The third cohort of Proyecta 10,000 has 41 students taking ESL classes at the U of S Language Centre for one month. (Photo: Brett Makulowich)

U of S welcomes third cohort of Mexican ESL students

The University of Saskatchewan’s (U of S) third cohort of Proyecta 10,000 (Project 10,000) students have arrived on campus to start an English as a second language (ESL) program.

Proyecta 10,000 is a highly successful program funded by the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID). The program’s goal is to have 10,000 Mexican students studying English as a second language in Canada by 2018. The program was launched after the February 2014 North American Leaders’ Summit, in which Canada and Mexico determined that innovation and education are among the strategic priorities of co-operation between the two countries.  

The third cohort has 41 students taking ESL classes at the U of S Language Centre (USLC) for one month. Outside of classes, students participate in activities organized by the USLC such as visits to Wanuskewin and the Forestry Farm and participating in Canada Day celebrations.

The students live with homestay families in Saskatoon, allowing them to develop their English skills outside of the classroom, adding to their in-depth cultural experience.

For participants, Proyecta 10,000 is a starting point to experience the University of Saskatchewan and Canada, and to consider them both for further post-secondary studies and research.

The enthusiasm and energy of the students—many of them from the La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City—was evident at their welcome lunch on June 19 at Louis’. The students demonstrated their school chant in front of the Peter MacKinnon Building while proudly holding the Mexico flag. 

“I chose the Proyecta 10,000 program so I can improve my English, travel to Canada and meet new people,” said Paulina Castro, a UNAM student. “The University of Saskatchewan campus is so beautiful. I like the architecture.”

“Anytime international students study at the University of Saskatchewan, it is a benefit to our campus community,” said Alison Pickrell, assistant vice-provost, strategic enrolment management. “International students enhance the diversity of campus and help us build global relationships with universities across the world. We strive to provide the best experience for our visiting students in hopes that they return to their home countries as ambassadors of the University of Saskatchewan.”

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