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“The American Language Program gave me the confidence to speak English and prepare for school in the United States, and it’s made me proud of myself,” said Soyun Choi, as she stood on stage facing an audience of approximately 90 students and staff on May 24th at the 8th annual Gradfest on the Hayward campus. The event honored former ALP students who matriculated into the university and will graduate from Cal State East Bay in the 2016-17 academic year.
“Being here at Gradfest makes me feel like my time at college has finally finished,” said Choi, who moved to the US from South Korea and has been pursuing a degree in human resource management with the aspiration to one day own her own business. She graduates from CSUEB this summer and credits ALP for improving her English writing skills, preparing her for college and introducing her to American culture.
For over thirty years, CSUEB’s ALP has offered resources and support to students from over 50 countries to help them achieve their personal, academic and career goals. Comprised of international staff and instructors, the program strives to offer the highest quality academic and cultural programs and activities for a diverse international population and has served as a resource for the university.
Several staff members, including Executive Director of International Programs Ray Wallace, spoke to the crowd mostly comprised of current ALP students. Balloons and ribbons decorated the lawn and food and refreshments were offered to all guests.
A total of 87 undergraduates and 26 master’s degree students who began their scholarly path in ALP graduate this year from CSUEB. Two of those students, Abdullah Alali and Shahrzad Mansouri, joined Choi on stage to present their own speeches, reflecting on their academic journey and time in ALP.
“It feels good to have taken part in ALP because it gave me an opportunity to grow and prepare myself for classes in my major,” said Mansouri, a construction management major. She moved to the United States two years ago and began her upper division college studies through ALP.
ALP Director Thomas Tyner also spoke at the event and offered words of encouragement to current ALP students.
“Many of our university’s international students have gone on to have solid careers and become strong leaders,” said Tyner.
Regarding ALP and this year’s Gradfest, Tyner said, “This program provides a great foundation for students who want to enroll in an American university, and Gradfest is a successful showcase of (CSUEB’s) diversity and many cultures.”
For more information, visit CSUEB’s American Language Program website.