The Bangladesh Health Project initially focused on developing the nursing college at IUBAT – the International University of Business, Agriculture and Technology, an English-medium university in Dhaka. Due to a lack of local faculty, international volunteers taught the BSN students; many brought donated textbooks because there were few nursing texts in Bangla let alone English. For the nursing students, the huge effort to master a foreign language was rewarded with access to vast resources for life-long professional development. Many hospitals and other employers also relied on English because of their international staff.
Recently IUBAT grad Mohammed Ali joined Oxford University for post-graduate studies. He writes, “I learned that my new classmates from non-English speaking countries had to achieve high scores on the IELTS exam to get into Oxford. However, I have been exempted from the English language test following assessment of my skills. I am truly grateful to the visiting teachers from Canada, the USA, UK, and Australia who provided me with an excellent foundation in the English language.”