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How to Succeed at Georgetown ELC by Mohammed S. Bin Hamdain

Recent Georgetown University English Language Center (ELC) graduate and current Georgetown Law LLM candidate Mohammed S. Bin Hamdain (@binhamdain) provides a three-part approach to help new ELC students make the best of their studies. According to Mohammed, much of his English learning success is rooted in his work to connect current activities to life goals; he makes certain to learn as much as possible from professors; and views extracurricular activities as tools to expand his knowledge and personal networks.

Mohammed’s first rule for ELC student success is to be goal-driven:

The first rule is to be goal-driven from the start of one’s English language studies. Never one to set his sights low, Mohammed plans to help his home country of Yemen to adopt a progressive legal system after completing his legal studies at Georgetown. However, he believes that he could not achieve his domestic and international political dreams without studying law in the US, and he could not gain admission to an elite law school like Georgetown without improving his academic English fluency. Therefore, studying English was an almost existential pursuit for Mohammed.

Mohammed’s second rule for ELC student success is to make the most of studying with the ELC’s talented professors:

The second rule is to take advantage of the opportunity to study under the tutelage of our experienced ELC faculty. Beyond its association with Georgetown University, Mohammed believes that the ELC’s most valuable asset is our dedicated professors who go the extra mile to support learners from around the world. As he says, “There were many memories, it’s hard to choose one but [several examples include] when Professor Lucas helped students format our CVs as well [and] explained the role of personal statements on college exams.” [that helped me on my law school applications]. Also, “I remember that Professor Screen was very strict but he helped to build our [grammar] skills.” Further, “recently retired Professor Lindauer has been a mentor both inside and outside the classroom as I continue my scholarly career.”   

Mohammed’s third rule for ELC student success is to participate in extracurricular activities:

Mohammed’s third recommendation is to take advantage of extracurricular activities inside and outside of the university to make valuable connections to expand your knowledge and personal networks. ELC students can practice and apply the communication skills they are learning in class to a variety of real-life situations.  As he recounts, “I participated in the 2019 Global Engagement Summit organized by the United Nations Association of the United States of America in NYC. This experience inspired me to transfer the idea of implementing the first Model UN in Yemen…” Closer to Georgetown campus, ELC students can join Georgetown clubs and attend events. As he says, “…I joined the Philodemic Society, Georgetown’s debating club.” This was an ideal opportunity to improve his language skills, and meet new friends. As he says, “I highly recommend that new ELC students participate in university events. I believe this will contribute to building blocks for their future paths.”

Thank you Mohammed for sharing your experiences as a Georgetown student. Click HERE to learn more about upcoming study options at Georgetown’s English Language Center.

Author Regan Carver is a Program Manager in the ELC.