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Language Barriers at Palomar are Receiving Great Support

Palomar College is doing a great job in supporting students who may face language barriers by providing additional support through the service non-English students receive from International Student Program.

For many years, language has been a barrier for non-English speaking people. They face language barriers at voting polls, legal hearings, healthcare, education and any public place where an interpreter is needed to translate for them.

The Voice of San Diego has mentioned that some non-English speakers find it hard to find a translator whom they can trust with their personal life when they go to the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Language Services informs that there are more than 100 different languages spoken in San Diego County and 69% are non-English speakers.

Palomar College has an International Student Program that provides services to international students who come into the U.S. to earn an associate’s degree, certificate, or transferable credits to a four-year university.

“Earning a degree is important for these students because the American school system is highly valued in other countries”, said Judy Gervasio who is an admission/enrollment specialist for the International Student Program.

To be considered an international student at Palomar, Gervasio said they need to consider an F-1 student visa, which can take up to five to six weeks with school approval.

“They must also have a high level of English in order to study general education and major requirements,” said Gervasio.

Palomar no longer has an intensive language school on-campus where international students go to receive further support, where they can learn and improve on the English language. There are two schools located in North County where an international student would attend before transferring to Palomar College.

Transferring to Palomar, international students need help understanding or learning the English language. Throughout the International Student Program, they offer extra English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and students are allowed to take it as many times as they may need it.

A second English 100 is offered as ESL 110 that an international student can take to learn English as a second language. Also, English tutors are available who can help them improve their English.

Despite COVID-19 hanging around, the program has adapted to do virtual meetups. They check-in with students to keep up with their progress and encourage them to use emails so they can expand their English through speaking and writing.

For more information about the International Student Program, call (760) 744-1150 ext. 2167 or email for application questions.

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