ELI News

Syracuse University’s College of Professional Studies Celebrates 30 Years of Meaningful Partnership with Tokai University

by Cheryl Abrams

Arigato gozaimasu!

Photo of Satoki Awano in Dome
Satoki Awano, Tokai University student at Syracuse University

This Japanese expression of gratitude reflects how the students and leadership of Tokai University have felt about the English Language Institute (ELI) at Syracuse University’s College of Professional Studies for the past three decades.

“Syracuse University has always been very welcoming to the many students we have sent to Syracuse over the years,” says the Chancellor of Tokai University, Kiyoshi Yamada. “We have had the pleasure of hearing from students that they have learned a great deal and had a wonderful experience in a beautiful environment.”

Some Tokai University students are required to spend a semester abroad as part of their academic program. Their enrollment in ELI fulfills this requirement, plus provides rigorous instruction in textual and oral English skills, as well as grammatical accuracy. The students, primarily sophomores and juniors, attend ELI classes Monday through Friday, with scheduled breaks for birthday and holiday celebrations, pizza lunches, and other social activities.

“The college’s English Language Institute has provided access to meaningful academic instruction for students from around the world for many years,” says David Lind, director of International Programs at the college. “We are proud to have cultivated an enriching, mutually beneficial relationship with Tokai University for 30 years.”

International students have praised the education they receive through ELI. Kotaro Kishiguchi emphasizes the diversity inherent in the program. “Everyone at the ELI is so kind that I love studying here. Students come from different countries, so you can learn about many cultures.”

Dean Michael Frasciello points to the college’s long-time partnership with Tokai as an example of the University’s commitment to expand access to college through Syracuse University Global. “We have a proven track record in understanding the unique needs of students from varied nations and cultures,” he says.

Nonoko Omori, who recently completed the program, emphasizes how ELI’s specialized program builds skills in the academic setting that also enhance day-to-day living. “You can talk to students from different countries using English. You become confident in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English through this experience.”

The ELI broadens horizons outside the classroom by providing opportunities for fun and socialization on the campus, in Syracuse, and around New York State, including sightseeing ventures to iconic destinations such as Niagara Falls. ELI students can participate in a weekly Conversation Club; immerse themselves in university activities; and build friendships by living in dorms or sharing off-campus accommodations.

“So far this semester, ELI has had so many events we can enjoy,” says current student Rio Hamada, “including sharing pizza with fellow students once a month and celebrating birthdays with cake.” Neiro Takeuji adds, “Apple picking was so much fun, and we learned about culture and made new friends!” One Tokai student, Yuta Kukita, even recently completed the Community Police Academy.

Students from all over the world come to Syracuse University not knowing much English or about the academic and extracurricular activities that comprise college life. “These young people want to meet new people and soak up every experience here that they can,” says Lind. This fall, ELI participants have become captivated by Syracuse football and sport their orange apparel proudly.

“We are truly grateful that our students have an enjoyable and meaningful experience at your university,” says Chancellor Yamada. “Syracuse University has been and continues to be an essential partner for us.  We look forward to an even stronger working relationship in the future to ensure that our students have great experiences.”

When students from Tokai University complete their studies in ELI, they also express thanks — “arigato” — for the extensive English language skills they’ve acquired, friendships they’ve made, and experiences in campus life and American culture that will enhance their lives for years to come.

To learn more about the English Language Institute at Syracuse University and ways to support activities for its students, visit eli.syr.edu or contact Jeffry Comanici, executive director of Post-Traditional Advancement in the College of Professional Studies, at JJComani@syr.edu.

English for Lawyers Offers Interactive Learning for Prospective LL.M. Students

By Hope Alvarez

“All rise!”

Silence filled the room as the judge took her seat. Lawyers shuffled through their notes one last time while the jury prepared to listen about the criminal actions of a man who fled the state of Florida.

Olga Oganesyan, assistant director of academic programs at the English Language Institute, smiled as she watched her students navigate the courtroom with confidence and poise.

The mock trial was about to begin.

English for Lawyers 2022 mock trial

Now in its ninth year, the English for Lawyers cohort concluded its summer program with a mock trial on Aug. 10 after six weeks of courses. Hosted by the English Language Institute at Syracuse University, English for Lawyers is a program designed to provide a foundation in legal terminology and language usage in various areas for non-native speakers of English who intend to earn an LL.M. degree in the United States.

“Through English for Lawyers, we can help students prepare for their program and make the transition as seamless as possible,” Oganesyan said.

“Through English for Lawyers, we can help students prepare for their program and make the transition as seamless as possible,” Oganesyan said.

Working in collaboration with the University’s College of Law, the program is divided into three components to offer a personalized and targeted approach when it comes to students’ needs. Textual communication, oral communication and grammar courses provide a structured environment for immediate feedback. During classes, students work on various projects related to their field and are encouraged to write essays and prepare presentations in legal context.

English for Lawyers 2022 mock trial

English for Lawyers student Ludmilla Cardoso learned about the program when she applied to the College of Law and values the foundational learning necessary to navigate the American legal system.

“When I started at the College of Law, I realized how important this course was and is for my American journey,” Cardoso said. “[English for Lawyers] has prepared us to be confident about our previous background and the new knowledge acquired in classes.”

Additionally, the program offers engaging opportunities to network with guest speakers and attend field trips related to the legal field. The interactive events offer a chance for students to adjust to life in the U.S.

English for Lawyers 2022 cohort

This summer, English for Lawyers hosted Deborah Moore, senior law associate to Honorable Frederick Scullin; Judge Therese Dancks, United States magistrate judge for the Northern District of New York; and the College of Law’s Richard Risman and Shannon Gardner.

“In addition to learning from the classes, the ELI team helps a lot in adapting to the city. This factor is very important, as it allows starting the master’s degree with a prior knowledge of the city and American culture,” said English for Lawyers student Glauciane Alves Macedo.

Through English for Lawyers, international students are able to establish a community before beginning their studies in the United States. When their education is over, they are connected to a global network.

“Living in another place is not easy. It is the beginning of a new history. However, this experience is worth it. The English Language Institute prepares us to overcome challenges,” Cardoso said. “When I return to my work, I will be able to serve the citizens even more carefully.”

To learn more about English for Lawyers, visit eli.syr.edu/programs/english-for-lawyers.

About the English Language Institute

The English Language Institute, a department within the College of Professional Studies, at Syracuse University is a pre-degree program that prepares international students to succeed in their undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Established in 1979, this immersive year-round program allows international students the opportunity to learn English and culture in the heart of New York state.

Fulbright Scholars Return to Syracuse University In-Person After Two Years

By Hope Alvarez

They never intended to meet. Daniela Orozco Poveda was from Colombia, while Jonato Xavier was from Timor-Leste, a nation located on the island of Timor, in between Indonesia and Australia. While they were once strangers living oceans apart, the world suddenly felt small when the Fulbright Program intertwined their paths.

For the first time in two years, the Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program returned to an in-person format at Syracuse University after conducting the program virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, 29 Fulbright scholars from 25 countries attended the four-week program, which prepares scholars for graduate life before matriculating into their degree programs at institutions across the United States. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as part of its Fulbright Program, scholars spend this time building an international education network while participating in interactive workshops, field trips, and textual and oral communication courses.

“It is a blessing to be part of a program with so many tangible and intangible benefits for a range of different stakeholders—first and foremost, for the Fulbrighters, of course, but also for all those who have had the pleasure of getting to know them—faculty and staff, host families, and others in the community—who have been touched by their contagious enthusiasm and optimism for a better future,” said David Lind, director of the English Language Institute.

A Golden Opportunity

2022 Fulbright scholar, Daniela Orozco Poveda

After 36 hours of travel, Poveda finally arrived at Syracuse University. Although exhausted from a marathon of flights, there was no time to rest. Fulbright scholars chattered at the Ernie Davis Residence Hall, a temporary homebase where they would exchange stories about their lives, their research and the four-week long preparation program. Eager to dive in, Poveda knew it was time to make the most of this prestigious opportunity and began introducing herself to Xavier and the other Fulbright scholars.

“This is the opportunity to be a better researcher and be a better professor,” Poveda said.

With a background in law and political science, Poveda’s goal during the Fulbright Program is to master her research and teaching skills. In the world of law, industry work often prevails over academia, but Poveda believes that academic research is just as crucial to the development of the industry. During the Fulbright Program, the PhD candidate will sharpen her researcher skills at the University of North Texas as she continues her research about symbolic laws. The experience she gathers in the U.S. will enrich the lessons she teaches when she returns to Colombia.

2022 Fulbright scholar, Jonato Xavier

However, Xavier is eager to dive into the industry side of law. As a Fulbright scholar, Xavier will be participating in an international LL.M. program at Loyola University New Orleans.

“[Fulbright] is simply a golden opportunity,” Xavier said.

For Xavier, the Fulbright Program has been an enriching opportunity that allows him to learn about the diverse avenues of research and gather dynamic perspectives from scholars around the world. A global viewpoint is vital for Xavier as he continues his research about human rights.

Connecting Through Cultural Experiences

The Fulbright Program is more than just a research opportunity. During the Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program, scholars spend the preparation period connecting through a variety of workshops and off-campus activities. Whether it’s a session about library resources or enjoying a homecooked meal with University hosts, the program offers a unique camaraderie that can only be found in-person. The variety of immersive learning is structured to prepare scholars for a successful Fulbright experience.

Fulbright scholars participate in a CliftonStengths workshop hosted by Liz Green, executive director of online student success, on Aug. 1, 2022 at Syracuse University.

One day Fulbright scholars will learn about professionally applying their personality strengths, while other days are spent exploring museums and art centers. The diverse agenda strengthens the Fulbright community and offers a window of new perspectives.

“What makes this experience unique for the students is the magical mix of learning and networking opportunities that we provide for them, made possible thanks to the interest and generosity of a broad cross-section of folks from the Syracuse University community,” Lind said. “All of us involved in the program got a rush out of watching how this amazing group of people have come together from the four corners of the world for a common purpose.”

Outside of the classroom, University employees host dinners for the Fulbright scholars. According to Xavier and Poveda, the relaxed gathering offered a chance to connect through cultural experiences while the scholars painted, played ping pong, and feasted on food like paella and strawberry cake. As the Fulbright cohort embarks on this new adventure together, the immersive activities have strengthened their connections, Poveda said.

More Than a Global Network

Fulbright Scholars present their research posters at Bird Library.

On the final day of the Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program, the cohort of Fulbright scholars prepare for the Fulbright Scholar Poster Session at Bird Library, where they will present their research using the resources and skills they have acquired during their time at Syracuse.

Poveda and Xavier share a laugh with their cohort, projecting the illusion that they have known each other for years. It’s difficult to imagine that these scholars only recently met, but the fresh environment provided a blank slate for the cohort to journey through and tackle any interferences together.

Despite the challenges of living in a different country, navigating language barriers, and adjusting to new academic rigors, Fulbright scholars Poveda and Xavier felt the hindrances were necessary to face during the study abroad experience. The obstacles provided a new way to learn and adapt while enforcing the importance of community. Throughout their learning experiences, the Fulbright network is the greatest tool they’ll utilize for the remainder of their careers.

“This is a community,” Poveda said. “There is a network between us now, and it is all around the world. If someone needs something, we are going to be there for them.”


About the College of Professional Studies

The College of Professional Studies is a global, inclusive and future-facing college, providing access to diverse students and learners seeking a Syracuse University degree, credential, certificate or education experience.

About the English Language Institute

The English Language Institute, a department within the College of Professional Studies, at Syracuse University is a pre-degree program that prepares international students to succeed in their undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Established in 1979, this immersive year-round program allows international students the opportunity to learn English and culture in the heart of New York state.

Syracuse University Partners With Interlearn to Offer Innovative and Collaborative Learning Through New International Program “International Year One”

The moon is out, and the city of Beijing is winding down. Meanwhile, Syracuse University student Qichen Chang has cracked open his notebook for an evening of studying. Tonight’s lessons are Probability and Statistics and English for Academic Purposes. Tucked away in his dorm room, Chang scrolls through his computer and immerses himself in notes from a Syracuse University lesson. Taking his first two semesters of Syracuse study at a local learning center in China, Chang has spent this time wisely, participating in a higher education program that is preparing him to progress to a summer semester in the United States at Syracuse University and proceeding then into his sophomore year at Syracuse. It won’t be long until he’s working face to face with his instructors in Syracuse, New York, and part of the community of learning on campus.

The International Year One Program (iY-1) offers international students unprecedented access to U.S. higher education. Syracuse University, in partnership with Interlearn, Inc., has developed a special blended first-year university learning curriculum for students in designated countries. This program provides students with a practical education and a more simplified college application process that is both rigorous and inclusive.

“The iY-1 program allows Syracuse University to take the lead in offering an innovative and transformative international program,” said Stephen Larsen, founder and CEO of Interlearn. “This program provides students extensive preparation for study in the U.S. and access to Syracuse University in a way that is meaningful to them and their families. Our mission is to bring talented students the higher education opportunities that can change their lives and benefit their communities.”

Structured for Success

Across the U.S. an astonishing number of international students face significant challenges in finishing their degrees. This can be for social, personal, cultural, and academic reasons. Students cite a range of challenges, most of them directly related to making the tremendous jump to a new culture and different approach to learning while far away from family support.

Syracuse University iY-1 students tour campus.

For Chang, obtaining a degree at an American university was a powerful personal goal. On social media, Chang saw his friends attending architecture classes at Syracuse University, and while he wanted the “American university experience” too, he wasn’t sure how to get there. Then on Syracuse University’s website he found the International Year One (iY-1) Program, a program that provides U.S. education through transitional stages for international students.

“For me, the iY-1 program is the entrance to higher education in the United States,” Chang said.

Whether it’s an intensive English for Academic Purposes course or a dynamic economics course, each class has acted as a building block to prepare Chang for his time in America. It has allowed him to create his own opportunities and to study subjects he might not have considered, he said.

The structure of iY-1 is not your typical international education program. Before students fly overseas and begin curriculum at Syracuse, students spend the Fall and Spring semesters studying on-site with instructors at their local educational institution and online with Syracuse University faculty.

“The iY-1 Program offers international students a unique entry ramp to begin their higher educational journey,” said Ryan O. Williams, associate dean of the College of Professional Studies. “The combination of academic English preparation with credit-bearing courses, and online learning blended with on-ground instructional support in students’ home countries, empowers students to overcome language and cultural barriers, benefit from a customized support structure, and acclimate to university life in the United States before they arrive.”

“Through iY-1, students are prepared to succeed,” Larsen said. “The program offerings and engagements allow students to get accustomed to the rigors of U.S. academic study while they have support systems around them to help prepare for the enormous leap of leaving home to study halfway around the world in a new culture and with sometimes unfamiliar learning approaches.”

In the Fall semester, students take two credit-bearing undergraduate level courses coordinated with English for Academic Purposes coursework, which provides students with opportunities to engage in activities in English that encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and independent learning. In the spring semester, the credit-bearing class load increases and students may choose their track of study leading into engineering, the sciences, business, health professions, and a wide variety of other fields. Then, students spend their summer at Syracuse University. With a first year of study completed, students are supported socially and academically through their transition into the University and campus life. By the end of the summer term, students are ready to join the Syracuse University student body as sophomores.

“In mid-May, we were delighted to welcome our first cohort of iY-1 students to the Syracuse University campus,” Williams said. “For all of us who worked so hard on this project, it was a moment of pure joy to greet the students in person, to introduce them to their new home in Central New York, and to observe how this unique program had transformed the group.”

A Trio of Learning Environments Offers Student Support

It’s not just the academic opportunity that iY-1 provides. For some international students, attending university in the U.S. can be an isolating experience. With iY-1, students enter a program that honors community. Students travel through the program with a cohort and are provided access to continuous program support by advisors and instructors.

“There is the on-the-ground community in country, the synchronous online community, and the asynchronous online community,” said David Patent, online instruction coordinator for International Programs at the College of Professional Studies.

In the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters, Patent designed, taught and managed the English for Academic Purposes courses. The online synchronous component involved one hour-and-a-half-long class each week taught by the Syracuse University instructor, while the in-person component involved nine hours of on-the-ground instruction at an educational institution in China. Additionally, the course provided an asynchronous online instruction component. The combination of these three learning environments enabled students to receive consistent support and cultivate a community both online and in-person.

Jin Chai, Syracuse University iY-1 student

“We spent two semesters in China. The courses included online sessions taught by teachers at Syracuse University and offline courses taught by local teachers,” said Jin Chai, an iY-1 student. “All the classes were taught in English, which laid a good language foundation for our next three years of student life at Syracuse University.”

Just The Beginning: Global Expansion and Advanced Degrees

Although iY-1 is currently only available to students in China, the program plans to extend to teaching centers in a range of countries.

“Interlearn is growing with Syracuse University and our partners worldwide. We are building new teaching centers not only in China but also in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and South and Southeast Asia. Students in these countries represent the diversity and inclusivity that American colleges and universities highly value. We are working with our partners to reduce the overall cost of programs, and to expand degree options to include a range of associates, bachelors, graduate and professional degrees. Interlearn is excited about the opportunity to meet the new challenges and opportunities this expansion will allow, and we are proud to be a part of building for Syracuse University an expanding international presence and an ever-growing global alumni base,” Larsen said.

To learn more about iY-1, visit professionalstudies.syracuse.edu/academics/international-programs/international-year-one-iy-1-program.

About the College of Professional Studies

The College of Professional Studies is a global, inclusive and future-facing college, providing access to diverse students and learners seeking a Syracuse University degree, credential, certificate or education experience.

About Interlearn, Inc.

Interlearn is a global education company committed to expanding access to quality higher education through transformative teaching and learning.

By Hope Alvarez

Providing Innovative Language and Culture Programs Through Syracuse University’s English Language Institute

Bright students from around the world seeking an American university education typically face two main challenges: a conversational and working knowledge of English, along with practical skills that lead to academic success.

As Syracuse University expands its global footprint, the English Language Institute (ELI), a department within the College of Professional Studies, is finetuning its mission that began 43 years ago: to offer pre-degree programs that prepare international students for the rigors of undergraduate and graduate degrees in the U.S.

“Syracuse University has long been considered a leader in international outreach and education,” says college dean Michael Frasciello. “For more than four decades, the College of Professional Studies has shaped and informed that leadership through the English Language Institute. The institute’s innovative language and culture programs continue to support the university’s recognition as one of just four post-secondary institutions in the northeast designated as a contractor by the U.S. State Department as a pre-degree host site for international students.”

While foreign students today may try to hone their English proficiencies through a variety of sources, the ELI continues to offer superior English language training, plus a competitive advantage for any would-be scholar: extensive academic programming and personal support.

Executive Director David Lind, appointed in 2017, understands the needs of potential ELI students. Through more than 30 years devoted to English language teaching, Lind, who holds a B.A. in history from Cornell University and an M.Ed. in applied linguistics from Open University, has logged more than 20,000 hours of experience in this field outside of the United States. He is also uniquely versed in online study, having administered a live remote teaching program that delivered English lessons weekly to 80,000 students in the United Kingdom, Philippines, Argentina and Uruguay.

“What the ELI provides non-English speaking students is precisely what they need to navigate their chosen areas of study in the U.S. successfully,” Lind says. “Language skills and academic reinforcement, plus professional discipline-specific programs and cultural orientation.”

Year-round instruction is available, both online and in-person on the Syracuse University campus (when circumstances during the pandemic permit). Topical courses include instruction for students in architecture, law, medicine, information technology, and sport venue and event management. A flagship offering is the Fulbright Virtual English for Graduate Studies Program, which brings together scholars from around the world who plan to study in the U.S.

Some students who attend the ELI may not have plans to pursue their education at Syracuse. “As one of four State Department host sites in the northeastern part of the country, we don’t expect this,” says Lind. “Our mission is to help any international student wanting to study in the U.S., regardless of where that may be.”

Two Central New York partnerships are aimed at attracting foreign students to our region. The College of Professional Studies has been working closely with Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. and Le Moyne College in Syracuse to introduce foreign students to their institutions before starting at Syracuse University. Last August, the university welcomed its first cycle of Pathway Program students who had spent their first year of college at Wells.

“The idea is to ease the transition for our international students to university life in a smaller, more intimate setting,” says Lind. The Mother Cabrini Foundation has awarded Le Moyne with a grant to assist immigrant students and asylum seekers in their efforts to complete undergraduate and graduate studies, particularly in medical-related fields, in the U.S.

One may ask how the work of the ELI benefits the university community, Central New York and our nation. “Smart, talented individuals need to be nurtured and educated for making our world a better place, no matter what country the students ultimately decide to live and work in,” says Dean Frasciello. “We consider the ELI to be a critical part of Syracuse’s commitment to global stability and sustainability.”

To continue our important work in assisting international students with their immersion and education, please consider making a donation to the English Language Institute.  Visit this link, where your gift will go directly to supporting this program.  For more information about supporting the ELI, please contact Jeffry Comanici, Executive Director Post Traditional Advancement, at jjcomani@syr.edu or 315-443-1409.


About the English Language Institute

The English Language Institute, a department within the College of Professional Studies, at Syracuse University is a pre-degree program that prepares international students to succeed in their undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Established in 1979, this immersive year-round program allows international students the opportunity to learn English and culture in the heart of New York state.