Program: Intensive Program
In short, this is my experience at the ELP that, like everything else today, was shaped by the COVID-19. I was born and raised in Guatemala, which is a small but beautiful Spanish-speaking Central American country. Before beginning my graduate studies in Accounting in the Fall 2020, I studied in the intensive English program at ELP during the Summer. The original plan was to travel to Philly. In fact, I already had my flight ticket but, because of the COVID-19, the University of Pennsylvania decided that the course would be taught online. So, it was no longer possible for me to travel. To be honest, I was concerned about this unexpected change, especially because of the challenge of learning English in a country that speaks a language other than English.
However, despite these drawbacks and to my surprise, studying online classes at ELP meant a once in a lifetime experience for me. I say this because, since I started my online classes in this prestigious university, I had the opportunity to learn a great deal, so much so that I certainly improved my English level in all language skill areas including grammar, speaking, listening, reading and writing. It is worth noting that the program is characterized by being intensive, highly demanding and taught by highly experienced native-speaking professors. The online classes were reinforced by tutoring classes offered as part of the program, which were extremely useful, as they encouraged practice and interaction with people who speak English as a native language, thus contributing to some extent to fill the gap between face-to-face classes and online classes. As a student of ELP, I also had the opportunity to meet new people from other countries, including Japan, Saudi Arabia, Perú, and South Korea. Thus, I was able to experience a very natural, enriching, and productive cultural exchange of views, and at the same time make new friends. I cannot fail to also mention that the ELP staff provided the best possible service and support both before and during the courses. Moreover, the staff was always truly kind, attentive, friendly, and extremely helpful.
All that being said, it only remains to express my sincerest gratitude to God for the great opportunity I had.