TWU launches new program for international students


Beginning Fall 2012, Trinity Western University will offer an innovative program for international students called University Transition First Year (UT1). The program is designed to walk international students through the first, often challenging year of university courses. 

“First year is the most stressful year for many students, and even more so for students who are learning in a new language and culture,” said Melinda Dewsbury, Assistant Professor and Director of UT1. “TWU has several layers of support and connection in place for all new students. With UT1, we aim to build on that from a global perspective. We want to see our students fulfill their potential and take on active roles on campus and beyond.”

The program is for students whose citizenship is from outside North America, students who use English as a second or additional language, local students who are still new to the language and culture, and those who speak English but have not studied in a Western education system, like many students from Africa or South Asia.

All of the instructors are accomplished TWU faculty, trained and certified to teach in international classrooms, and all of the courses are paired with “Integration and Engagement courses,” where students take time to focus on developing language skills, cultural literacy, critical thinking, and academic skills needed to succeed.

The UT1 program builds a secure environment through a cohort model of education, so that students do not feel alone. It supports them academically through the “Integration and Engagement” courses, one-on-one learning coaches, and first language discussion groups. An International Host offers ongoing social connection and on-campus care, and the Student Life team facilitates an active dorm and campus life.

“The program’s motto is Real relationship. Real community. Real Future,” said Philip Laird, Ph.D., Associate Provost. “We believe that healthy learning grows out of relationship. This is the foundation of the UT1 program.”

For more information visit the UT1 website or contact:

English: Melinda Dewsbury 604-513-2121, ext. 3882 or melindad@twu.ca

Chinese: Geoffrey Feng 604-513-2068 (Canada) or +0086.15822576060 (China Mobile) 
qq: 929587097 or Geoffrey.Feng@twu.ca

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