UEX Evening Courses Help ESL Student Saleh Alghamdi Prepare for Graduate School
2/3/2014As the second-eldest in a family of nine children, Saleh Alghamdi grew up tending to the needs of his younger siblings. The experiences of taking care of them and helping to nurture their intellectual curiosity and creativity, ultimately influenced Saleh’s decision to pursue a career in teaching.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Taif University in his native Saudi Arabia, Saleh began teaching computer courses to high school students. In this first teaching role, Saleh first began learning English in order to expand his career options. Up to this point in his life, Saleh’s education had been conducted entirely in Arabic. He had only completed one English course when he learned about the English as a Second Language, or ESL, programs offered by the International Office at The University of Texas at Austin. In these programs, international students receive high-quality English language training and orientation to help them gain better proficiency in English and broaden their cultural awareness. This training helps them adapt to new surroundings, a new culture and a different language while enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin. Intrigued by the special opportunities presented by the International Office - to travel, learn English, and continue his education - Saleh decided to give it a try.
After a year of intensive English language study, Saleh discovered another opportunity to progress his educational goals by taking courses from University Extension (UEX).
Saleh took his first UEX college-level course taught in English during the Fall 2013 semester, SOC 321K - Sociology of Love & Intimacy, one of UEX’s evening classroom courses. “Because English is not my first language, I was afraid that I would face some difficulties with the course readings,” he admits. “However, due to the amazing and interesting readings assigned in this class, I overcame my fear and improved my reading skills.”
This spring Saleh is taking two more evening classroom courses with UEX. In addition to helping him build English-language skills, these courses are giving Saleh an opportunity to make connections with university students and faculty, which he feels will be invaluable as he prepares to apply to graduate programs in the U.S.
When asked what he would say to others considering a UEX course, Saleh says, “Just do it. These courses can help you in many aspects of your life.”