International Student Program Aims to Double Participation


The UCSD International Center plans to accept 160 students for its newly developed International Triton Transition Program. Now in its third year, the summer transition is expected to double its number of participants from 80 students last year due to a series of curriculum changes and aggressive marketing campaigns.

According to a press release from the International Center, ITTP is a four-week transition program for international students that cost $1,500. This fee covers the expenses of academic writing workshops, American culture presentations and social tourist field trips designed to help international students integrate into the UCSD community.

The program was originally designed and intended for 160 international students to participate; however, the International Center was only able to attract 80 students in the first two years.

This year, after a series of aggressive campaigns, ITTP was able to attract more students and expects more applications for the program.

The International Center wants to expand the program in the future and make ITTP a long time transition program to international students.

UCSD International Student Advisor and ITTP Program Coordinator Gabriela Hoffmann said that the program has undergone dramatic curriculum changes since its inception.

“We have completely revamped the writing program,” Hoffmann said. “The class is now being taught by UCSD faculty and TAs, focusing on analytical writing and critical thinking, rather than on vocabulary and grammar.”

Assistant Director of Warren College Writing Program Dr. Holly Bauer and the Mandeville Writing Center Director Madeleine Picciotto worked with the International Center to redesign the new curriculum in 2012. This year’s program will have a few modifications from last year to prepare international students for UC level writing.

“We will always make small changes,” Bauer said. “We are going to submit papers through TED, which is different from last year, and we are going to try and use some of the open source material that is available to students for free online.”

The International Center credits the program’s development to its new and aggressive marketing strategy.

“We have a pretty extensive marketing campaign using email blast from admissions,” Hoffmann said. “We also advertise at [overseas alumni recruitment events, such as] Triton Day China, which the Chancellor also attended and [other] various students organizations, press release and [social media] and [at] individual colleges.”

Even though it is only the program’s third year, the International Center expects positive academic results for program participants. There is a five-year benchmark for the statistics to reflect the impact of the program on students. Thus, the data on the program’s results cannot be released for another two years.

Housing for ITTP participants varies every year depending on the availability of summer housing. This year, students will be staying at the residential dorms in Marshall College.

The program officially starts on Aug. 24, 2014 and ends on Sept. 19, 2014. Applications for ITTP are due by Wednesday, May 16, and decisions will be finalized by May 30.