Bluefield College Academic Exchange with China to Benefit Students and Community
As part of its mission to prepare innovative learners, Bluefield College will offer its students an opportunity to learn firsthand the Chinese culture, history and language, thanks to a new international exchange program with the Jiangsu Institute of Education in Nanjing, China
September 9, 2009
In fact, the reciprocal international exchange will not only be offered to Bluefield College students and faculty, but also to the Bluefield community at-large with courses in Chinese history and language offered free of charge to area residents on the BC campus this fall.
Bluefield College crafted the exchange program with Jiangsu officials this past spring when a BC delegation traveled to China on a mission trip. Since then, the two parties have finalized the details of the agreement that both say will "promote educational cooperation," "friendly ties," and "mutual benefits."
The academic exchange will involve 3-4 students and one professor each semester. Coming to Bluefield College this fall from the Jiangsu Institute will be faculty member Ms. Du Yiqun, an English teacher, and four students from Jiangsu -- English majors Mr. Que Jun and Mr. Xu Chenyan, Chinese literature major Miss Jiao Yan, and math major Miss Zhu Junxia.
"We are very excited about the group's arrival," said BC president, Dr. David Olive, "and we look forward to getting to know each of them and establishing new friendships as we learn more about our cultures and traditions."
The Chinese assembly will arrive in Bluefield in early September. The students will stay for two weeks, taking courses in their respective majors. Professor Yiqun will stay for two months, teaching a course in Chinese culture and history on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and a class on an introduction to Chinese language, Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
In fact, as an educational outreach to the community, the college will open the two courses taught by Yigun to the public at no charge. Local residents interested in enrolling in one or both of the classes for no academic credit may do so by calling the school's Department of English at 276-326-4270 or by e-mailing Professor Rob Merritt at .
In addition to their studies on campus, the Chinese students will be offered off-campus opportunities to gain a greater appreciation for American culture, particularly American history and the Appalachian traditions, when later in the semester they hike the Appalachian Trail, go mountain biking on the Virginia Creeper Trail, and tour Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.
As part of its longstanding tradition of providing opportunities for study abroad, which in years past have included trips to London, Rome, Athens and Paris, Bluefield College will reciprocate the Chinese exchange next May by sending 3-4 BC students and a professor to the Jiangsu Institute.
For more information regarding the academic exchange or the courses offered to the public, please call or e-mail Professor Merritt or the BC Office of Public Relations at 276-326-4212 or .