Chinese Students Visit Bluefield College
As part of its ongoing academic and cultural exchange with the country and people of China, Bluefield College welcomed four Chinese students and a Chinese professor to campus to study and teach during the fall 2012 semester.
December 19, 2012
Chinese students and a professor from the Jiangsu Institute of Education visit Bluefield College for the fall 2012 semester.
The Chinese students from the Jiangsu Institute get a taste of American cuisine during a visit to the home of BC Professor Walter Shroyer.
Article by student Autumn Arnold
For the seventh semester in a row, students and teachers from BC and the Jiangsu Institute of Education shared history, language, tradition and time with one another as part of an international exchange program that began in the fall of 2009. Since then, BC students have traveled to China each spring, and Jiangsu students have returned each fall with the latest spring-fall swap brining students Joan, Lee, S.J. and Wendy, along with Professor Zhang “John” Jianjun to Bluefield.
In the BC classroom, the Chinese students studied English literature, U.S. history, world history, and grammar. They also took courses in Old Testament, music appreciation, and ceramics.
“I liked the classes with the fun professors,” said Joan. “I like to laugh and have fun while I am learning.”
Professor Jianjun taught courses in Chinese history, culture and language to both BC students and the community.
“[Art Professor] Walter Shroyer’s class was my favorite,” said Wendy. “I loved to work with the ceramics.”
Outside of the classroom, the Chinese students attended BC student activities to get the full experience of what it’s like to be a Bluefield College student.
“The most fun for me, personally, was to hang out with other girls and do make up,” said Joan. “I never get to do things like that or feel like a girl.”
The visitors also spent time in the homes of current BC students and toured local attractions, like The Greenbrier, Big Walker Mountain, Organ Caves, and Wolf Creek Indian Village. Wendy’s favorite activity was camping and cooking out. Lee said she loved going to the Bluestone River and wading. S.J., the only male exchange student, said he loved fishing.
“It was one of my favorite experiences while being in America,” said S.J.
All the Chinese students noted the significant differences in cultures. The group was most impressed and thankful for the friendliness of BC students, faculty and staff.
“In China, when you pass someone, you say ‘hi,’ or you say nothing at all,” said Wendy. “In America, every time you pass someone, they smile and say, ‘Hi, how are you?’ I think, ‘What do I say to that?’”
The visiting students also enjoyed American food and other new cultural experiences. They spoke about their first taste of ketchup, apple pie, and egg omelets. Morgan Lloyd, a BC student who traveled to Jiangsu last spring, shared an experience he enjoyed with the students and American food.
“When we picked them up at the airport, we got to take them to Buffalo Wild Wings,” said Lloyd. “S.J. wanted to try the hot wings. It was so funny to see him try to eat them, because they were so hot.”
By the time their visit ended, the Chinese students had enjoyed their stay at Bluefield College so much they didn’t want it to end.
“I’m from the city. It’s crowded,” said Joan. “I enjoy this countryside and the beautiful scenery. I love the people here and all I have learned from them. I wish to come back so soon. America is where I would like to stay.”