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Northwestern ISI

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Hi everyone,


I am an international student who will be doing PhD at Northwestern University. I was offered an admission to Northwestern's International Summer Institute (ISI) program alongside my admission to Phd. This 1 month long program is meant to provide language training (especially spoken English) and to ease cultural integration to American society. 


I wonder if any of you will be participating in this program this year, or participated in previous years. I need information as well as some advice. I have no clue about the efficacy of this program or whether I need to attend it. The thing is, I am reluctant to leave my parents and my boyfriend a month early. On the other hand, I keep feeling inadequate in my speaking skills while I am talking to native speakers, and I'm afraid I may isolate myself when I study in the US. I am sure I will adapt at some point in my graduate life, but it may take too long and in the meantime it may affect my studies.  


Current international grad students, what would you advise? Would a month of directed English speaking practice improve my life and learning in the gradschool drastically, or I may as well improve my speaking on my own in the course of my graduate studies?


Thanks in advance 


ps: I have a 113 Toefl score, but I lost all 7 points in the speaking part. 

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Hi! I'm not attending the program because English is my mother tongue, so I can't help you much there, but I am an international student who will be attending Northwestern in the Fall and it's nice to know of others who will be attending too :)

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Hi. I'm an international student and I'm also worried about my English. Since I wasn't offered a language training session, I plan to come to America one week earlier than I was asked to. I will take the time to explore the city and try to walk out of my comfort zone and talk to native speakers. I think as international students, we do need time to adjust. If you really don't want to leave so soon, maybe you could arrange to arrive just a couple of days earlier? 

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Man, I can't imagine doing a ph.d. in a second (or third) language. You guys have balls.


That being said. I would go. What difference does it make leaving early? You are leaving anyways. It will also give you the opportunity to have extra time to find a good place to live and get accustomed to your surroundings.

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