Short-term study abroad program to China offers a unique experience

Emily Komorowski

Sichuan University in Chengdu, China is inviting Kent State University students and faculty to participate in its National Courses Weeks from June 30 to July 21 for a three-week long program.

This is the first time Kent State has been given this opportunity, and is one of 25 schools chosen worldwide to participate. Sichuan University is ranked as a “top 10 university” in China, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

“Chengdu is an 8,000-year-old city and is the engine of economic development in China,” said Ediz Kaykayoglu, education abroad manager in the Office of Global Education. “It’s a very valuable and diverse program [at Sichuan].”

With the announcement of the “100,000 Strong” initiative from President Barack Obama in November 2009, Kaykayoglu said it is even more important and relevant to send students to China. The “100,000 Strong” initiative is a national effort designed to increase and to diversify the number and composition of American students studying in China, according to the U.S. Department of State website.

Each university is able to send 20 students and two or three professors to Sichuan, Kaykayoglu said.

“Sichuan University will cover all tuition fees, accommodations and tours for the students within China,” Kaykayoglu said. “They will only have to pay for the flights to and from.”

Kaykayoglu said of the 24 courses being offered at Sichuan, three of them will be taught by Kent State faculty. The faculty costs will be covered completely and Sichuan will pay a lecture stipend of $150 per hour.

Students will be able to state their top three course choices on their applications.

Kaykayoglu said Kent State students can take courses related to their majors, as well as courses related to China. Some of the courses include: Comparisons of Chinese and Western Culture, Creative Psychology, Philosophy of Love in Western World and Physics and the Progress of the World.

Although this is a new program for Kent State and not many students know about it, students such as Dan Schiff, sophomore aeronautics major who said he has traveled to China before, already know about it and have an interest in the program.

“When I first went to China, I was able to open myself up to other people and understand their culture and daily life style,” said Schiff. “Because of that positive experience, I would return to China in a heartbeat. This program offers that experience, and although I was fortunate enough to have already visited China once, I would return in [a] second.”

The applications for the program are due April 15 and will then go through a process for selection. The program is open to all majors and levels on all eight of Kent State’s campuses. Many of the colleges on campus are sending emails to students to let them know about this short-term study abroad program.

Contact Emily Komorowski at [email protected].