March 26, 2014 — Arlene Spencer
The Mission of Fulton-Montgomery Community College is to be “the region’s partner for quality, accessible higher education; responsive programs; economic development; and cultural and intellectual enrichment.” One component on the campus that helps us meet this mission is the International Student and English as a Second Language (ESL) Programs office. This office recruits, enrolls, and provides academic and cultural services to our international student population.
Who are these students? While the majority of our students are from Asian nations known for sending students to study in the United States (such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam); others come from more unique destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, as well as the Americas. Some are traditional age and some are adult learners. Most are single but some are married. Most are seeking to transfer after studying at FM. Some are receiving full scholarships from their government; others are paying all costs from personal or family funds. All of them have selected FM for their education.
Why do they choose to study at FM? The simple answer is that our reputation for high quality and personalized service is well known throughout the world. This helps us to attract some of the best and brightest students around the globe.
Student testimonials are available through our program newsletters, but here is a glimpse of some of their thoughts:
Ms. Charlene Moreira, born in Cape Verde and grew up in Senegal, West Africa, is a sophomore this semester and remembers her first day at FM. “The first thing that I noticed is that everybody is very friendly… I am very lucky to study in a great school like FM because I enjoy being surrounded by amazing people that I consider like a second family. The fact that I am doing well in college is because everything I need to succeed is available for me.” Charlene is an FM student ambassador, Residential Assistant (RA), and Honors Program student.
Mr. Matheus Rodriguez from Brazil, a freshman in the fall semester, found enrichment to his studies from our college athletics program, specifically the soccer team. “In my country, football (soccer) is the most popular sport and has always been my greatest passion. When I arrived in the United States I thought I would spend a long time without playing football, but quite the opposite happened. I had the opportunity to participate with the FM Raiders. It was a great experience because I met people from other countries, traveled to new cities, and had the opportunity of improving my English language, which is my area of study at FM.”
Mr. Dongdong Liu, from China states, “I will always remember my start at FM. At the beginning of my first semester, I was nervous communicating with the people here because of my poor English. However, FM gave me a lot of help and a chance to prove myself. Now, I am the Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA) and a Residential Assistant (RA). What I am most proud of, though, is being admitted to the Honors Program. FM is safe, harmonious and thoughtful. Like the slogan of FM says, ‘Futures Made. Here’.”
Arlene M. Spencer is the Director of International Student & ESL Programs at FM.