College tips, Life at FIU

Hard Work through the English Language Institute Pays Off – G1Y Student Voice


A few months ago, I started my study abroad life. Instead of going directly to the Global First Year to start college courses, I went to the English Language Institute (ELI) at Florida International University for language courses. This is because my TOEFL score did not meet the G1Y requirement when I applied, so I had to take a language course for a while. ELI was founded in 1978. It was set up to provide quality English-language instruction to all individuals who have chosen English as their medium of communication for academic or professional pursuits, and to promote international and intercultural understanding.

I entered ELI with two purposes: One, to get a satisfactory score and enter Global First Year (G1Y); and two, to improve my English. Now that I have successfully entered G1Y, and I can clearly feel that my ability to express myself in English has improved. This is mostly due to ELI’s teachers, who gave me a lot of help and support; without them, I wouldn’t have been able to transfer so successfully to G1Y.

On my first day at ELI, I took an English proficiency test. The next day, I went to the office to learn the test result and get my schedule. The staff in the office led me to the classroom and introduced me to my teachers and classmates. At ELI I met many new classmates, from all over the world, who were warm and friendly.

After a month of study, I thought it was time to take the TOEFL exam, so I asked a Brazilian classmate who was also a G1Y student to take the weekend exam with me. The TOEFL of ELI is different from the TOEFL I took in China. The TOEFL ITP is a whole book of questions, and it lacks the writing and speaking parts of the online exam (the TOEFL iBT). In a discussion after the exam, I learned that the deadline for submitting my TOEFL score to G1Y was different from what I expected, which disrupted my original study plan. I told my teacher about my concerns. She told me that I should contact the advisor of G1Y immediately and figure out a plan to deal with it, because the deadline was not far away. At the same time, my teacher gave me a lot of practice questions, which helped me achieve satisfactory results.

After talking with advisor, I learned that students who want to apply for G1Y can be graded in advance. Two days before the deadline, I entered the exam room with some trepidation, and in the afternoon, I received an email with the subject line, “congratulations.” I knew that two months of hard work finally paid off! I got the score I wanted and successfully graduated from ELI.

I left ELI three months ago, and it seems as if it was last week when I discussed grammar with my classmates in class. Now, the textbooks in my hand have changed from reading and writing to economics and mathematics, and in a short time, I will take my first final exam in G1Y.

I would like to give some suggestions to those students who are studying at ELI and have the intention to transfer to G1Y:

First, you should be clear about the deadline of your TOEFL score submission and arrange a corresponding study plan.

Second, communicate with the teacher or advisor if you have any questions.

Third, listen carefully in class and don’t be absent. You can learn many things about TOEFL in class and improve your English. Absence from class will affect your final grade. Your final grade must be higher than a C to get into G1Y.

Last but not least, I wish everyone success in achieving their goals as soon as possible. Hard work always pays off!


Guest Written by freshman G1Y student


Hospitality Management major from China



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