English Language Institute’s Summer Programs

As part of its ongoing mission to meet the ever-changing needs of non-native English speakers, in addition to its comprehensive catalog of English proficiency exams such as the Michigan English Test (or MET exam), the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute also offers a range of summer programs. Although the ELI has offered ESL summer programs since 1941, they have undergone many changes in the seven decades since its inception. Then, at the ELI’s first language program, the character and demographics of the program were completely different. All 13 of the ELI Summer Program’s original students were Latin American professionals from a diverse array of fields who wished who wished to do advanced study in their fields.

Although the ELI still actively works to serve the non-native, academic English market, today the Michigan-based campus offers three specialized English programs to meet the specific needs of international students.

With its seven-week English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program, for example, the ELI is actively working to serve the needs of international students who are proficient in English but who want to further their English studies in anticipation of courses at English language universities in the coming fall semester. As a result, the core focus of the EAP program is to help establish the academic language skills required to effectively participate in an English-only academic setting.

Similarly, its seven-week English for Business Studies Program emphasizes the development of those skills international students need in a rigorous, English-only MBA program. As a result, the program requires students to work on assignments and projects that are deliberately structured to mimic current MBA program practices.

Finally, its seven-week English for Legal Studies Program offers non-native English speakers the opportunity to concentrate their efforts on the language skills necessary to succeed in a rigorous English-only legal program. Accordingly, it is ideal for students who have been admitted to an LLM program in United States.

Thus, as you can see, regardless of your needs the ELI has a program for you!


Comparing English Speaking Countries

It can be hard to decide where to pursue your English immersion experience or international student opportunities. Prominent and ever-popular destinations like the United States and the United Kingdom have their selling points but are more competitive than ever. At the same time, other English-speaking countries like Canada and Australia have stepped up their efforts to attract desirable international students. This increased focus has turned the spotlight on these two once-hidden gems of international education – but the resulting glare (and policy standardization) has made it hard to tell which is the better choice. Each has unique advantages, however, and when taken together each country’s attributes creates a distinct set of benefits. Accordingly, here are the important points to consider

Canada Student Visa:
– Unnecessary for programs lasting 6 months or less.
– Candidates may be required to path a health screening.
– Student visa holders can work on-campus with some restrictions throughout the country but may work off-campus in only three provinces.
– World famous for its spirit of multiculturalism and high standard of living
– Allows international students who have graduated from a college or university in Canada to work in Canada for up to one year after they receive their degree.

Australia Student Visa:
– Unnecessary for programs lasting 3 months or less.
– Candidates are required to provide the results of an English language test.
– Student visa holders can work part time (up to 20 hours per week)
– World renowned for its low cost of living and affordable education programs
– Provides the flexibility of a working holiday visa

In the end, though, only you can decide the country that is right for you. No matter what you do, however, it is sure to be the first step in the journey of a lifetime!

If you are looking to study English in Australia or Canada, check out the ESL Directory to find the program that’s right for you!


International Accounting Overview

The pace of business in  the late 20th and early 21st centuries was increasingly driven by a dramatic increase in the level of cross-border interaction among companies from around the world. This has, in an almost unbelievable way, changed the very way in which business is done. Nor are these changes limited only to actual commodities. If wholesalers in Hong Kong now provide clients in India with materials sourced in Kenya then so too can the service industry. In fact, one of the unseen but vital changes resulting from globalization is the idea that accounting standards themselves must be standardized. Such a system would establish the standards for measurement, recognition, treatment, presentation and interpretation of different types of assets and liabilities to compile them into uniform financial statements. Thus, every company, be it in Nairobi or Mumbai, could be held to the same standards.

Of course, such things are easier said than done. Generally speaking, there are currently two major sets of standards used in the world today: The GAAP (based in the US) and IFRS (based in the UK). While there have been discussions of convergence between the two standards, progress is slow. Of course the governments involve realize that uniformity would be beneficial to investors – by reducing the costs of comparing alternative investments and increasing the quality of information – and businesses – by increasing transparency and opening capital markets – but inertia is hard to overcome. Fortunately, the tide is slowly turning. At present, 85 countries use IFRS reporting for their domestic listings and even the US is steadily beginning to accept IFRS standards.

In the meantime, the prospects for international accountants are better than ever. With governments and investors alike increasingly looking abroad, a new system of English qualifications (namely the International Certificate in Financial English) is stepping in to fill the breach. Thus, while truly international financial standards are still little more than a dream, international accountants are rising to the challenge.


Smart Cards for Students

Ever want to consolidate the number of credit cards, debit cards, and ID’s you have on hand as a foreign student? Now, many colleges and universities are offering another payment method called the Smart Card. Smart Cards for students are being made available through many higher learning institutions and are often incorporated with student’s school ID or room key card, so that students can make purchases, show ID, and gain entrance with one card in hand. These cards are supplied by many colleges and are used to purchase many goods and services on campus or nearby vendors.

Smart cards for students work differently than a credit card or a debit card. Instead, smart cards do not use a magnetic stripe to store information, but rather an integrated computer chip or microprocessor. When the chip is inserted into a vending machine or card on the same network, information stored on the chip is transmitted to the vendor. To put money onto a smart card, the student must insert the card into a payment station, and then insert bills into the machine. Many smart card services have websites which allow the student or the student’s family to put money onto the card online.

These cards are most often used for laundry facilities, vending machines, and small shops on campus. The school’s benefit of offering these smart cards  is that they can limit their services for their students alone. The benefit of using the smart cards for students is that they no longer have to carry coins or cash around to buy small items or use services on their campus.

Additionally, local shops or restaurants often accept payment from university smart cards, allowing students the ability to purchase food or school supplies with their smart card. However, most shops outside of the immediate neighborhood of a university’s campus do not accept smart cards. To buy food or other items at stores that do not accept smart cards, a student will need another payment method at their disposal.


Learn English as a Second Language in India

The English language holds a unique place in modern Indian society. Although India is technically the largest English-speaking nation in the world, its constitution recognizes no official language and English itself only holds the status of assistant language. Still, it is in many ways the important language on the subcontinent. After Hindi it is the most commonly spoken language in India and, given its wider geographic spread, likely the most read and written language in the country. Indeed, English holds a special place as a common medium of exchange among the hundreds of different languages spoken across the nation.

More importantly still, English is considered very important to the past, present, and future of economic growth in India. Much country’s surging service sector has been built on its technology and call-center industries, sectors whose growth has, for the first time, provided well-paying jobs for anyone who can speak English. English proficiency is clearly seen as a stepping stone to success in other ways, too – a 2009 survey found that fully 87% of Indians “feel that knowledge of English is important to succeed in life” both professionally and academically.

Still, as crucial an ingredient English may be, estimates of how many Indians are actually proficient speakers can be hard to come by. Estimates range from as few as 11 million to as many as 350 million but because there is no standardized assessment of spoken language proficiency, there is no way of knowing what range of skill levels actually exists in the population. This discrepancy makes learning English for school more important than ever. Because success and English are now tied together in the popular imagination, certified English proficiency from internationally recognized institutions are becoming increasingly important among would-be social climbers. Because these programs meet the needs of would-be international students and professionals alike, they are an important factor in India’s continued economic growth.

If you are interested in finding an English language program in India, check out ESL Directory for the latest schools and programs!