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College offers students summer abroad in China

Sarah Gunn | Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For the second year in a row, Saint Mary’s is offering a summer study abroad program in China from May 17 to June 7.

Five or six students from the College will accompany 10 students from Creighton University in Nebraska on the trip facilitated by Alice Sinquin Yang, the assistant director of Global Education in the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at the College, and two professors at Creighton.

Yang said the program focuses mainly on Chinese culture rather than the language because learning the language is secondary to learning the culture.

The culture is multi-faceted with various areas of appeal, Yang said. China’s large population and its role in the world economy make it a very interesting and unique program to experience.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the culture with course options such as Chinese Women and Society, Introduction to Buddhism and Chinese Art.

Along with taking classes, students on the trip will be immersed in the culture by way of a service learning project at an orphanage, she said.

The trip includes stops in the North and Eastern areas of China including Beijing, Xi’an, Datong, Nanjing, Pingyao and Shanghai.

Last year students visited the Yellow Mountain, but this upcoming program could feature a visit to the Silk Road, Yang said.

Other features of the program are the trips to the Soong Ching Ling Foundation, a children’s foundation, and meeting with Chinese college students.

Yang said she believes the requirement for the program is an interest in the Chinese culture because a specific GPA or language proficiency is not required for acceptance into the program.

Yang said the China program is unlike any other program a student could choose for their study abroad options.

“[It provides] an eye-opening experience for students who are curious about China and Asian countries,” she said.

If you are interested in the China Summer Study Abroad program, you can visit the Web site http://centerforwomeninleadership.org/global-education-/study-abroad/places-go/china-summer-program.

There is also an informational session today in Conference rooms A and B in the Student Center.