The term “Internationally Trained Professionals” (also known as Foreign Professionals) is fairly new. It refers to Professionals with degrees from non-English speaking countries who wish to pursue their career in English Speaking counties. Many International Professionals are in the Medical field. Some of them are physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, dentists, nurses or physiotherapists. Other typical professions include engineers, teachers, instructors, university lecturers, MBAs.
English Proficiency requirements for Internationally Trained Professionals
In North America, most International Professionals are required to take an Academic English Proficiency test in order to continue working in their field.
Even if they are already working in the field, many International Professionals have to take TOEFL or IELTS so they can obtain or renew their Professional Licence. This is a very common case with pharmacists.
Finally, the third most common reason that some International Professionals need a particular TOEFL or IELTS score, is to apply for Graduate studies (Master’s Degree and Doctoral Degree programs).
Why are Internationally Trained Professionals different from other TOEFL takers?
Internationally Trained Professionals are mature test takers. They typically have very busy schedules and juggle multiple responsibilities: their families, jobs, education. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for test preparation, especially the one-size-fits-all kind of preparation.
On the other hand, Internationally Trained Professionals already have extensive higher education (albeit, not in English). Unlike the high school students aiming at Undergraduate studies in the English speaking countries, these serious test takers have very specific needs. They require customized and personalized test preparation.
Test preparation courses vs custom TOEFL preparation
Most online and offline test preparation programs have the one-size-fits-all approach. They offer generic courses which expect the student to adjust to them (in terms of the skill focus, learning style, length of study, pacing, etc.) That might work for younger students who still have a lot of time to devote to their test preparation (and their parents who are willing to pay for multiple trendy courses).
However, Internationally Trained Professionals know better; they understand that each test taker has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. They also know that those can be identified only by an experienced, professional teacher/tutor and and addressed through individual instruction.