Irina Peseleva from Russia: Studying English in the Intensive English Language Program and Psychology at Temple University

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

On a Russian website, I read that if your first language is Slavic, then the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) at Temple University is the best choice. I came to visit Philly first and absolutely fell in love with the city. It’s incredibly diverse and friendly. After going through the IELP I found out that the psychology department is also very strong at Temple and a bachelor’s degree from here is considered a good thing when applying to a master’s program.

What do you like best?

The best thing is that all professors help you as much as they can. They always find extra time and explain things over and over again if you don’t get it.

What do you miss most?

My family and friends. It’s hard at the beginning because it’s a new culture. Thankfully, I had the IELP program here at Temple. All those students are like family to me now.

What was your biggest surprise?

That you can manage your own classes! It’s awesome, especially when you are working.

How have you handled:

... language differences?

If I don’t understand something I ask people, “Try to explain it to me like to a five-year-old” and it always works.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

I got my first bachelor’s degree in Russia and the whole system is completely opposite. I like it better in U.S., again, professors help. You manage your own time and can take advantage of a lot of extra activities and clubs at Temple.

What are your activities?

I participate in a lot of activities with international students. It’s my favorite hobby so far.

How easy or difficult was making friends?

For me it was easy. I started in the English language program. The staff managed to bond us all together.

How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country? 

I want to get master’s degree in psychology. In my country, it’s not that open minded, I hope I can bring that spark in.

What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?

I think living in another culture is always a good thing. It keeps you open minded. The U.S. gives you the opportunity to live with all cultures at once and make friends from all over the world. It breaks all the borders.

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