Exchange students experience American college life through LEAP Program

From left: Francisco, Purity, Vlad and Hsan studied at Wright State through the LEAP Program.

For the past couple of years, Wright State has hosted exchange students from the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program and World Learning. The students are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and fully funded by the U.S. government.

The students stay at Wright State for two semesters, one in the LEAP Intensive English Program (unless they have already met the English language requirement) and one taking academic courses. Students who have studied at Wright State through this program are from counties such as Haiti, Algeria, Laos, Mauritania, Croatia, Myanmar, Kazakhstan and Egypt.

In addition to taking classes, students engage in community service and volunteer on campus and in the community.

This semester, the LEAP Program and the University Center for International Education have hosted four students: Vlad from Ukraine, Purity from Kenya, Francisco from Nicaragua and Hsan from Myanmar.

The students have been able to experience the differences in American college life from their native universities. Purity found the interaction with professors at Wright State to be an enjoyable change from what she is used to.

“I really like how the professors are willing to talk with you and help you in difficult times,” she said. “In Kenya, the classes can be as much as 500 people, and the professors aren’t available to help as much as in the United States.”

Besides classes, the students have been able to experience living on a college campus and experience American foods and culture.

The students credit Wright State’s LEAP Program with providing them a fun and friendly experience during their time at Wright State.

“We have friends at other universities that say the facilities are much different, and I believe we get the better experience here,” Hsan said.

“Wright State has great teachers, but the LEAP teachers here are perfect,” Francisco added.

At the end of the spring semester, the four students will head home to their respective countries where they will continue pursuing their degrees. They all want to bring the experiences they’ve had in the United State and apply it to their fields back home, which include teaching, architecture, legal studies and English literature.

“I want to promote the program so other students can have the experiences that I’ve had here,” Vlad said. “I also want to use the connections I’ve made here to provide opportunities to others who may want to pursue something like this. I feel that this program can give people perspective on people and cultures around the world.”

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