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What Students Say


Gloria from the Democratic Republic of CongoGloria

Hi, my name is Gloria. I came from the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. My uncle who chose UMaine for me lives in Canada and thinks that UMaine is a very quiet place to study. Since I am here I could say that UMaine is a very good place. In only two weeks I have improved my English. The teachers are great and friendly. But English is not my only goal because I want to go to the university to major in business administration. Summer is beautiful, but they told me that winter is very cold. I am excited to be here in winter, and then I can judge.


Murtada Alrubaie from IraqMurtada

Salutations. I am glad to share my experience so far in Maine with you. IEI was the first place that I started my classes after arrival. I enrolled at IEI just to meet UMaine graduate studies requirements. You will be lucky if you visit such a place at least once in your lifetime. I met the personnel of IEI and they offer assistance and care that I assure you will never find anywhere else. They make you feel you are at home; they organize activities to let you explore Maine and areas around it. But the thing that everybody is warming me up to it, is the winter. They say it chills. But I am sure it will become a unique experience. UMaine is a place where you can study and enjoy.


Tiantian Wang from China

I studied rehabilitation in Chengdu for two years. I want to study my major in Machias, Maine, so I must improve my English. And when I  first went to USA, I felt nervous and uncomfortable, but here teachers helped me and told me many useful things. Now, I  new have friends, and I can do some things by myself. Of course, my English is improving every day: although, sometimes, I can’t understand what some people are saying. And I believe I will get better in the future. I can study in Maine, and I can meet the teachers and make friends. It’s great!

Abdulrahman Alturaif from Saudi Arabia

Greetings everyone. I’m Abdulrahman Alturaif and I’m from Saudi Arabia. I’m studying English at the moment and I’m planning to study at the university. I’ve been studying at the IEI for almost two months. I wasn’t nervous about coming because I already had been studying in the States for several months. The shock was when I saw the different weather. As time passed I became adapted to the different weather and I enjoy it now. Furthermore, here you can find your favorite sport like soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Also, there is a gym open 24 hours if you want to work out. The most important thing, and what brought me here is that this program provides a good education. On my first day, I was a little bit nervous but it went away once I met the teachers.  Here you have to work hard if you want to succeed. It’s not easy but it will be if you work for it. I really enjoy studying at the IEI so far. In a nutshell, I highly recommend anyone that wants to study in the United States to study at this great school.


Julien Guerdoux from France

The IEI is definitely one of the nicest places to learn and practice your English! The teachers are very competent  and friendly. They will make you feel easy to express yourself even if your English is as bad as mine was when I first came here. Their competencies really helped me to improve my English skills in just a few months. The IEI provides an efficient program focusing on listening, speaking and writing classes with different classes based on your English level. For my case, I’ve recently graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Paris and I came here in order to acquire strong English writing and speaking skills in order to be hired by an international company. Finally, I can assure that you won’t ever regret your choice choosing the IEI!

(Julien has completed his English language program and has returned home to France)


Ibrahim and Mohammed Alamer from Saudi Arabia

Ibrahim: I chose to study at the IEI UMaine because my friend who lives here recommended it to me. When I first came, I was too shy to talk and participate, but over time, the teachers in IEI helped me overcome that. I enjoy Maine, and Orono offers me the environment for studying because it’s a calm city. The weather in Maine is so so freezing in winter but some activities compensate and sweeten the life out here. (Ibrahim is now a UMaine engineering student)

Mohammed: Hi my name is Mohammed Alamer, and I’m from Saudi Arabia. Now at this time I’m studying in the IEI to improve my English to be ready for the university. Here the teachers are trying to make us feel more comfortable with the English language. I chose the University of Maine because some of my friends recommended it to me and some of the companies in my county gives scholarships to this university and it has a very good engineering college. In the future after I finish studying English, my major will be chemical engineering. I chose this major because my country needs many engineering people, and when I graduate I will go back to Saudi Arabia to work there. The people here are so friendly, and the city is small and quiet, the way I like it. Still the weather is the hardest thing here in Maine in the winter, but in summer the weather is so good.


Siqing Zhou from China

Hi, everyone, my name is Derek (Siqing Zhou). I come from China. I have been in IEI for almost 4 month. I want to say that Orono is a good place for studying, because of environment is very nice.  It is a very peaceful and attractive place. The teachers in IEI are very friendly and professional, they will help you to improve your academic English as much as they can. Come, join us !


Boyoung Seok from South Korea

Annyeonghasyeyo! This is the greeting in Korean for hello in English. I love UMaine, especially the IEI. Here I am able to meet lots of international students because I can learn not only English but also Portuguese, Arabic, French, etc. In my case, the main purpose for coming to the United States was having a trip and taking pictures to create authentic materials to teach elementary school students during my summer vacation, but the more I spent here, the more I felt I needed to improve my English skills. That’s why I’m here. Most of all, especially to the Korean students who are eager to be provided with English Immersion classes, I’d like to recommend the University of Maine because there are few Korean students here compared with a big city like Boston or New York. I love Mainers as well as all the IEI teachers. Not only the people in Maine I met were so generous to help me when I made some mistakes, but also the teachers who are teaching me are warm like a family and pretty cool. They never let you be alone. I love Orono’s weather, too. In summer, it isn’t too hot and there are lots of lakes to go canoeing or swimming. You can spend your summer time very cool in Maine. In winter, it is cold enough to enjoy the snow. DO NOT HESITATE TO CHOOSE THE IEI; JUST DO IT!

(Bo has returned home to South Korea)


Weixi Song from China

My name is Weixi Song, and I am from China. I was sent here by the Department of Education of our province and my home university to study English and to visit the laboratory of UMaine. IEI is a language institute which I never knew before, so I was surprised that I am studying with different ages people who come from different countries. The teachers of IEI are warm and sincere, and they gave me so much help. Orono is a quiet little town which looks like a countryside town of my motherland. People here are very nice, but for me, it is almost silent. Sometimes I feel lonely and frightened. Of course Maine is so beautiful that I think I would not be able to find another place with scenery more attractive than here. In IEI of UMaine, my goal is to improve my listening, oral and writing English, because when I go back to China, I will teach foreign students who speak English from different countries someday.


Ngunte Arsene from Cameroon

My name is Ngunte Arsene and I come from the Republic of Cameroon found in Central Africa. I chose the IEI because my cousin had a good experience here before going to UMaine and graduating as a civil engineer. I never knew about UMaine before my cousin talked about it. Listening to his adventures here I was so excited to come. But I have one bad impression concerning the cold weather because I come from a tropical region where it is warm. But as time passed I became adapted to the atmosphere and weather. Teachers and students here are very welcoming and friendly. UMaine is a good place for me because there are good professors here that help you to achieve your desired goals on what you want to be in the future and it is a quiet place where you can focus your mind. It is a safe place, and friendly. I can find my favorite sports such as soccer, basketball and volleyball. To conclude, I don’t regret being here in UMaine, because UMaine is a good place to be.

(Ngunte completed his English language program and now attends UMaine)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Yusei From Japan                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi! I’m Yusei from Japan. I studied at the writing class for four months at IEI. Yusei from japan I’m now supposed to take regular classes at the UMaine for three months next  year, and what I did in writing class was really helpful to prepare myself for the classes. The teachers teach us how to write academic essays, how to have a good academic  presentations and discussion. They also have many fun and interesting activities on Fridays. You can go to the places where you must go in Maine with  teachers and other students from various countries. There are a lot of English talking, I mean even when we order something at the restaurants, you will  experience a lot of listening and speaking.  You can learn English very efficiently without feeling like you    are forced  to “study” English at IEI. Come and join IEI family! I guarantee you’ll have a good time here!

(Yusei completed his English study and is now back at Hirosaki University in Japan)


Ahmed Al Otaibi from Saudi Arabia
I came to study at the University of Maine and began at the IEI. My teachers here are very kind, and I appreciate what they do. My English has improved since I came to the IEI. Also, the university has a strong engineering program, and that’s why I transferred here from California. I like life in Orono.  It is a small, quite town and is nice and beautiful. The people here are friendly. The weather is beautiful.  However, in the winter it is so cold.  However, I like it here. I spend my free time playing soccer or going to the gym with my friends. I go skiing in the winter.  Life here is different than my home, but I became familiar with this place and my new friends. In the end, my life here will be the best time, and I will remember that when I leave this place. I recommend everyone who reads this to come and see how wonderful life is here!

(Ahmed completed his English program and now attends a university in California)


Dominique Akoa from Cameroon
Hi Everyone. My name is Dominique, and I come from Cameroon in central Africa.  I chose the English Institute of UMaine first of all because my sister used to study here and she told me it’s a good place to improve my English.  My first impression was that this place is so quiet and I didn’t like the weather because I come from a warm country. But when I started my classes at the IEI, I saw that the people are really friendly, and the teachers always try to make you feel good.  UMaine is also a good place for me because I can practice my favorite sports: soccer, basketball and swimming.  Finally, UMaine is a peaceful place where I can study but also have fun.

(Dominique graduated from UMaine and has returned to his home country)


Pedro Arevalo from Colombia
I chose to study at the IEI because I wanted to improve my English and visit my brother, who is a student at UMaine.  At the IEI, I have participated in many events, including leading a tour for new IEI students.  I like the friendly people at the IEI, the University campus and the different seasons here in Maine.  I am glad that I came to Maine.  I have met great people and made a lot of friends.  I would like to advise new students to bring a warm jacket for the winter, spring and fall.  Also, be prepared to meet new friends and learn a lot about American culture.

(Pedro finished his English program and returned to his job in Colombia)


Noor Merdad from Saudi Arabia
I chose to study at the IEI because I want to eventually study at the University of Maine.  There are a lot of things to do here. In October, Muslims and their friends gathered in Old Town to celebrate Eid. I like the student conferences at the IEI, practicing for the TOEFL and the elective classes, where students can study what they want.


Jassim Al Saihati from Saudi Arabia
My name is Jassim Alsaihati, and I am from Saudi Arabia.  You can see me in the picture.  I am in the orange shirt with my best friends from the IEI. I came to the IEI in March 2006, and in the beginning I couldn’t understand what the group of IEI teachers meant by saying, ” Improve your American English in a fun, safe, small group environment!”  I agreed with what they said, but I didn’t agree that learning should be fun.  It was different from what I used to know about being serious to achieve your goals.  I am not a very serious person, and my English was so bad, but when I started studying I totally understood what they meant by fun.  It is basically being normal like you are in your family.  There is no stress at all, and you learn the language at your own pace.  I am now taking some University classes and studying at the IEI part-time.  Finally, I really enjoy learning at the IEI and having fun with so many activities and of course wonderful friends from around the world.  So improve your academic English now!

(Jassim has graduated from UMaine)


Intensive English Institute
5732 Hannibal Hamlin Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207.581.3821 | Fax: 207.581.3803
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469