Notre Dame is home to over 1,700 international students, accounting for 12% of the total student body, creating a rich tapestry of culture as they interact to help make Notre Dame a more vibrant and lively place. With international students making up an integral part of our community, the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program coordinator Lisa Oglesbee works to create opportunities for these students to practice their English language and culture skills.
Lisa has known that she wanted to pursue a career in EAP from a young age, and was initially intrigued after hearing stories from a friend that taught English in China. Lisa originally planned on teaching abroad and has spent time in China, Spain, and Lithuania, experiencing firsthand the process of teaching English and viewing English learning camps and institutes. As EAP coordinator, she is responsible for teaching classes, managing other EAP team members, overseeing EAP workshops and tutoring services, as well as teaching in the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) minor, and serving as a faculty advisor to the TESOL club.
All international students, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars are welcome to make appointments for EAP tutoring. Tutoring sessions can cover anything academic and linguistic in nature, but can also help international members of the Notre Dame community navigate South Bend culture. Tutoring sessions have been dedicated to helping with academic writing, navigating American culture, practicing communication and pronunciation, and everything in between - the topic of the tutoring session is driven by the person being tutored and tailored to their needs. You can sign up for EAP tutoring sessions here.
Outside of tutoring, Lisa recommended other resources for people struggling to adjust to life at Notre Dame. The Writing Center can also help with other writing guidance and can provide students with another avenue to perfect their academic English skills. Furthermore, there are a plethora of events and clubs on campus that are specifically catered to international students. For students struggling to adapt to a new environment, Lisa stressed the importance of finding community. Seeking out students experiencing the same thing you are, making friends, and getting questions answered are essential steps to creating a healthy and happy environment in a foreign place. International fellows tend to congregate at the EAP program and it is an excellent place to begin to form this community!
Luke Van de Walle (‘24) is a political science and global affairs major who specializes in current event writing and conducting interviews.