This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
we answer a question from Brazil. Claudio Messias Gentil wants to know about
the United States Military Academy at West Point.
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Point is a college for future Army officers. It has more than four thousand
students, called cadets. The school is located about eighty kilometers north of
New York City.
Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States. General
George Washington built a fort there during the Revolutionary War to protect
the Hudson River from the British. He moved his headquarters to West Point in
seventeen seventy-nine in the middle of the war.
In eighteen hundred and two, President Thomas Jefferson
signed legislation to establish the military academy. The education centered on
civil engineering. West Point graduates designed many roads, bridges, harbors
and railways for the young nation.
math and science are still a large part of the education. But cadets can choose
from almost fifty areas of study. If cadets major in the humanities, they must
have an engineering minor.
the young men and women at West Point are American. This year, fifty-eight are
from other countries. Up to sixty cadets can be international students.
International students are nominated by their
governments. They must satisfy physical and educational requirements and do
well on the Test of English as a Foreign Language. After graduation, they
return home to serve in their nation's armed forces. Other services besides the
Army also accept foreign students at their academies.
Major Joe Sowers, a West Point public affairs officer,
says information is available through American embassies. He says the presence
of international students at West Point serves a purpose for the Army.
JOE SOWERS: "Cultural understanding, cultural
awareness is essential for a modern-day officer. Now because we have cadets
from Panama and cadets from African countries, that doesn't necessarily
increase your knowledge on how to interact in Iraq or Afghanistan. At least not
specifics, anyway. But you've begun the process of understanding that the world
is bigger than your hometown and West Point and the United States of America. But
I think the big payoff is at the individual cadet level, establishing
relationships with those who come from much, much different backgrounds."
And that's the VOA Special English Education Report,
written by Nancy Steinbach. You can learn more about higher education in the
United States from our Foreign Student Series at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve