English university programs for non-natives speakers of English are key for the success of immigrants. The United States of America receives hundreds of thousands of emigrants every year; In 2018, according to the American Immigration Council (2020), 44.7 million immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 14 percent of the national population some of them without any formal education, but many others with a formal education from their countries. I found myself among the second group.
I came to the US with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Ecuador. I thought the need for nurses in the U.S. would allow me to work in my area of study, but I was wrong; the lack of my ability to speak proper English closed all the doors. In the beginning, I believed that learning English would be easy, but it was not. I couldn’t afford to pay for college tuition to learn English. Instead, I started to learn from TV, radio, internet web pages, etc. I participated in all the free programs I could find without any advanced results. As the years passed, I found myself no longer dreaming about nursing anymore.
A few months ago I was told about an intensive English Program from IUPUI and a scholarship to learn English. I applied for it and here I am! Now, thanks to the Program for Intensive English (PIE) I am dreaming again to work in nursing and help many people. As it happened to me, there are thousands of immigrants out there working in regular jobs, getting just enough money to survive, and sustain their families. These people stop dreaming as I did once. They are leaving their talent and knowledge behind because they don’t have the opportunities to learn proper English at programs such as PIE.