Shenglan J. of China attended the 4-week Institute for Business Communication, part of Penn’s English Language Program.
My experience at the English Language Program (ELP) and the memory of University of Pennsylvania (Penn) will always stay with me. The beautiful days there made this summer one of the greatest for me.
The story began when we arrived at our dormitory, in which we could enjoy the beautiful sunrise and sunset every day. We encountered many beautiful buildings and architectural styles at Penn, such as the College Hall, Fine Arts Library, and the Fisher Bennett Hall. And the beautiful Fisher Bennett Hall is where we had our classes.
What was most exciting about your time at Penn?
The most exciting part of ELP was the plentiful activities organized by the student center. The student center is an exciting place, located on the ground floor of Fisher Bennett Hall. Going downstairs to the student center was our daily must-do. We got ourselves a cup of coffee or tea and chatted with people from different programs. It was a great place to meet new friends in such a relaxing atmosphere.
We watched the baseball game one night, which was my favorite activity organized by the student center. It was an exciting night for both baseball lovers and people that never watched a sports game before (like me!). The baseball game was held in a big stadium not far from Penn. Lots of people in red T-shirts were doing crazy dances between innings so that they would be put on the huge screen on the scoreboard. Although we were not very familiar with the rules of baseball game, we still enjoyed the game a lot — especially when there was a home run and the whole stadium celebrated. I really loved this kind of activity for it stimulated my love for sports. I might go to see more sports games in my country.
Another good activity was the voluntary work for a Shakespeare play named The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The experience was awesome, and it was my first time to find a free performance of his work. We helped handing out fliers and advertised for the play.The play set was on a grassy lawn, and people needed to bring a blanket or chair themselves. The set was beautiful with some lights on it. It was romantic. I was happy to do such worthwhile voluntary work.
Other activities were also unforgettable. We went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Atlantic City beach, and Washington, D.C. All the trips were super interesting. We even visited the Wells Fargo Museum to learn about its history. Thanks to the student center for providing us a colorful summer. We also visited many beautiful places in Philadelphia on our own, such as the Magic Garden, Liberty Bell, and Valley Park. All the small trips during weekends were wonderful.
What did you enjoy most about your program?
The lectures delivered by professors from Wharton were amazing. We were very lucky to have such opportunities to listen to those top professionals in their fields. The lectures on gamification, innovation, and resilience were quite inspiring. It seemed that they suddenly opened a new world to us, where there were lots of issues we never thought about.
I believe they were quite useful, not only because they provided us with new knowledge, but also because they reminded us that we always need to expose ourselves to new things. Discovering and exploring what we did not know is one of the most valuable and enjoyable habits that we could keep.
What were the classes like in your program?
The classes were very well-organized and impressive. I admire the small class sizes and the in-class communication most. We made a lot of simulations of meeting and negotiation, which were very new for us. We prepared for them very willingly.
The speaking strategies and business writing assignments were very useful for our future career. I learned a lot in the three classes, and all the classes were even better than my highest expectations. The teachers’ feedbacks were very accurate. I believe the four-week program will help me prepare better for my future job hunting and career.
All in all, ELP is not just about language — it’s about different cultures, new friends, and everything I experienced in Philly. I just wish I could walk along the path to my class one more time, past the statue of LOVE and a thoughtful Benjamin Franklin.
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