Bringing an international flavor to American University

They won’t know it until they get here, but every year the hundreds of high school students attending the Discover the World of Communication summer program at American University really do discover a bit of the world.

That’s because during the first session, about 25 of the 130 attendees are international students who live all around the world. For both sessions this year, students will come from 15 countries, with those from Germany, Greece, Costa Rica, Virgin Islands and Panama having attended the first session of courses alone. The furthest students came from China, India and Africa, according to Discover The World of Communication staff.

Sarah Menke-Fish (top left), director of the program and an assistant professor at American, said that she “absolutely enjoys” having international students in the program.  There have never been any problems with language barriers, she said. International students know when they sign up that the courses are taught in English, she added.

“They bring such a rich, cultural experience to all the students here in the program,” she said.  Students from 40 states attend the courses, held June 18-29 for the first session and July 2-13 for the second session.

One such student who brought that experience was Victoria Arrocha from Costa del Este, Panama.  It took Arrocha four hours to get here by plane. She is staying on campus for the full month for both workshop sessions.  Among the courses she is taking are Photography I & II and International Communications.

While she said that Panama is different in many ways, like the food, the way of living, and the people, she is still very grateful to be attending the course.

“I am taking these classes to see what I would like to do in the future,” Arrocha said.

It took Christina Aikaterini Banou (bottom left) from Greece 16 hours of traveling to get here.  On campus for two weeks, she is taking Non-Profit Media and Directing and Acting for the Camera. She found out about this program through her sister’s school.

She chose these classes because she likes directing and also believes that “non-profit organizations are good for the society.”

American U. can hope that its summer programs are good recruiting tool for international students looking to find a college abroad.