International Student recruits to Memorial University often do not speak English as their native language. In response, Memorial University developed an English Second Language (ESL) Program for those students who do not have the required level of English proficiency, upon applying to Memorial. Students who are completing the ESL program, cannot simultaneously take courses, and are considered provisionally accepted as students at Memorial.
The Intensive English Program (IEP), a one semester program, costs just under $4000 per semester, and takes students up to three semesters to complete. Students are unable to progress to being a Memorial student, until they have passed the English Proficiency Test. The need to complete the IEP is often not effectively communicated to International Students before being provisionally admitted to Memorial. Many do not realize that they may have to be completing the ESL program for up to three semesters, before being admitted to the university as a full time student. This can put students several semesters behind, all while they pay program and housing fees.
Once students have completed the Intensive English Program, and have passed the English Proficiency Test, there are no ESL supports for them. As a consequence, International Students often struggle with university-level writing. The Writing Centre has been overwhelmed with the quantity of International Students who avail of their services, and they simply do not have the capacity or the training to accommodate these students’ needs. International Students comprise just over 10% of the total student body, yet they use the Writing Centre more than any other group on campus.