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China study tour encourages leadership

February 8, 2007

Chancellor Don Betz took time out of his schedule to explore the beauty of Scotland with students last year, and now he is gearing up for another adventure in May. This time, the second Chancellor’s Global Leadership Colloquium is set to navigate China and Tibet.

Betz, along with Brent Greene, director of international relations, and Brent Turner, the leadership training coordinator, will take a group of students to Asia as part of a program to “explore and develop your leadership style in a global setting” from May 21 to June 11, according to flyers posted around campus.

Betz said the trip will combine international issues with leadership development, which are both important skills for students to have.

“You don’t come back the same person,” Betz said.

Last year Betz led students on an expedition in Scotland.

“It was fun and nice to get to know the chancellor on a more personal level since he seems so high up,” junior Carissa Williams said.

She attended the Scotland trip and is already registered to participate in the China expedition.

“I think it will also be interesting to compare and contrast the things we learned in Scotland to what we will have learned in China,” Williams said. “I strongly encourage everyone to apply; it is definitely an experience that you wouldn’t want to pass up.”

Senior Liz De La Torre is another student who attended the Scotland trip and is also traveling to China.

“I think that leadership is something that students want to learn about, but not necessarily in a classroom setting,” De La Torre said. “China is a place that I am very much looking forward to seeing, especially given its political and economic stance.”

One of the stops the students will be making is to the China Education and Research Society. Wong How Man, a UW-River Falls alum, began this organization to search and study parts of China that have been left unnoticed.

“An added bonus is being able to visit Wong and seeing his impact on China. It is just a piece of the whole experience,” Greene said.

Students will have the opportunity to learn at the research center for almost a week.

“They will learn the international issues revolving around East Asia as well as the issues that are facing Tibet,” Betz said.

Recently, China constructed the highest train in the world that runs through Asia and into Tibet; it will open a whole new world for both countries in terms of travel and the economy.

The $4 billion train was just completed within the last six months, and students will be able to travel through the landscapes of the Asian continent for four days.

The program didn’t exist before last year, and there are already plans for another colloquium following the China tour, Betz said.

“I will try to bring as much as I can to the table for both students and faculty,” Betz said.

“The chancellor is a great person with a lot to offer this campus. The opportunity to learn from him this way is the chance of a lifetime,” De La Torre said. “Don Betz has done wonderful things for this University and for our international programs.”

Besides Betz, Turner and Greene are two additional faculty members leading the three-week exploration.

They both took part in the Scotland study tour and will be making the trek to China as well.

“It is the most life-altering experience from multiple perspectives, being able to study abroad and spend concentrated time with Chancellor Betz,” Greene said. “To become a global leader one day, you need this knowledge.”

The cost of the study tour is $3,995 plus tuition for three credits. This cost includes airfare, ground transportation, lodging, field trips, the international program fee, insurance and meals.
Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

All students must have a valid U.S. passport by April 1.

The enrollment is limited to the first 20 applicants, and the deadline is Friday, March 23 at 4:30 p.m.

Applications and more information can be found in the international program office in the Chalmer Davee Library.