a woman wearing a scarf and smiling

Intensive English students learn about governing in the U.S.

October 11 was a great day for international students in ILI’s Intensive English Program (IEP). That was when Massachusetts State Senator Jo Comerford, who represents the Northampton area in the Massachusetts State Senate, visited the class for more than an hour, briefly describing what her job as an elected official is all about and then fielding student queries on a wide range of topics.

Before the Senator’s visit, IEP students read her biography, discussed a number of “hot” topics and went over the basics of how government works in the U.S. Therefore, they were well prepared with a slew of questions–from the practical, like how to deal with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, to the personal, like why the Senator left her former career to go into public service.

Some questions were political in nature, touching on environmental concerns, social issues, U.S. relations with China and school shootings. Others related to matters of “right now” interest to the students and to many other of the Senator’s constituents (one of the many new vocabulary words of the day), such as Question #4 on the Massachusetts’ driver’s license application related to eligibility for immigrants.

IEP students and ILI staff thanked Senator Comerford for the generous amount of time she spent at the school and for her valuable information and many insights into U.S. culture, society and governance. The students left with her personal email address so they can contact her directly with questions such as transferring professional licensing for employment in the U.S. and, of course, navigating the Registry of Motor Vehicles!