ELS Center will be relocated to Allendale Campus

Hannah Lentz

Coming to Grand Valley State University’s Allendale Campus in the 2014-2015 academic school year is the English Language Service Center. Currently located on 48th Avenue in the Meadows Crossing Apartment Complex, the ELSC will be relocated to AuSable Hall with hopes to help integrate international students in GVSU’s student population.

The ELSC will move Aug. 8 into the existing part of AuSable Hall. More than 100 international students from 15 countries are expected to move into the heart of campus, adding to the 387 students from 82 countries already attending the university.

“Grand Valley has a firm intention to increase the number of international students on campus so that all students have the opportunity to interact with students from all over the world with a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds so that people have a chance to see things from different perspective,” said Kate Stoetzner, director of International Student and Scholar Services.

The ELSC, an internationally known language school, has been in operation since the creation of GVSU. The off-campus location has been in operation since 2004.

The ELSC offers four-week long English instruction at 12 different levels. Students may fulfill GVSU’s English requirement by completing level 112. Students who are in levels 110, 111 or 112 may enroll at GVSU at the same time, and three English general credits are available for ELSC students after matriculating at GVSU. Programs can last anywhere from six months to a year.

Field trips and activities are also arranged for students through the Contact America program, where international students who are learning English are shown around institutions discussed in the ELS program to enhance real life applications and experiences.

International students may live in university housing or apply to experience a home-stay with an American family through GVSU.

“Students come to ELS to experience the United States, and we want to create an environment where they are comfortable and eager to matriculate to Grand Valley,” Stoetzner said. “It is great that students in the program will be on campus rather than being isolated off campus.”

In recent efforts to involve ELS students with on-campus activities, there have been activities such as an ELS soccer tournament featuring 14 teams and six international students to outreach into the whole GVSU community.

“ELS is looking forward to being more involved in campus events and organizations and contributing to a more diverse campus,” said Nicholas Ghiglia, director of the ELSC. “We want to prepare and encourage students from our program to study at Grand Valley and provide an increased opportunity for international students on campus.”

Additionally, ELS often hires students from GVSU to teach English to international students in the program. Students are looking for ways to get involved and get exposed to the English language since coming to the U.S.

“ELS students, staff and faculty are excited for this transition of locations,” Ghiglia said. “Hopefully, having this on-campus presence will help international students recognize the benefits of a Grand Valley study.”

[email protected]