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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE INSTITUTE

V I R G I N I A

P O L Y T E C H N I C

I N S T I T U T E

A N D

S T A T E

U N I V E R S I T Y


FROM THE DIRECTOR

Whenever I meet new students on campus, I always ask them why they chose the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute (LCI) over other schools in the United States and all over the world. The answer I hear most often: “A friend recommended your program to me.” What makes the LCI so special? Why do hundreds of graduates each year speak so highly of our program to their friends, ­colleagues, and family members? This brochure attempts to answer those questions. You’ll discover how, for nearly 40 years, the LCI has helped international students meet their personal, academic, and professional goals by providing high-quality language-related programs and serv­ices in a caring and supportive environment. You’ll find out about the high standards for excellence that our faculty and staff set for themselves and for our students. You’ll also learn more about Virginia Tech’s reputation as one of the finest research universities in the country and about its beautiful campus. Whether you are a student preparing for undergraduate or graduate studies in the United States, or a business employee or ­professional looking for a corporate tutoring program, we have a program that can meet your needs. We encourage you to read through this brochure, browse through our website at ­www.lci.vt.edu, and contact us with any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you on campus!

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Donald R. Back, Director, Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute


There is no better way for you to improve your English language skills and experience American culture than through the Virginia Tech Language and Culture ­Institute. Founded in 1974, the LCI has a long history of offering successful ­intensive English and degree-preparation programs.

FAST FACTS w 75 professional faculty and staff members at two locations in Virginia w In operation since 1974 w State-of-the-art computer facilities w An approved ETS Certified Test Administration Site that offers TOEFL® iBT on a monthly basis

You will join more than 500 students from over 50 countries who enroll in our programs each year. You’ll meet dedicated faculty members who all hold master’s or doctoral degrees and certificates of advanced study. And you’ll study in a state-of-the-art computer lab and teaching facilities that will help bring your lessons to life and allow you to make rapid progress.

But we think you’ll learn so much more than just English at the LCI. Your time here will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. At our campuses in scenic Blacksburg, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area, you’ll experience American culture both inside and outside the classroom while gaining the skills to help you achieve your academic, professional, or personal goals. To learn more about our programs, or to find out how you can apply today, call 1-540-231-9814, email us at lci-info@vt.edu, or review our website.

Find out more at www.lci.vt.edu

THE VIRGINIA TECH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE INSTITUTE

Come learn with us

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THE VIRGINIA TECH ADVANTAGE

As an LCI student, you’ll have the opportunity to cultivate relationships and engage in dialogue with students and faculty at one of the top-ranked research universities in the United States. Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities.

Student population n Virginia Tech has about 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 220,000 living alumni from more than 100 countries. n More than 2,000 international students enroll each year. Charleston

New York City Philadelphia .

Washington, D.C

BLACKSBURG Raleigh

Colleges and programs n The university has eight colleges and a graduate school. n It offers 65 ­bachelor’s degree programs plus 150 master’s and doctoral degree programs. n Virginia Tech has more than 1,300 full-time faculty members. n The student-faculty ratio is 16:1.

Boston

Charlotte Atlanta

Tampa

The rankings

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Virginia Tech has a worldwide reputation for excellence in many fields. Its College of Engineering and the Pamplin College of Business, for example, are consistently ranked by America’s premier ranking organization as among the very best in the country. And an annual survey by the National Science Foundation found that Virginia Tech ranks in the top 5 percent of research universities and colleges in the U.S.

Explore Virginia Tech online at www.vt.edu

DISTANCE TO VIRGINIA TECH Atlanta (400 mi./640 km.) Boston (700/1,100) Charleston, W.Va. (180/290) Charlotte, N.C. (170/270) New York (500/800) Philadelphia (410/660) Raleigh, N.C. (200/320) Tampa, Fla. (750/1,207) Washington, D.C. (260/420)


CAMPUS LIFE

Beyond the classroom At the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute, education extends beyond classrooms and computer labs. Here, you’ll strengthen your education through service-learning by volunteering in the region and by working with conversation partners on campus and in the community. The LCI organizes frequent social and athletic events as well as shopping and tourism trips.

Housing options LCI students are typically housed with local families, in university residence halls, and in local apartments. If you want to stay in university housing, you are encouraged to apply early. The town of Blacksburg has an extensive bus system that is free to all LCI students and is within easy reach of most accommodations, the university, and shopping venues.

Food for thought Virginia Tech has award-winning dining centers, including all-you-care-to-eat ­facilities, a la carte food courts, a gourmet coffee and ice cream shop, and grab-and-go food shops. Blacksburg, meanwhile, offers more than 200 shops and restaurants featuring a range of cuisines. Many grocery stores in the area carry imported food items. With so much to do in such a beautiful setting, life as a Hokie is never dull. Our area offers an abundance of outdoor activities, such as hiking and cycling, as well as plenty of indoor entertainment, like concerts, art openings, and plays. Virginia Tech also has 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams to help you catch that Hokie spirit!


LIFE IN VIRGINIA

Beautiful Blacksburg The town of Blacksburg is nestled on a plateau between the picturesque Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains in southwestern Virginia. Home to about 43,000 residents, the town is considered small by most any standard — but don’t let its size or location fool you. Because of its award-winning services, reasonable cost of living, safety, moderate climate, and abundant leisure activities, Blacksburg is consistently ranked among the country’s best places to live and has earned a reputation nationwide as a well-­ managed, stable, and forward-looking community. Vibrant and engaging, Blacksburg’s downtown offers many unique stores, art galleries, and eclectic restaurants. The area’s wide red-brick sidewalks, Victorian street lamps, and park benches encourage foot traffic and make meeting folks easy.

Climate Summers are warm and humid, and winters are generally cool to cold with occasional snow. Monthly mean temperatures range from 30.9° F (-0.6° C) in January to 71.1° F (21.7° C) in July.

FAST FACTS In 2011, Blacksburg was named the best place in the U.S. to raise children. In Blacksburg, one of the most “wired” communities on the planet, you can connect to the Internet from anywhere in town. The nationally accredited ­Virginia Tech Police Department operates 24 hours a day and provides full police service to the university community. You can go swimming or boating in one of the oldest rivers in the world — the New River. It’s also one of the few rivers that flow south to north.

Washington, D.C., area

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The LCI also offers classes at the university’s Northern Virginia Center in the historic city of Falls Church, near ­Washington, D.C. The center hosts many graduate programs, workshops, and customized educational programs, and boasts a number of nationally recognized research centers. Falls Church has the character of a walkable small town, and its two Metro subway stations provide easy access to all the tourist sites of the nation’s capital.


CONDITIONAL ADMISSIONS PROGRAM

No TOEFL®? No problem If you are an excellent student and wish to apply for admission to an academic degree program at Virginia Tech but do not have good English skills or the necessary TOEFL® or IELTS® score, don’t worry — you can be pre-admitted! Our conditional admissions program lets you work toward meeting the ­requirements of attending Virginia Tech while you study at the L­ anguage and Culture Institute. Acceptance into the conditional admissions program is based on an evaluation of your high school records. Once you’ve met the conditional requirements at the LCI, you can transfer into Virginia Tech’s undergraduate program.

Benefits of conditional admissions n Through the LCI’s Intensive English Program, you will develop many of the skills necessary for success in a U.S. university, such as research, critical thinking, and academic writing skills. n Because the conditional admissions program allows you to start your studies at the LCI, you will have time to adjust to life in the United States. n Challenges such as homesickness

and culture shock can be dealt with before you begin your regular university coursework. n You will have more time to explore the university and its course offerings. n At the LCI, you will be in a comfortable, supportive environment, surrounded by faculty and advisers who have vast experience helping international students.

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INTENSIVE ENGLISH PROGRAM

Improve your English Our Intensive English Program offers a wide selection of courses aimed at helping international students prepare for undergraduate or graduate studies at an American university, helping business professionals learn English for career enhancement, and helping STATE OF THE ART Self-paced, computer-based general language learners improve their skills. training is integrated throughIn the Intensive English Program, you’ll receive 20 out the Intensive English to 24 hours of language instruction per week. Core curriculum. Through the LCI’s classes focus on reading and writing, listening and technology center, you will have access to the newest conversation, grammar, and pronunciation. and most effective computerassisted language learning The program features: software available. n Full-time, intensive instruction in all language skill areas n Ten levels of instruction, from low-beginning to advanced proficiency n Concentrated preparation for university studies n An advanced computer-assisted learning center n Up to 18 months of study, depending on placement You may begin your studies in any one of six sessions scheduled yearly. ­Sessions are either six or eight weeks long. For specific session dates, go to www.lci.vt.edu.

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“I have to say that the program at the Language and Culture Institute taught me much more than just English. It also gave me a broad understanding of campus life in America and really helped me adapt to life in Virginia Tech’s MBA program much sooner.” — Jie Zhu, CHINA


The TOEFL test is the most widely recognized test of English proficiency in the United States, ­accepted for admissions purposes by thousands of colleges and universities. Unlike previous ­versions of the TOEFL, the new Internet-based test, or TOEFL iBT®, measures all four language skills — speaking, listening, reading, and writing — with an emphasis on assessing a person’s ability to communicate in English.

ELECTIVE COURSES

TOEFL iBT® preparation

Virginia Tech is an approved test administration site, offering the TOEFL iBT ­every month. That means that if you’re enrolled in the LCI’s TOEFL iBT preparation class, you can study for the exam under actual testing conditions. Practice exercises and tests are completed in the same computer laboratory where the official TOEFL iBT is administered.

What to expect from the class* n Complete overview of the TOEFL iBT format, sections, and question types n Vocabulary building and extensive grammar review n Extensive computer-based practice, including timed sample tests n Skill-building tips and speaking and writing drills n The opportunity to take the TOEFL iBT on-site during the course * High-intermediate to advanced language proficiency required.

IELTS® The International English Language Testing System also tests all four language skills. IELTS is recognized by more than 6,000 organizations worldwide, including universities, employers, immigration authorities, and other government ­agencies. The LCI is an authorized IELTS testing center.

Learn more about the tests at www.ets.org/toefl and www.ielts.org

Other electives At the LCI, you can choose from a number of other electives offered at all levels. These courses vary by session but typically include: n American Idioms n Drama Workshop n Orientation to American Culture n American Media n Skills for University Success n Business English

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SPECIAL PROGRAMS

“After the earthquake hit Haiti, I came to the LCI as part of an entrepreneurship program that helped me finish my thesis. My time at the LCI exposed me to many different cultures. So, not only did I improve my English while I was there, but I also got to exchange ideas with other students from all over the world.” — Rene Martines, HAITI

Summer Scientific Communication Institute Prepare yourself for graduate school in the U.S. The Summer Scientific Communication Institute is a rigorous four-week program designed to help you conduct and present research in science fields. You’ll learn about different research approaches and about how to conduct a literature review. You’ll also design and implement a project and then present your findings. “Live” Virginia Tech classroom and lab visits in physics, chemistry, geology, and biological sciences will be featured parts of the institute. Sophomore or junior university standing and advanced English proficiency are required. The institute is offered each July.

Pre-MBA course The LCI’s pre-MBA course is designed specifically for international students to strengthen English language skills prior to entering into a master of business administration program. Senior university standing and advanced English ­proficiency are required. The course is offered annually in July and August. n Intense practice in giving oral presentations with visual displays n Readings and case studies from introductory MBA courses n Participation in class discussions using the business case study method n Extensive vocabulary development around terminology found in business school courses

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SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Customized courses The LCI designs special short- and long-term courses to meet specific training needs for governments and corporations. These specialized nondegree ­programs incorporate university course content combined with English language and intercultural training. A sampling of LCI capabilities includes: n A yearlong course in American governance at the local level for government administrators n An online certificate program in the most current teaching methodologies for English language instructors n A seminar in entrepreneurship, business planning, and information technology for workforce preparation­ Many other possibilities exist. The LCI has delivered customized programs in South America, Asia, and the Middle East in cooperation with university, ­government and industry partners.

Before getting into Virginia Tech’s MBA program, I took a one month pre-MBA course at LCI. This was a chance for me to get to know other international students. Because of the language barrier, I would have felt overwhelmed if I had jumped into the MBA program without the course at the LCI. It provided me the presentation and speaking skills that are very important for the program.” — Mai Ka Nguyen Ngo, VIETNAM

Find out more about our special programs at www.lci.vt.edu

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SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Fulbright programs In the past several years, the LCI has hosted well over 100 Fulbright-sponsored students from more than 50 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East. These programs are provided in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education.

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program Humphrey Fellows are midcareer professionals from either developing countries or those in political transition. They have demonstrated leadership skills and a record of public service and have had little or no previous travel experience in the United States. Through the LCI, Virginia Tech provides the longterm English training component of the Fellows’ experience, which includes further nondegree academic study at other universities and related professional experiences.

“The certificate I received from Virginia Tech added an additional ‘plus’ to my CV. But more important, the atmosphere of tolerance and friendship at the LCI helped me learn to be open to people from other cultures, more accepting of those whose cultural norms and values are different from mine.” — Svetlana Malkarova, RUSSIA

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STUDENT SERVICES

Student-advising center The LCI’s student-advising center offers university admissions and immigration advising as well as guidance not related to academics. An international student adviser is available to offer you guidance on adjustment, immigration, or legal issues. The center also organizes an extensive array of student activities: n Spring Festival celebration n Sports, games, and tournaments n Trips to hike the Cascades National Recreation Trail, a highly scenic trail leading to a 66-foot waterfall within Jefferson National Forest n Group outings to local restaurants and shopping malls n Dance lessons and music recitals n Tourism trips to New York City and Washington, D.C.

Visa information The LCI is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students. Form I-20 A/B, the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status, is issued to all students originating from outside the United States. This form is used to obtain a student visa.

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Apply today at www.lci.vt.edu/elp/apply


Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, ­disability, gender, national origin, po­litical affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Anyone having ­questions concerning discrimination or ­accessibility should contact the O ­ ffice for Equity and Access.


For more information To learn more about any of our programs, please contact us at:

Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute 840 University City Blvd., Suite 2 Blacksburg, VA 24061-2708 USA TELEPHONE: 1.540.231.9814 FAX: 1.540.231.9490 EMAIL: lci-info@vt.edu WEB: www.lci.vt.edu


Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute