ATLANTA – Mercer University's English Language Institute (ELI) is currently hosting 24 Mexican students for a one-month program through Mexico's Proyecta 100,000 initiative.
Proyecta 100,000 has a goal of sending 100,000 Mexican students to study in the United States. Through this initiative, the U.S. will also send 50,000 students to study in Mexico by 2018. U.S. universities annually compete in a request for proposals by the Mexican government in order to host a group of the scholarship students. This is the first time Mercer has been selected to participate.
“It is an honor for the ELI to have been chosen to be a part of this bi-national governmental initiative to foster relationships and understanding between U.S. and Mexican communities and build upon our economic cooperation and successes,” said Dr. Julie Strecker, director of international programs and the ELI. “I'm also pleased to see the faculty and staff of the ELI contributing their talents and expertise to Mercer's increasing growth in global education and programming.”
Mercer's guest students are currently immersed in full-time classes in the ELI and are also participating in extracurricular activities to enhance their exposure to U.S. culture. Students have visited a corn maze in North Georgia, toured downtown Atlanta, experienced Stone Mountain Park, and will have opportunities to tour the High Museum of Art, share their culture at a local nursing home and participate in the ELI's annual International Day celebration. American host families, in cooperation with Mark's Homestay LLC, are housing these students during their month-long stay.
“The Proyecta 100,000 initiative has promoted cultural awareness among the Mercer community and extended the University's name internationally,” said Jamie McKee, interim associate director of the ELI. “Mercer hopes that international students who participate in short-term programs through the ELI will consider returning to the University in the future for further English study or enrollment in graduate programs.”
“So far, my Mercer experience has been beyond expectation,” said guest student Vanessa Machuca Hernandez. “Mercer has many nice and kind teachers helping us, and fun activities and friendly host families to make us feel at home. I'm so glad to be part of this program, and wish I could stay longer at Mercer.”