TWU summer courses attract local and international students

TWU Summer Sessions student Eva Schulze is making the most of her Canadian university learning opportunity. “Taking summer courses at TWU seemed to be a perfect opportunity to use my language skills and improve my writing skills,” said the native of Bremen, Germany. “In my former job, I didn’t have the opportunity to apply those skills as much as I would have liked.”

Schulze first heard about Trinity Western through her best friend, TWU alumna Anika Triebel [‘03], a fellow German who felt TWU would be a great place for her to take her first-ever university courses. “My friend told me, ‘Go there, you’re going to love it,’” she said. And Schulze did.

So much so, that after her classes were completed, Schulze took on a part-time volunteer position as a research and service assistant with TWU’s Summer Sessions program. Part of her role includes working with the staff to make the program as welcoming as possible for students.

She is also helping to develop surveys for different student groups, which allows her to apply the skills she gained in her 300-level Cross-cultural Communications course. “I wanted to work in an office atmosphere that’s international and English-speaking, because it’s different from what I’ve done before,” she said.

Throughout the summer, over 900 undergraduate and TWU Extension students—from Canada, the US, New Zealand, Singapore, and Nigeria—will go through the Summer Sessions program, taking core and other courses ranging from Anatomy and Physiology (BIOL 241) to Math for Elementary Teachers (MATH 190) to Intro to Old Testament (RELS 101). The program’s most unique course, Iconography (ART 224/324), featuring instructor Vladimir Blagonadezhdin, is a perennial favourite.

In total, nearly 1600 students—including ESLI, ACTS, and graduate studies—are attending TWU this summer.

For first-year student Joshua Itok, Summer Sessions courses allowed him to get a jump on his fall courses. “My professors really helped me understand the course materials, and helped me succeed,” he said. Itok, who is from Nigeria, is enrolled in TWU’s Pre-Engineering program. He plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering before becoming a commercial airline pilot.

“Our one- to six-week courses allow students to work and study while completing courses toward their degrees,” said TWU Extension’s Jonathan Barkowsky, Associate Director of Programs. “Some students use the opportunity to catch up on their degree, while others work towards earning a double major—while still graduating with their peers.”

The program also appeals to transfer students, and to visiting students from other universities, as well as international students like Itok—and Schulze, who will return to Germany in August.

“Coming to TWU has helped me become more aware of myself as a German,” she said. “Not only am I getting to know another culture, I’m getting to know myself even better.”

At home, Schulze hopes her two certificates will demonstrate her strong English-speaking skills and sense for international culture to future employers. She aspires to gain employment in a field where she can apply these skills on a daily basis. She is grateful for both her courses, and the office experience she gained.

“I just had the feeling I wasn’t finished here,” Schulze said. “With my previous academic and work experience, I knew I could help a little. It was a win-win.”

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