Illinois State University welcomes its fifth group of guests from the Panama Bilingüe Program. Twenty students from Panama will be taking part in a 16-week training program through ISU’s English Language Institute.

These students are part of a continuing program developed by the Panamanian government to improve public education and foster economic development. The goal is to integrate English language education throughout the entire educational system in Panama.

The Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) will host these visitors from May 30 through September 16, 2017. During this period, participants will be taking part in classes delivered by the English Language Institute, visiting local historic and cultural landmarks, and attending various programs to help them practice and grow their English language skills. The expected outcome of this program is that these students will be able to take what they have learned at ISU and use these skills to enhance their educational experience in Panama.

“We are so excited to have this group of Panamanian students here this summer,” said Interim Assistant Director for the English Language Institute Melissa Leismer. “They are so motivated to learn, and they always bring so much life to our campus. I’ve also been impressed with our own ISU students and how enthusiastically they welcome these international students—it’s great to be a part of a campus that celebrates diversity.”

For many of these students, this is their first time traveling outside of Panama. The Office of International Studies and Programs hopes to continue its partnership with the Ministry of Education of Panama in order to provide a quality educational experience to future groups of teachers.

For more information about this program, please contact Matt Schwab at