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WNEU Expands Opportunities for International Students

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNEU) is expanding opportunities for international students to enroll in undergraduate and graduate degree programs through a new language-instruction partnership with Denver-based Bridge Education Group. The arrangement will facilitate establishment of a BridgePathways Intensive English Center on the university campus this fall. The first cohort of students will be enrolled in January 2016.

WNEU is dedicated to providing international students with the tools they will need to succeed while studying in the U.S., said Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Richard Keating. “We are thrilled to be part of the BridgePathways partnership, not only for the high-quality language programming offered on our campus, but also for the opportunity to collaborate with other exceptional U.S. universities in international enrollment initiatives.”

Western New England University is one of three universities to open BridgePathways Centers this year, and the only program in New England, joining three previously established programs in other parts of the U.S.

Full-immersion experiences, academically, culturally, and socially, are an essential component of the program. BridgePathways students at Western New England will be housed on campus and provided with structured activities designed to get them actively participating in daily campus life and the surrounding community. An intensive academic English curriculum will focus on critical writing, with coursework designed to prepare students for university-level assignments. Students also practice essential speaking and listening skills needed for successful participation in discussions and lectures. The rigorous curriculum was designed using a three-pronged approach, addressing linguistic, academic, and intercultural skills.

BridgePathways at Western New England University will have six start dates throughout the year, offering eight-week terms, and will accept students at an intermediate English proficiency level. Students in the language program will receive conditional admission to the university, allowing them to enroll in one more than 60 academic programs upon successful completion of the BridgePathways curriculum.

Founded in 1986, Bridge Education Group is a world leader in language education for international students. Headquartered in Denver, it offers a wide spectrum of services, including language training and immersion programs, teacher training and development courses, language testing, translation and interpretation services, and cross-cultural exchange programs.

During the spring 2015 semester, WNEU hosted about 130 international undergraduate and graduate students in its academic programs from 27 different countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Iran, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Panama, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zambia. The students matriculated in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy, as well as the School of Law.

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