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Study abroad reaches China

October 21, 2011

The UW – River Falls Study Abroad program will soon be offering new opportunities for students to study in China.

The UWRF Global Connections office hosts many study abroad chances which include semester long programs and short programs such as over Spring Break and over the summer months. Currently, the program sends between 350 and 400 students to study abroad each year.

Wisconsin in Scotland is the most widely known, which allows students to spend a full semester in Dalkeith, Scotland. Next fall however, a similar program will be available at the Zhejiang International Studies University in China.

“We will send over faculty and students to live together in this facility to take UWRF classes,” said Megan Learman, an education abroad advisor. “Core classes will be required for students to take to learn how to function in Chinese society.”

Students will be able to learn about various aspects of Chinese society such as, “Chinese history, Chinese language, Chinese food, Chinese people, and Chinese relationships,” said Learman.

UWRF has had a lasting relationship with the Zhejiang University, and Zhejiang has occasionally hosted some the faculty from this University. These faculty members have either just visited or have taken classes to get their Master’s degrees. Students will be given a host student while participating in this program who will help them learn and adapt to the Chinese culture. This will give the students an opportunity to gain a friendship and interact with other students.

Just like the Wisconsin in Scotland program, it is not just narrowed to UWRF students. “Students from different campuses come,” said Kelsey McLean, the program coordinator. “It’s a neat opportunity for students to not only have an international experience, but they also meet people from throughout the state that come back and form close friendships.”

Applications for this program are currently unavailable, but it is slowly being promoted. “We have had about 35 students who have indicated interest,” said McLean.

This new opportunity will be available for students during the fall semester of 2012. More information can be obtained by attending the “Leap Into Study” event, which will be held on Feb. 29.

Some of the other semester long opportunities for students include the International Traveling Classroom which tours Europe and gives the students the chance to study in cities such as Paris, London and Berlin. Students can also apply to stay for two semesters on some programs such as Wisconsin in Scotland.

“I was able to go to Ireland last January,” said Brittany Pierce, a dairy science senior. “It was really fun to travel around and I was able to get to know the people I traveled with really well.”

Opportunities for students to study on different campuses within the United States are also available. Many campuses are available but a few that students have chosen are California State, Tennessee State University and the University of Hawaii, according to the National Student Exchange website.

UWRF also hosts students from other campuses rather than just sending them, and also hosts international students. According to the International Student Services website, “We are proud to currently host 90 international students from 16 different countries.”