Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Welcoming international students with new initiatives

According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, more than three million students are now attending colleges and universities outside their home countries, and more than 670,000 students from abroad are enrolled on U.S. campuses. That booming trend is reflected at Wheaton in the 40 percent increase in enrollment of new international students that the college experienced last year.

Global Center for Education Dean Alfredo Varela, center associate director Jill Ostrowski, and the staff are paying close attention to that growth and working to make sure that international students are easily integrated into the campus and local community, right from the moment they arrive.

The center has been developing new programs and creative initiatives to do that for the college’s 130 international students.

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Imaginative approach to English

Global center begins summer language program


How does one explain this word to a group of international students whose first language is not English?

That was the challenge that language specialist Kara Burrage had one morning this summer while teaching a group of high school students from Nanjing, China, as they participated in Wheaton’s new summer English program.

So she started by teaching them the word “marshmallow,” the main ingredient in the gooey American campfire treat of graham crackers, roasted marshmallows and chocolate.

With “s’mores = some more” written across the blackboard in a Meneely classroom, Burrage handed out marshmallows from a large bag. Each student gingerly bit into the spongy sweets.

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A minute with Marijose Vila ’13

Last summer, Wheaton Fellow Marijose Vila ’13 got to experience a different side of her native Guatemala and make a difference in the lives of women there.

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Welcome, Class of 2014

In August Wheaton welcomed 459 first-year students representing the Class of 2014 (3,600 applied). They’ve traveled the world, earned high honors in academics, sports and the arts, and demonstrated a range of leadership experience—all by the age of 18! For example: Ashley Pelzel achieved more than 800 hours of community service; Hammad Hassan spent four years reading the Koran in Arabic; Elizabeth Howe is a nationally ranked equestrian; Robert Fox builds longboard skateboards; Emily Baldwin worked with security clearance at the Sandia National Laboratory; and Alessandro Aquista blogs as a restaurant critic.

Freshman class at a glance:

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