IEC student spotlight: Laetitia Malungu


Laetitia Malungu came to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) less than two years ago in hopes of getting an education and positioning herself for a good job. The 23-year-old started classes at the IEC just one week after arriving in the U.S. and proved to be a quick learner.

Her basic English skills placed her in a 200-level English class at the IEC, but she advanced to the 300/400 level class after just one month. Since then, she has attended the three-hour evening classes every Monday through Thursday. She’s also taken the computer classes and the TOEFL class offered at the IEC.

Laetitia says she felt very alone when she came to the United States, leaving most of her immediate family behind to live with her uncle here in Minnesota. The classes at the IEC helped her meet new people and make friends.

Improving her English-speaking skills has also made her feel more comfortable talking to others. “I’m not shy, but when I came to the U.S., I was quiet because I couldn’t speak English and didn’t know what to say,” she says. “School has helped me a lot.”

Thanks to the strides she’s made in improving her English skills at the IEC, she is preparing to take classes at Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC). She studied computer science for one year at a college in the DRC and may continue to pursue a degree in that field. She is also interested in nursing. For now, she is focused on getting her financial aid applications submitted so she can start classes at MCTC as soon as possible.

Laetitia recommends the IEC to others who want to improve their English skills. “If you want to learn and feel confident speaking English, you should go to the IEC,” she says. “And it’s free, too!”