International Accelerator Programs – A new route for International students to study in top universities in the U.S.
Over the past few years, the number of students pursuing education in a foreign country has been steadily increasing. Moving from your home country to another country can be a challenge – new place, new language, and new people, you will have to start afresh. If you have been aspiring to study abroad but the thought of living away from home gives you jitters, don’t give up! You can opt for International Accelerator programs.
International Accelerator programs are designed to help international students and non-native English speakers for easier transition in the U.S. Right from providing logistical support, such as, airport pickup and accommodation to academic and career support, engaging and immersive cultural experiences, these accelerator programs are made to make you feel at home, away from home.
One such university that offers International Accelerator programs is the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Located in one of the busiest and largest international centres for technology, finance, and business in the U.S., the University of Illinois at Chicago is one of the most diverse and culturally rich universities with more than 29,000 students, including over 2,500 international students. According to Times Higher Education World University Rankings, it is ranked among the top 200 universities in the world.
If you have been aspiring to be a part of this university, there are undergraduate programs called Undergraduate Accelerators, that help you with your transition to the U.S. academic system. UIC provides 3 kinds of undergraduate accelerators, namely – Integrated Accelerator Program (IAP), Academic Accelerator Program (AAP), and Extended Accelerator Program (EAP).
UIC’s Undergraduate Accelerator eases a transition to the U.S. academic system by combining credit-bearing courses from the first year of your degree with additional academic support, instruction, and cultural experiences. Together, these facets of the program combine to create a learning-centred environment that promotes academic success, active involvement in campus life and community engagement. Depending on your requirements you can choose one of the following undergraduate accelerator programs.
This program involves a rigorous academic experience with priority access to courses. You will be guided by academic advisors and mentors. Classes will have students from the U.S. so that you can understand and adapt to the environment more easily. Career development and networking opportunities are a crucial part of this program. The course duration lasts for 2 semesters/9 months. This program is for students who have advanced English language skills. The minimum GPA requirement for entry into this program is 3.0. You need to obtain a minimum score in any one of these examinations – 80 in TOEFL or 6.5 in IELTS or 69 in Pearson Versant. On completion of this program, you will progress into the 2nd year of the degree you want to pursue.
If your English language skills are of an intermediate level and you would like some aid to improve your English language skills, then this is the right accelerator for you. The program helps you interact with international students as well as students from the U.S. This program mainly focuses on English language skill support and excellence. Similar to IAP, you will have access to exclusive courses and will be rewarded an entire year’s worth of college credits. You are required to score at least 68 in TOEFL or 5.5 in IELTS or 50 in Pearson Versant, for entry into this program. The duration is 2 semesters/9 months. The minimum GPA requirement is 2.5.On completion of this program; you will progress into the 2nd year of the degree you want to pursue.
If a customised approach is your style, then you can opt for this accelerator. This program lasts for a year/3 semester. It provides an extensive and detailed awareness about the culture of America with immersive English language learning. Similar to the other two accelerators, it provides exclusive access to courses, particularly focussing on the local community and full year’s worth of college credits. You should have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to join EAP. Your English language examination score should not be below 60 in TOEFL or 5 in IELTS or 45 in Pearson Versant.
If you require additional assistance for English skills, you could first choose to be a part of Pre-sessional English Program that lasts for 14 weeks. Upon completion of this program, you can progress into Extended Accelerator Program (EAP). The minimum GPA requirement is 2.5. You can join this program if your score in any one of the following examinations that you have written is utmost 60 in TOEFL or 5 in IELTS or 45 in Pearson Versant.
The tuition fee for Integrated Accelerator Program IAP, Academic Accelerator Program AAP, and Extended Accelerator Program EAP is USD 29,500, USD 31,000, and USD 38,000 respectively.
For professional growth and career advancement, UIC has a Career Accelerator program that helps you obtain hands-on experience through internships and skill-based training for professional development. This also comes under pathway programs. You will get a chance to be a part of workshops and will have a chance to interact and work collectively with people from other nationalities. It is a two year/4 semester program that provides career guidance.
The Career Accelerator program offers five tracks. You can choose any one of the following tracks to become more adept in your career.
- Advanced Degree Preparation
- Sponsored Business Development
- Family Business Development
To be a part of this program, you must be an Undergraduate Accelerator student who maintains 90% attendance for activities and workshops, completes all major projects, is in good academic standing in UIC and has good immigration standing. It is necessary for international students to obtain documents for CPT/OPT from the correct department in order to participate in this program.
UIC is Chicago’s only public research university that offers 84 undergraduate degree programs. The student to faculty ratio is 17:1 to maximise the interaction and understanding between the students and the professors. Payscale.com has evaluated a UIC degree to be equal to USD 400,000 over a span of 20 years.
It has a lush green campus with over 800 bike racks. There is a provision of free transportation service in the evenings, around the campus. With over 25 recreational clubs, you could choose to be a part of whatever you like, be it sports or dance or martial arts and much more. For a sports enthusiast, this school could be no less than paradise as it offers 20 top-tier Division I sports programs for both men and women. Cultural fairs, festivals, and concerts help students break away from the monotony of life.
The undergraduate accelerator programs and the career accelerator program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) are stepping stones for you to experience mass cultural diversity, innovative and practical learning along with festivities and fun for you to build a bright and successful career.