many international students just like you!

If you have any question, please contact MELP at

Need some help for your writing?

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When I introduce my major/minor, people usually surprise and ask me back "English major? But you are not a native speaker!"
(Actually, I really want to say English major is actually really fun if you like reading and writing.)

I was born and raised in Korean until when I was 21 year old. Although my major was English before I came to U.S., I didn't have any confidence in my English.

I still remember how I was frustrated when I couldn't even order my favorite coffee at Starbucks. I wanted to order "caramel macchiato" but the worker couldn't understand my pronunciation. I was shocked and embarrassed.

So, I was very scared when I declared my major as English major. However, I really enjoy my University of Minnesota life as an English major student now.

However, I think, English should not be the reason which lets you down. There are TONS of resources to help you out in University of Minnesota. Today, I want to introduce "writing center" in University of Minnesota. Writing center is one of the helpful resources for your essay assignments.

Are you still afraid of using English? Don't give up!
You can be so much better. (We should admit the fact English is you Second (or third) Language to you. It is natural that you are learning by making mistakes.

If you haven't had chance to visit writing center, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! Writing center is always ready to help you.

There are three ways to use writing center

1: Appleby Hall writing center: (room 9)


You can walk-in without making an appointment. (So, you might need to wait little bit. However if you didn't have time to set an appointment, you can always visit here!)
Recently, they add Nicholson room 15 to have walk-in hours as well. Hooray!

2: Nicholson Hall writing center: (room 15)


You can make an appointment on line (mySWS) (it is very easy). You can even choose the adviser who has the same (similar) major with you. Because you will let them know what type of paper you will bring, they can jump into your paper right away!

3: on-line writing center:
You will submit your paper and question online. Your adviser will send you back your paper with corrections and answers to your question. The greatest part of on-line writing center is after you got a reply from your adviser, you can have follow-up chatting with them!

Yes, many of us are non-native speaker of English
which means, we can speak more than two languages ! :)

Check it out voices from Minnesota's multilingual writers.



Calling all students! We want to tell you about an exciting opportunity to explore more of Minnesota. Do camping, canoeing, campfires under the stars, making great new friends, and going to see new places sound fun to you? If so, ISSS invites you to join our Wilderness Week program to northern Minnesota.

Dates are August 18-22, 2011. This will be a great chance to meet students from all over the world. All international and US students (new and returning) are eligible. This is your chance to try (or try again) canoeing, hiking and camping in Minnesota! Enjoy campfires, stories, and time to meet new friends before the semester begins.

The cost of the trip is $395.00 per person. This price includes transportation, meals, group equipment, and guides.

For information email, visit or call 612-626-7100.

Don't delay and miss your chance! When we talk with graduating students about what they wish they had done while at the U, exploring other areas of Minnesota and especially nature are top on the list.


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