Submit Stories

The International Institute has been in operation continuously in Detroit since 1919. We have heard a number of success stories about the positive impact of the International Institute on the lives of immigrants new to the Detroit area, as well as stories from non-immigrants, over the years. Some of these stories involve how participants in our programs learned to speak English, learned the American way of life, became U.S. citizens, learned about other cultures and languages, were helped to find a job or housing, and even met their spouses here. We would like to assemble these stories in our archives and possibly list some here on our website or other publications. Do you have a positive story or photo to submit about the International Institute? Did you, your parents, grandparents or other relatives or friends benefit from our services or programs? If so, please submit the story and/or photos to We will appreciate it very much.


“I couldn’t even imagine how they teach adult people from all over the world to speak English. I thought that this is impossible. But after the first lesson I understood everything: everything depends on the teacher. We have a big class and everybody is from a different country, everybody has a different religion, language, habits and lifestyle. You have to be a great teacher to lead a lesson with such variety of students and keep students coming more and more and to enjoy studying….It is important to have this Institute to help us to adapt to a completely different country. International Institute gives us a lot of opportunities….I really appreciate having such an experience in my life.”

P.E. | January 26, 2012

“I’m happy to write about the best English class ever! Since the first day in Detroit I started to look for an ESL program. After some interviews and visits to colleges, institutions and universities, I came to International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit….The International Institute has been for me the best way to learn English…I’m learning English in the best place, I’m sure. I have new friends from all over the world, including countries which I never ever heard before. People from different cultures, languages, religions, ages…So I appreciate immensly the opportunity that the United States, the State of Michigan and Detroit offered to me through the Institute to grow personally and professionally.”

January 26, 2012

“Then I got to know about the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit…I am really proud to be a student here. I’m gaining all the knowledge I was looking for in very effective way….In the general English class we are taught not only the language but also the lifestyle of the country….It holds classes for other international languages too. Not only that, it has many job skills development programs and lot of other services for the international people. It has a restaurant with multi national food too….The Institute is always crowded with people from different ethnic groups so it is obvious that great number of people from different cultures is benefited by the services here. Everybody seems safe and relax in the premises. Even though the classrooms are crowded with students from different nationalities and different religions and cultural backgrounds all behave very respectfully and cooperatively with good understanding of each others differences. This is a really good example of peace among the nations.”

Yours sincerely,
January 27, 2012

“Dear Dancers:
Thank you for visiting us (at Priest Elementary School of the Detroit Public Schools, in Detroit). I really liked the dancing – it was beautiful. I learned about the fan to know how to do. And your dresses were beautiful. I hope you come see us again.”

Y. (a young student)
February 1, 2012

“Thank you for the fashion show. I enjoyed it a lot. I mean it was amazing with a capital A.” “Thank you!!! International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit…Great Oaks Academy would like to thank Nada Dalgamouni for letting us try on fashions from around the world! We appreciate you!”

Students and staff at Great Oaks Academy (Warren, Michigan)
April, 2012

“Hey Professor Sullivan – I just wanted to thank you again for the History of Detroit class. Both my dad and I enjoyed it very much. The parts I enjoyed most, I think, were when you talked about your own personal involvement (or your sister’s or dad’s or uncle’s…) in Detroit’s past. That made it come to life…”

June 1, 2012

“Hello, Mr. Sullivan. My interview at (job interview)…went quite well…then, I followed your suggestion…The whole time I was thinking to myself, ‘Thank you, Mr. Sullivan, for your helpful advice!'”

(written by Jobs Program participant)
Jan. 31, 2013