TIEC’s Texas Intensive English Program (TIEP) welcomed its 19th group of students from Mishima Senior High School in Mishima, Japan to Austin for a three-week intensive English and cultural immersion program. This year’s cohort of 61 was the second largest in the program’s history, which has brought 799 students to Austin since 2000.
“We appreciate TIEP for accepting our students,” said Sho Sasaki, one of three Mishima teachers sent from the high school to chaperone and lead students. “We thank TIEP for supporting them, and hope that they listened well, spoke actively, and learned a lot.”
The annual program includes 35 hours of weekly intensive English courses and cultural activities ranging from a field trip to San Antonio, country western dance lessons, and a student favorite—TIEP casino day. TIEP’s Master and PhD level instructors teach all courses to the students, who take an English proficiency test and are divided up into classes by English abilities on their first day. Even teacher chaperones like Sasaki receive private English tutoring.
“I came here three years ago, and thanks to TIEP, I was able to study wonderful English and American culture,” Sasaki said. “Even though I was not good at speaking English, the instructor taught me kindly.”
Students live in private dormitories near The University of Texas at Austin campus, which is a walkable distance from TIEC headquarters. As part of the program, students spend a weekend with Austin families like John Frost, who hosted three Mishima students from August 3-5 in hopes of allowing his own daughter to have a cultural exchange experience of her own.
“My daughter is the same age as the girls who came to visit, so it was perfect,” Frost said. “We did a pool and pizza night, took them shopping, and had a great day on Inks Lake. The goal was for them to have a great time and learn what being a Texan is all about!”
The weekend home stay is meant to reinforce English lessons learned during the students’ intensive English classes, and for them to get a fully immersive and diverse set of experiences. This year, 35 families from across the greater Austin area participated.
The program ended on Friday, August 10, and Sasaki said all of the students cannot wait to return.
“We finished the program with health and a big smile,” he said. “Thank you to TIEP for listening and supporting us.”
The Mishima program ran from Monday, July 23- Friday, August 10. To find out more about TIEC special programs visit our website, or contact Cyan.Green@tiec.org today!