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Waleed Khalid Abdulabbas is so keen to get started on his proposed graduate degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) that he couldn’t help feeling disappointed to find the Institute closed on the day he arrived in Monterey—September 6, Labor Day. His enthusiasm for study is not lost on anyone in the Intensive English Program, where Waleed is preparing to pass the high standards in English required for enrollment in the Institute’s TESOL program.

Before coming to Monterey, Waleed worked as an interpreter and translator with the United States Army in Iraq and taught English to employees of several nongovernmental organizations in Bagdad. His colleague Adnan Adel Shehab Al-Hammody, who is also planning to matriculate into the TESOL program, was translating academic texts in Baghdad after earning a bachelor’s degree in Translation from Mosul University. Mohammed Salman Abdulmajeed, on the other hand, aims to earn a degree in business administration through the Fisher International MBA program. He has a bachelor’s degree in Information Science from Mosul University and is very interested in information systems.

All three students are sponsored through the Higher Committee for Education Development (HCED) in the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office, granting students a comprehensive scholarship that, in addition to covering the costs of their graduate degree, allows for one year of English language preparation. This initiative was launched in the fall of 2010 with a pilot program of over five hundred students sent to study at universities in the US and the United Kingdom. All students must pass strict academic requirements and commit to return to Iraq upon the completion of their degrees.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir