During the summer, PMC's English Language Institute conducted a number of intensive courses in English, drawing more than 600 students from around the world to the campus and setting new records for the number of participants. The courses varied in length from two to eight weeks, and several courses were geared specifically for the continuing students who are in the program for a year or longer. In addition to individual registrants from Argentina, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, the Institute hosted groups from France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Taiwan, and Venezuela.
Now in its sixth year, the Institute has gained an international reputation and continues to grow. Numbers of students are returning for their second and third summers, and several have signed up for a full year's program. One example is Aiman Sappayeva, 30, from Moscow, who came last summer, stayed for the entire academic year, continued her stay for this summer's program, and will return to Russia in August.
"This has been the best experience of my life," Sappayeva emphasized. "I want my younger brother to come and study here, and I have been making regular contact with my parents urging them to encourage him to come. I want him to experience the great teachers, the friendly atmosphere, and the enjoyable life that you have here. I made a lot of great friends, learned so much English, had a wonderful time, and I am sad to have to go."
Isaac Cohen, 20, of Mexico City, first came to ELI's summer programs in 1998 when he was 16. He returned for the next two summers and this year he served as a counselor for the younger students. Over the years, he also recruited more than fifteen of his friends from Mexico City to attend the program with him at PMC. He is trilingual, speaking Spanish, English, and Hebrew.
"I am glad I had an opportunity to be a counselor this summer," Isaac said. "Because I'm the same age as many of the other students, I think I can relate to them better. I want to make them happy and I want to help them have a great experience both here at ELI and in Boston."
"I believe that American Universities are the best in the world," Isaac stated, "and eventually I want to spend a year or two either as an undergraduate or as a graduate student in the United States taking business, management, and marketing courses. To do this, I knew that I would have to perfect my English and that's why I have been coming to ELI for the past few years. The courses offered are just what I need, and the instructors go out of their way to make learning exciting. I feel very much at home at Pine Manor."
"As a result of coming to these courses, I have also had a fantastic opportunity to meet people my own age from all over the world,"Isaac continued. "I have been exposed to different cultures, different philosophies, and different ways of doing things. As a result, I had to do a lot of thinking and I've also done a lot of growing up."
"Last year, I met Majed Almashhadi from Medina, Saudi Arabia and we just clicked. He has become my best friend," Isaac said, "and in many ways, he is even closer to me than my brother. I've learned some Arabic from him and I've taught him some Hebrew."
"We both know about the problems in the Middle East and we are painfully aware of the clash between our two cultures and faiths but we are determined not to let that come between us," Isaac emphasized. "I can't explain why, but I know we will always be friends."
"I also love ELI because it is located in Boston and there are so many things here for me to do and see. I've already spent time on the campuses of most of the major universities in the area and I've even taken a course in Business English at Boston University," Isaac concluded. "I have met a lot of local students and I've had a great time visiting the downtown and Quincy Market. I especially like the student clubs and discos on Lansdowne Street and Embassy and Pravda are two of the best in the world."
Isaac comes from a dynamic family. His father is an importer and retailer of high fashion clothing and his mother is an art dealer carrying the works of some of the most famous contemporary Mexican artists. His sister Lilly, 28, is an economist. Ceci, 27, is a homemaker, and his brother Alberto, 24, is a technical engineer for a cellular telephone company.
This past year, Isaac graduated from Maguen David (Star of David) High School, a private high school in Mexico City, and then spent four months backpacking across Europe with ten of his friends. He also spent two weeks in Israel.
Upon completion of his duties with ELI, Isaac returned to Mexico City where he began his studies as an international business major at Anahuac University. He also had plans to work part time either with his father or his brother in order to get real world experience.
Majed Almashhadi, 19, came to ELI last summer for a two week course in English. He had just graduated from high school in Medina, Saudi Arabia and had spent some time studying English at the Bell School in Saffron Walden near Cambridge, England. With the help of his older brother Hani, he surfed the net looking for English language schools in the United States.
"I picked ELI because I was looking for a small school with a campus and because I wanted to be in Boston," Majed said. "I knew nothing about PMC or ELI but I always wanted to come the America and I am going to complete my university studies here. It made sense to me to try a school in an academic city."
Majed was so pleased with his experience that he extended his stay for the entire summer and then decided to stay at ELI for a full year. During the course of the year he perfected his English and is now bi-lingual in English and Arabic. He also took the Kaplan preparatory courses for the SAT's and then took his college boards in the late spring.
Majed also spent a lot of time with his guitar and plays songs in English, Arabic, and Spanish. He has become an aficionado of latin music and reports that people don't believe that he can't speak Spanish after they have heard him sing.
"During the course of the year, I was completely immersed in my English studies and I didn't speak Arabic with anyone. In October, I met Isaac and we began studying together and then spending a lot of free time together as well. We both have the same tastes and we both like a lot of the same things. We even like the same night clubs in Boston, Embassy and Pravda, and we both love Lansdowne Street," Majed said. "Isaac had to leave a little early to begin university and I miss him already. When ELI ends at the end of August, I'm going to take a break and spend some time with him in Mexico City. After that I will go home for a month or so and then I will come back to Boston to find an apartment and begin getting ready for school."
"When I had a chance to become an activities counselor at ELI this summer, I changed all my plans so I could stay. When I came to Boston last year, I didn't know anyone and I didn't know the city. I thought if I could help some of the students coming this year, it would be great." Majed continued. "I have had a great time working with all the students this summer, helping them get adjusted to Boston and to America, helping them with their studies, and helping them fill their free time."
"At the same time I decided to take three courses at Boston University because I got word in late June that I had been accepted for the spring semester. I'm planning on majoring in Business Administration and so I took courses in management, economics, and psychology." Majed said. "And even though I was working full time at ELI, I managed to get an A-, a B+, and a B.
Majed's father, Taleb, is a civil engineer and the retired director of roads for the Medina area. Since retirement, he has become a developer and has built major complexes in Medina, Jeddah, and Riyadh. His mother, Suad, keeps the home. He has two brother's, Hani, 29, who earned his doctorate in economics from the European University in Montreux, Switzerland, and who is now working in the stock market there, and Hatem, 27, who is completing his PhD in economics, also at the European University in Montreux.
"I love PMC and I love ELI," Majed concluded. "If I could matriculate here, I would do it immediately."
In addition to the core courses in Reading and Writing English, Integrated Grammar, and Listening to and Speaking English, students in the program can take electives in Pronunciation, Business English, preparation for the test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL), and studies in American and Boston culture.
Participants in the programs also have a wide range of extracurricular activities to enjoy. These include: trips to the Cape and Provincetown, the Berkshires, Newport, Rhode Island, the malls at Kittery and York Beach in Maine, and Six Flags in Westfield; overnight trips to New York City, Washington, DC, Niagara Falls, and Toronto; field trips to the Museum of Fine Arts, the New England Aquarium, the Museum of Science, Harvard University, the Boston Pops Orchestra on the Esplanade, the Boston Red Sox, the Blue Man Group, Chinatown, and Quincy Market. Students also had the opportunity of taking the Duck Tour of Boston, the Tour of Boston by Foot, and of going on a whale watch, a sunset cruise, and several organized trips to the beach, as well as visiting several college-aged discos. Activities on campus included a number of barbecues, coffee houses, ice cream socials, dances, and movies.
For the fall semester, ELI will host a group of 11 students from Kinjo College, which is located in the suburbs of Tokyo, Japan, in collaboration with the Japan Education Advancement Association. The students from Kinjo College are very interested in exploring the principles of inclusive leadership, social responsibility, and the Pine Manor community values of respect, trust, individual worth, equality, and openness. The goal of this program is to foster mutual cultural understanding, independence, and growth, and ELI will be working closely with PMC administrators and staff to encourage interaction with PMC degree students and to ensure that all students benefit academically, socially, and personally.
For the past year ELI has been partnered with the Monterrey, Mexico, Institute of Technology (ITESM), and that relationship continues to develop. The number of students coming in January, 2002, for the spring semester will be more than twice as large as the group that came last year. To accommodate the needs of these students, ELI staff have been working with PMC's Management and Business faculty, and will offer a number of seminars in international finance, human resources and human resources management, and e-commerce