By Phil Ruddle | Staff Writer|
Dany Doueiri talks quickly, he moves all over the place, he’s always in and out of his office, he is a man in constant movement, but he is always helping students. They line up outside his door patiently waiting for their turn to speak to him. Never had I met a man with such aptitude and energy to help students outside his office hours.
It all made sense to me once I discovered he was one of the original founders of Summer Language Intensive Programs (SLIP) offered during the summer at CSUSB, which will be entering its seventh year.
“We are the most affordable and one of the most rigorous summer language intensive residential programs in the nation,” explained Dany Doueiri, World of Islam professor.
SLIP consists of four languages, Arabic, Persian, Korean and Chinese that teach language and culture.
This program contains two components with one being a residential program here at campus in San Bernardino while the other is a study abroad program.
This year, CSUSB will have two study abroad programs, one in Jordan for Arabic and one in Turkey for Persian.
CSUSB cannot take students to Iran to study Persian due to political situations so the students are alternatively sent to Turkey where there is a large population of Iranian refuges.
Whether here on campus or overseas, students can earn 12 to 20 units for the whole session/program.
The domestic program on campus runs seven and a half weeks for all languages and nine weeks overseas.
Students who participate in the domestic SLIP mostly do so during the summer and then continue their language studies in the academic year. Sometimes students choose to study abroad the following year.
Participants vary from high school students, to military, to graduate students and others just do it for the love of doing it.
The program is supported by several grants with the first being called Star Talk which is available only to U.S. citizens, but this does not apply to the other grants.
Another is called Project Go, which is a military program for ROTC students, cadets and various branches of armed services. It is anticipated that Hindi will be added to Project Go in 2014.
SLIP expects to have 125 students this year for both domestic and international segments, which could still increase by the time summer actually arrives.
But what do students actually do at SLIP?
In the domestic program on campus, students are engaged in countless activities including language class, complete lab work, folkloric dance, calligraphy, cooking classes, pottery, art, field trips to local communities that speak these languages, guest speakers, camping trips and movie nights.
There is a banquet at the end where a celebration emerges with about more than 700 people.
In the study abroad program, activities are similar to the domestic program, but include opportunities for community service and internships.
Students then go back to the dorms and interact with native students of the language they are learning or other students who learn the language.
“All of our curfew efforts in the past have failed and we are happy about that because it’s the only program to my knowledge where teachers beg their students to stop studying,” explains Doueiri.
SLIP started with 19 students in one language and now has four languages with over 125 students in the past seven years.
This trip sounds like it could be tons of fun, but what about money? How much is this all going to cost?
There are three different costs in the program:
The first is tuition where undergraduates pay around $2100, which is about regular basic tuition, while graduate students pay around $2600.
The second cost is the program fee itself, which is $1500 for just domestic on campus.
This will cover food, entries to events, guest speakers, music, art classes, tutors, camping trips cooking classes and supplies.
“This is cheaper than any summer program, any summer camp including YMCA, and this is not only language programs, any program,” explained Doueiri.
The third cost is the housing fee, but this is not a requirement.
You can be in shared housing for about $675 or in a single room for $1300.
Even at the highest rate for the domestic program, it is still less than 50 percent of any other comparable program of this category in the nation. The cost will never exceed $4500.
In addition, out of 100 of students in the domestic program, about 75 percent of them get some form of grant or scholarship to help reduce the cost.
“Administrators and faculty at CSUSB in the program all help students push for these grants, and all work very hard to receive/solicit grants, to make it affordable and a life changing experience, truly,” said Doueiri.
The program staff and facility all work extremely hard to make the program the life changing experience that it is today.
“We start as a family and we finish as global citizens, ready to appreciate and understand the complexities of our ever shrinking global village. We treat our students like our children; we want to make sure that the students capitalize on this golden opportunity that our campus, with all of its departments offers to them,” said Doueiri.