Tsvetelina Ilieva from Bulgaria and Cagla Bengi from Turkey arrived at Seton Hall in January on athletics scholarships to join the Women’s Volleyball program. Covid 19 delayed their travel to the US and has added to the complexities of life in a new country. But both have risen to the challenges of Covid testing, lockdowns and virtual learning.
The ESL@SetonHall Program has also given Tsvetelina and Cagla the chance to polish their writing skills and increase their confidence working in English.
Says Tsvelina, "From the moment I decided to take this big step--to study in a foreign country far from my own--I knew I was going to face a big challenge. In fact, it was even bigger with the COVID situation, since the welcome and warmness of people was limited by the fear of that virus. However, I believe I have improved my English by being in the United States and playing volleyball here. I can say that my English has definitely improved and that, from the ESL program, I feel more confident with both speaking and writing."
Cagla added, "Especially nowadays, with COVID everything is harder. To be honest, I have never dreamed of my college life here being like this. However, here every day I am learning new things. Being here and still studying English is a very good opportunity for me. As, here I am surrounded by people who are native English speakers. The ESL program is helping me to develop my English writing skills."