BU CELOP News

CELOP Alumni: Where are they now? Abdulaziz Salem Basharahil, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

February 12th, 2020 in Highlight.

CELOP current student Apirat Kraisiridej

1. What is your name?

My name is Abdulaziz Salem Basharahil

2. Where are you from?

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

3. Where do you live now?

I have been in Washington, DC since August 2017 to study law at Georgetown University Law Center.

4. When and for how long did you study at CELOP?

I had been at CELOP for almost 2 years starting from Fall 2015 till Spring 2017

5. Why did you choose CELOP?

I was advised by many of my friends who took their chance to study at CELOP. They recommended that I study there because of the improvement they noticed in their English. Eventually, I found most of their recommendation was true.

6. What were some of the things you liked most about CELOP? Do you have a favorite memory?

I liked CELOP’s community! The staff was friendly and kind. CELOP combined strong ways of teaching with participating in rich social activities. For example, I participated in a fundraising campaign to rescue Boston’s homeless. I was pleased to participate in this campaign.

7. In what ways did CELOP help you prepare for what you are doing now?

I was always looking for what made me prepared for my study now at Georgetown. As you may know, almost all of the US law schools care about enhancing students’ writing skills and how those students can use different styles while they write. For that reason, I was interested in learning as much writing techniques as I can. So, before starting each semester at CELOP, it was necessary to me to ask which instructors are the best in assisting me with this skill.

8. Where did you attend college for your undergraduate degree? What was your major and when did you graduate?

I graduated with a bachelor degree in general law from King Abdulaziz University, The Faculty of Law, in 2013.

9. Where are you working/studying now?

I am studying Law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC.

10. Tell us about what you want to do in the future. What is your dream job?

I am dreaming of graduating from Georgetown University Law Center with a master’s degree in corporation law. Then, I plan to work for one of the big professional law firms in Saudi Arabia. Finally, I am dreaming of establishing a legal research center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that aims to work on two sides: providing legal consultation to non-specialist people and issuing scientific legal searches for lawyers, law professors, and legal consultants in Saudi Arabia.

11. What was your favorite thing to do in Boston?

Going to suburbs to enjoy being relaxed. I also liked to go to Boston Public Garden and Boston harbor. These places made me feel better!

12. What was your favorite restaurant in Boston?

Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Indian restaurants, such as Family restaurant (Turkish), The Maharaja (Indian), and Aceituna Grill (Middle Eastern).

13. What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying at CELOP but is unsure?
Studying English at CELOP is a promising opportunity! All you need is to benefit from the great teachers you may find there. However, remember that any English school cannot provide more than 30-40% of the knowledge. You need to complement this by making your best effort to enhance your English. What I found during my study at CELOP that CELOP helped me achieving my goals to study in a leading law school in the USA like Georgetown. If you show your passion for learning English, you will gain a lot!

CELOP Current Student – Apirat Kraisiridej, Thailand

December 17th, 2019 in Highlight.

CELOP current student Apirat Kraisiridej

1. What is your name?

Apirat Kraisiridej

2. Where are you from?

Thailand

3. What program are you currently enrolled in at CELOP?

Legal English & Foundations of the US Legal System

4. What’s your favorite place on campus at Boston University?

The BU Beach

5. What do you like most about CELOP?

I love how all the teachers paid so much attention to us. It was very lovely seeing their e-mail almost every day after classes. I am definitely going to miss that!!!

6. Why did you choose CELOP?

A former student at CELOP recommended this program to me.

7. Where did you attend college for your undergraduate degree? What was your major and when did you graduate?

I graduated with a LL.B. from Thammasat University, Thailand in 2009

8. Tell us about what you want to do in the future. What is your dream job?

Any job that could help as many people as I could.

9. What is your favorite thing to do in Boston?

My most favorite thing is to walk along the Charles River seeing cute kids and animals.

10. What is your favorite restaurant in Boston?

Warren Towers

11. What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying at CELOP but is unsure?

Definitely a must-attend program!!! I learned a lot from here, and all the teachers cared so much about us. I wish this program never ended…

CELOP Alumni: Where Are They Now? Aziza Kaisarbekova, Kazakhstan

October 23rd, 2019 in Highlight.

CELOP Alumna Aziza Kaisarbekova

1. What is your name?

Aziza Kaisarbekova.

2. Where are you from?

Astana City, Kazakhstan.

3. Where do you live now?

Astana City, Kazakhstan.

4. When and for how long did you study at CELOP?

I studied in 2012 to December 2013, taking 4 semesters there.

5. Why did you choose CELOP?

I was recommended to choose it and also did my research and liked the program and the city, so I was excited to join it.

6. What were some of the things you liked most about CELOP? Do you have a favorite memory?

Do you have a favorite memory? So many :) I liked that CELOP arranged and supported a lot of engaging events. For example, in March, I along with other students from Kazakhstan arranged the Kazakh Spring Festival called “Nauryz” in Kazakh language. During the event, we shared our culture, demonstrated part of the Kazakh wedding and played the national games and music. Indeed, CELOP is awesome in supporting different cultures and diversity.

7. In what ways did CELOP help you prepare for what you are doing now?

CELOP advised a lot on CV review and essay writing in order to get into college, such tips help me in my current occupation. Nowadays, I work as Senior HR and do on campus recruitment where I review CVs and consults graduates on career.

8. Where did you attend college for your undergraduate degree? What was your major and when did you graduate?

After CELOP, I got into New York University where I studied Human Resource Management and Development in New York City. I graduated in 2016

9. Where are you working/studying now?

I’m currently working at one of the Big 4 firms - PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP as a Senior Associate in Human Capital Department.

10. Tell us about what you want to do in the future. What is your dream job?

I’m planning to develop my career and become a strong expert in the field of global talent management and development.

11. What was your favorite thing to do in Boston?

I liked to attend various concerts and sport events. I liked to observe the fall season and go out with groupmates in the city.

12. What was your favorite restaurant in Boston?

Boston was the perfect place for foodies like me. I liked the Top of the Hub in Prudential Center, as it had a cozy atmosphere and the view was astonishing - perfect to relax and enjoy.

13. What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying at CELOP but is unsure?

If you aim to sharpen your English skills and meet international friends for life - CELOP is all yours for it. The faculty is caring and facilities are convenient. CELOP has a lot of opportunities for you to grow and develop yourself. It will prepare you for your future school and career.

CELOP Alumni: Where Are They Now? Andrea Robelo, Nicaragua

August 19th, 2019 in Highlight.

CELOP Alumni Andrea Robelo.

1. What is your name?
My name is Andrea Robelo.

2. Where are you from?
I am from Nicaragua.

3. Where do you live now?
I am currently living in Nicaragua, but in Fall I’ll move to Boston.

4. When and for how long did you study at CELOP?
I studied at CELOP during the Summer 1 of this year for a period of 6 weeks.

5. Why did you choose CELOP?
I chose CELOP because I read about the program and I found there exactly what I was looking for. Besides, it’s one of the best English programs and offers an intensive education.

6. What were some of the things you liked most about CELOP? Do you have a favorite memory?
What I liked the most about CELOP were three things:
1-How well prepared the teachers were. I enjoyed every single class I had. I remember my first week, I felt like I had studied there my whole life. I got used to the teachers and their teaching system so fast that was so comfortable being there. Each of them inspired me to put all my effort in every assignment, and that helped me improve my English skills. I’ll never forget when my Academic Writing teacher, Stephanie Ngom, used one of my essays as an example of students who did good in the semester. I was fulfilled and felt so grateful of everything she and the others professors taught me. One of the best things of working hard to learn, is when your teachers recognize your effort. All my teachers were like that, and that motivated me.
2-The CELOP Staff was so nice that I didn’t even feel like I was a new student. They made me feel that I belonged there so fast that it wasn’t hard for me at all starting that new incredible experience.
3-Getting to know new, amazing people. It’s incredible getting to know new people from different cultures and languages; it makes you grow as a person because you learn how everybody is different.

7. In what ways did CELOP help you prepare for what you are doing now?
In every way. I feel even more confident about going to a US University.

8. Where did you attend college for your undergraduate degree? What was your major and when did you graduate?
I’ll start my undergraduate program this Fall. I’ll be studying Business at Hult International Business School.

9. Where are you working/studying now?
Right now, I’m on vacation.

10. Tell us about what you want to do in the future. What is your dream job?
In the future, I want to become a business woman capable of understanding how the management, the relationship between workers, the way the leaders lead, the proper attitude from the whole team, and the effort in a business should be in order to function successfully.

Two Lucky CELOP Alumni Gain More than English Language Skills

July 30th, 2019 in Highlight.

Two CELOP alumni with a CELOP faculty member, reuniting in 2019 during a visit to Boston.
From left to right: Haru, Beth Fincke, and Mizuho

While studying abroad in the U.S., two CELOP students not only developed their English language skills but also a special relationship with one another. Haru and Mizuho, two students originally from Chuo University in Japan, bonded while enrolled in a 4-week CELOP program almost nine years ago.

Their unique program combined English language studies with volunteer experiences in the Greater Boston area. Haru chose the program after hearing about it on-campus at Chuo University and learning that it would help him gain greater understanding of the U.S. and improve his English.

Mizuho, a former Red Cross youth volunteer, was attracted to it because of its exciting community service element During the program, students prepared meals for people with chronic illnesses, helped with clean-up efforts for the Charles River that runs close to the Boston University campus, spent time with underserved children, and visited the Perkins School for the Blind to better understand how it feels to live with a disability.

Beth Fincke, a CELOP faculty member who served as the curriculum coordinator and program instructor, recalls that Haru’s and Mizuho’s class was particularly committed to serving the people of Boston. She remembers, “Haru and Mizuho were fearless as they practiced speaking English and connected with all different people from the community.”

Beyond the academic and cultural benefits of the course, Haru and Mizuho discovered something greater: a budding connection in their relationship, developed, in part, through the program’s focus on group projects and teamwork.

They recall their relationship being “already [something] special” just midway through the four-week program. After returning to Chuo, they both graduated, and in 2015 they married.

Reflecting on their experience at CELOP, Mizuho says, “CELOP classmates became best friends to me through this program… if I meet them again, we can easily go back such like we were before. I’m proud of them.” Haru added, “I think CELOP was a kind of the first place that I realized how English is important to me and how fun it is to communicate with foreign people in a different language. And this experience has accelerated me to study English.”

Today, Haru and Mizuho are based in Tennessee. Haru works for a Japanese company located there and is in charge of optimizing the production of car components. His goal is to launch a project focused on autonomous self-driving vehicles. Mizuho is continuing her English studies and works as an assistant designer for a wedding stationery company. They both continue to utilize the English language skills they developed at CELOP, and they returned to CELOP during a recent visit to Boston to spend time with the school they grew so fond of during their time here. Their former professor Beth Fincke was thrilled to visit with Haru and Mizuho during their trip to Boston and talk about how they’ve grown since being part of the CELOP program nine years ago.

From left to right: CELOP faculty member Beth Fincke, Haru, and classmates. Taken during the program nine years ago.

CELOP Alumni: Where are they now? – Selma Naimhwaka, Namibia

July 29th, 2019 in Highlight.

CELOP Alumni Selma Naimhwaka.

1. What is your name?
Selma Naimhwaka

2. Where are you from?
Namibia - Windhoek

3. Where do you live now?
Namibia - Windhoek

4. What were some of the things you liked most about CELOP? Do you have a favorite memory?
The pre-academic program I attended was very interesting and improved my English. We also had a very interesting lecturer / Professor who helped me understand the culture in the US. She took us to very interesting historical places, as well as interesting public health institutions.

5. In what ways did CELOP help you prepare for what you are doing now?
CELOP helped improve my communication skills, and the general academic setting in the US. It also assisted us understand the US’s health care setting or public health since our group was made up of public health students.

6. Where did you study after attending CELOP? What did you study there?
I proceeded to Tulane University – School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where I completed a Masters’ Degree in International Health and Development in 2012.

7. What kind of work are you doing now?
I am currently working as Public Health Specialist – Mostly focusing on Monitoring and Evaluation of Health programs.

8. What was your favorite thing to do in Boston?
Hanging out with fellow students at the various restaurants. Boston has very interesting restaurants and food! And the trip we undertook with fellow students such as the sunset boat trip was awesome!

9. What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying at CELOP but is unsure?
CELOP is the best place to help you improve your English or communication skills. And the staff are very supportive and are always willing to go an extra mile to help international students settle in well.

CELOP Current Student – John Medina Vanegas, Colombia

July 11th, 2019 in Highlight.

CELOP Current Student John Medina Vanegas

1. What is your name?

John Medina Vanegas

2. Where are you from?

I’m originally from Medellin, Colombia but was raised in a little island in the Caribbean Sea (also belonging to Colombia) called San Andres.

3. What program are you currently enrolled in at CELOP?

I’m currently enrolled in the intensive 25 hours a week program. This program has been a great tool for me to improve my English as I spend most of my day practicing essential skills such as grammar or speaking constantly

 4. What’s your favorite place on campus at Boston University?

The lobby here at CELOP is really comfy and friendly. You get to hear different stories from students all day long, making this place even more attractive.

5. What do you like most about CELOP?

CELOP is overall a complete experience for whoever is planning on coming You really get to evolve as an English speaker in this environment. CELOP also offers help for most of your needs. From the friendly staff to the students, it all feels welcoming.

 6. Why did you choose CELOP?

My dad, cousins and sister have been here. Even if this was not the case, CELOP is a renowned and respected institution in Boston. Almost everyone that I speak to outside CELOP has something to say about it.

7. Where did you attend college for your undergraduate degree? What was your major and when did you graduate?

I just graduated high school and I am currently interested in the business program here at Boston University for next year.

8. Tell us about what you want to do in the future. What is your dream job?

In the future, I would like to be an example for the people on my island. Besides that, helping my community grow to be an example in environmental and entrepreneurial practices all around the world.

9. What is your favorite thing to do in Boston?

I love the Prudential Center. The environment is exquisite. Plus, you get to see many shops with exceptional quality and service to customers.

10.What is your favorite restaurant in Boston?

KAVA neo-taverna has been my favorite restaurant in Boston for some years now. Its delicious Greek cuisine is to die for. Plus, its location is newcomer friendly.

11. What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying at CELOP but is unsure?

Please do not hesitate! CELOP is all you need to improve your English level in all areas. As a student coming from a completely different environment than Boston, CELOP helped me gain confidence and be conscious that I have a place where I’m always going to feel welcomed.

Faculty Spotlight: A moment with… Beth Fincke

June 19th, 2019 in Highlight.

CELOP faculty member Beth Fincke takes a moment for a brief interview.

  1. What is your name?

Beth Fincke

  1. Where are you from?

I’m from Emsworth, Pennsylvania, which is a small suburb of Pittsburgh. There are so many trees and rivers there, and I spent most of my time outdoors, reading and playing sports when I was young.

  1. What did you do before working at CELOP?

I was teaching ESL at Northeastern University and before that I taught at the American University of Cairo in Egypt for two years.

  1. What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?

I love enabling my students to use English as a tool to reach their personal and professional goals. I feel like it is a joy to enable them to create a cooperative community in the classroom as they also become active participants in the greater Boston community.

  1. Favorite thing to do in Boston?

I love to visit areas like Somerville, Central Square, and Jamaica Plain and try the different restaurants, and dance and shop at the outdoor festivals and little stores there.

  1. If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I love fresh, local food, and I eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables. It would be so boring if I always had to eat the same thing!

  1. What’s your favorite TV Show?

I don’t watch TV but I like to watch dramas and documentaries on AmazonPrime.

  1. What is the best destination you’ve travelled to?

It would be a tie between visiting Taipei, where one of my brothers lives, and Morocco, where some of my friends are from.

  1. Favorite restaurant in Boston?

Life Alive Café --There is an awesome branch of this café right outside CELOP on Comm Ave!

  1. What are your hobbies?

Yoga, meditation, reading, long walks and hikes, swimming, salsa dancing, and organic gardening.

  1. What is your hidden talent?

I can often acclimate to different cultures quickly and I’m good at learning languages.
I speak German, Spanish, and Egyptian Arabic relatively well.

  1. What would people never guess you do in your role?

In addition to being a senior lecturer, I’m also coordinating the EducationUSA program. I’ve been communicating with different departments at BU as well as with different research facilities and STEM-related learning centers around Boston.

CELOP Alumni: Where are they now? Aziza Sattarova (Aziza), Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

May 6th, 2019 in Highlight.

CELOP Alumna Aziza Sattarova

1. What is your name?

My name is Aziza Sattarova, but call me Aziza.

2. Where are you from?

I am from Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

3. Where do you live now?

I still live Tashkent.

4. When and for how long did you study at CELOP?

I studied in the Intensive English Language program that lasted 12 weeks.

5. Why did you choose CELOP?

I chose CELOP because of its diverse community, programs, staff members, location, and opportunities it provides for students. Take, for example, libraries. Thanks to CELOP, I was able to study in libraries of other universities.

6. What were some of the things you liked most about CELOP? Do you have a favorite memory?

My favorite part of education in CELOP was teachers' interactions with students. I was delighted to see how willing they were to communicate with students and share their knowledge. I did not feel like it was “summer school for children” instead I felt teachers behaved like they were on the same level and treated equally everyone. Moreover, they were pleased to work even after their working hours or schedule an appointment. One of the brightest memories was book section (right on the opposite side of advisor's office) where students could borrow books for free, bring their books for others, or even take it without return. Personally, this opportunity helped me in preparation for my exams.

7. In what ways did CELOP help you prepare for what you are doing now?

It helped me to improve my knowledge of the English language in a pretty decent short period.

8. Where did you attend college for your undergraduate degree? What was your major and when did you graduate?

I got into Northeastern University and will be majoring in pharmaceutical sciences as part of the class of 2023.

9. Where are you working/studying now?

Currently, I am graduating from high school.

10. Tell us about what you want to do in the future. What is your dream job?

I am planning to become a doctor, and for accomplishing my dream, I will apply for medical school after my education at Northeastern University.

11. What was your favorite thing to do in Boston?

The predominant part of my time I dedicated to my studies, so mostly I just walked around the city. Honestly, Boston is one of the brightest places I have ever visited (trust me I have traveled a lot, and I know when the place is worth it). Boston has vast gardens full of squirrels, ducks, and various kinds of birds. When I had time or needed to feel better, Boston itself helped me. This place is just magical!

12. What was your favorite restaurant in Boston?

Unfortunately, I did not go to any restaurants during my visit to Boston, but I do remember when my brother brought me cheesecakes from Cheese Cake Factory on my birthday, and it was delicious!

13. What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying at CELOP but is unsure?

Well, from what I understood during summer 2018, you can be whatever you want in CELOP. CELOP does not push you always to study; it rather gives you space to decide what you want to do. Why do you consider education in the US? In accordance with your goals, CELOP can help you achieve it with their activities, programs, staff members, advisors, and support. The program that CELOP provides for students is not based on failing you but helping you to succeed. So, the successful result of education in CELOP only relies on you and CELOP would do everything to make you feel comfortable.

CELOP Current Student – Paweerisa Patibut (Kae), Thailand

April 9th, 2019 in Highlight.

CELOP student Paweerisa Patibut (Kae)

1. What is your name?

My name is Paweerisa Patibut, but my nickname is Kae (I know that Thai names are crazy long, so we usually have nicknames)

2. Where are you from?

I moved to Boston from Bangkok, but I’m not originally from Bangkok.  My hometown is in the northeast of Thailand called Sisaket. I moved to Bangkok to study and work for 12 years ago.

3. What program are you currently enrolled in at CELOP?

I’m currently enrolled in the intensive 12-week 25 hours English program, and now I’m getting sad because my program is going to finish on April 24, 2019 - only three more weeks! ☹

 4. What’s your favorite place on campus at Boston University?

It sounds funny, but I like to go to the Thai restaurants around the campus to try Thai food and compare which one is better.

5. What do you like most about CELOP?

I have to say that I like so many things about CELOP. The program, the teachers, and staff offer a lot of support. The standard of learning is outstanding, and the success rate is very high which I can see from many students from CELOP getting into universities and colleges in the U.S.

 6. Why did you choose CELOP?

My boyfriend is American and originally suggested it as an option.  After that, I started to do some research, and eventually I found the “CELOP Alumni: Where are they Now?” There was an article about Ariyaporn Lertariyanunt, a former Thai student. When I finished reading, I just decided to apply without hesitation.

7. Where did you attend college for your undergraduate degree? What was your major and when did you graduate?

I graduated from the Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok: Chakrabongse Bhuvanarth Campus in Bangkok, Thailand a long time ago for my bachelor’s degree and my major was accounting.

8. Tell us about what you want to do in the future. What is your dream job?

I think I will eventually rejoin my employer, PricewaterhouseCoopers in Thailand, because I have taken study leave to come here and try to improve my English and get into a good business school.  It should help my career path in the future if I can finish my master’s degree. I have already had my dream job, of course, as an accountant and tax consultant.

9. What is your favorite thing to do in Boston?

I’m living with my boyfriend’s family, an American family. Usually, I spend my weekend with them by having dinner and sometimes cooking Thai food for them. I also like to hang out with my classmates who I met at CELOP and now we have become good friends. Moreover, I also have a close friend from Asia living in Quincy now, and it is great to spend time with her again.

10.What is your favorite restaurant in Boston?

I’m an ugly Asian, craving for Thai and Asian food all the time. So, Thai Basil restaurant is one of my favorite restaurants. I also like Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ because my Japanese friends from Fall 2018 semester took me there. The food was delicious.

11. What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying at CELOP but is unsure?

Do not hesitate to apply to CELOP! Just come to be a part of CELOP’s family! I’m so sure that you will love being here!  Having new friends from different countries, a new culture, and a new environment at CELOP has been the best experience in my life. You will be amazed at how fast your English improves.