BC Students Study Abroad in China
Bluefield College continues to give its students opportunities to expand their knowledge through cultural exchange programs. The most recent global education opportunity included three BC students on a study trip abroad to Jiangsu Second Normal University in Nanjing, China.
Student Marketing Associate Whitney Browning
October 11, 2016
Bluefield College students Glenn Scott (second from left) of Roanoke, Virginia, Kody Plott (fourth from left) of Bluefield, West Virginia, and Evan Connor (second from right) of Roanoke, Virginia, along with faculty advisor Andrew Lawrence (far right) pose for a photo with their Chinese hosts from Jiangsu Second Normal University in Nanjing, China.
Bluefield College students (from left) Glenn Scott, Kody Plott and Evan Connor experience Chinese cuisine as part of their study abroad trip to Nanjing, China.
Students Evan Connor of Roanoke, Virginia, Kody Plott of Bluefield, West Virginia, and Glenn Scott of Roanoke, Virginia, along with faculty advisor Andrew Lawrence, associate vice president for online and distance education, spent a week in China in May 2016. Bluefield College has been exchanging students with Jiangsu Second Normal University in Nanjing since the fall of 2009. Every fall since then a group of Chinese students and a professor from Jiangsu have spent part of the semester on the BC campus, while every spring Bluefield students and a professor travel to China.
“The China exchange program provides our students the unique opportunity to experience a culture, language and society that is very unique and different from our own,” said Dr. Maria Zalduondo, director of BC’s global education program. “Through this exchange experience, where our students converse, live and laugh with Chinese students of their own age, we gain an insight into a different culture. Through difference, we also develop an understanding of the commonality and familiarity of the human experience. As we interact with the Chinese, they become our friends. Our walls come down, and we build bridges of understanding and mutual respect.”
The May 2016 trip incorporated interactive learning in the classrooms at Jiangsu as BC students were introduced to foods and games of the Chinese culture. The classes they attended also introduced them to special topics, such as opera, calligraphy, and the Chinese language.
“The main part of our studies was interaction with the Chinese students presenting to us in English,” said Scott. “It was the experience of a lifetime. I wouldn’t have traded that time abroad for anything.”
In addition to attending classes and experiencing life on the Jiangsu campus, the BC students learned and took part in cultural experiences through visits and tours of significant and famous sites throughout China, including the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall of China, the city of Beijing, the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Tian’anmen Square, and the Forbidden City. They also toured the Amity Foundation’s printing company, the world’s largest producer of Bibles.
As an added bonus to the China exchange, the students traveled to Australia where they visited Sydney, toured the Opera House, climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, visited the famous Hillsong church, and took a cruise to see the Whitsunday beaches where they snorkeled about the Great Barrier Reef.
“We need to prepare our students to be the global citizens they will be required to be in the 21st century,” said Dr. Zalduondo. “Travel abroad provides students with the necessary international skills of adaptability, creativity and appreciation for diversity needed in our increasingly globally-minded commercial world.”