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Meet the International Coordinator


I am Yolanda Townsend-Smith, International Student Coordinator for Harold Washington College (HWC).  Thank you for your interest in the Harold Washington College’s International Student Program.  I am responsible for assisting International students with the admissions and registration process to both college level credit courses and our English as a Second Language (ESL) Program.  Each semester over 200 International students from more than 70 countries study here at HWC.

Many graduates of the HWC International Student Program have gone on to major universities to advanced levels of study and a variety of careers.  HWC was founded in 1962 as Loop College to serve the city’s business community while offering a broad spectrum of courses, two-year degrees, and certificate programs.  In 1987, the college’s name was changed to commemorate Chicago’s late Mayor Harold Washington.  Our eleven story high-rise campus in the center of downtown Chicago is only three blocks from beautiful Lake Michigan; it houses more than 7,000 full- and part-time students enrolled in day and evening classes each semester.

The City of Chicago is a world center for transportation, business, industry, and higher education.  It is well known for its distinctive architecture, museums, and magnificent lakefront.  Chicago’s metropolitan area has a population of more than 8 million people and displays a diverse mix of cultures and backgrounds.  HWC offers various ethnic and cultural clubs where students can meet and exchange information. I hope that you will join our credit program.  You will find Harold Washington College a friendly environment with faculty and staff who really care about your success.

I look forward to meeting you.  If you have any questions or need additional information, you may contact me by email at, by phone at (312) 553-5878.

Welcome to the City Colleges of Chicago and to Harold Washington College!

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​Contact Information

International Students Office
Yolanda Townsend-Smith
International Student Coordinator
(312) 553-5878