Letters to the Editor: English Proficiency

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Letters to the Editor

In response to the article ‘Proficiency Exam Lost in Translation?’ published on October 15 in Issue 6.

Dear Editor,

When I first arrived in Bologna as an international student I was also surprised to learn about the English proficiency exam requirement. I, too, heard many variations of the “at worst, you just lose a couple of hours” or the inevitable “but it fulfills your language proficiency!” reasoning mentioned.

What these justifications do not address is the underlying sense that we are collectively not being treated as responsible, trustworthy adults or that any objective examination other than the SAIS examination is insufficient; or worse, we have been less than honest in our applications.

An international student with an undergraduate education from a top US university, great GRE scores, who has lived and worked in an English-speaking country is forced to jump through another hoop — one that calls into question previous qualifications. It is irrelevant whether it is an easy hoop to jump through or not.

Melissa Paredes
SAIS Washington ’14

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