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President's Corner

A bi-weekly column from the Office of the President

VCSU to host Chinese faculty

Jul. 23, 2012 2:38 PM | Author: Dr. Steve Shirley
Dr. Steve Shirley, VCSU President

Dr. Steve Shirley, VCSU President 

Next week, VCSU will host a delegation of eight faculty members and one translator from Hangzhou, China. The professors are from Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic (ZJETP) College, and this will be the fourth summer in a row that VCSU has hosted a group of scholars from this institution. Although in past summers they have visited VCSU for two or three days, their travel plans are more compact this year and we will only host our ZJETP guests in Valley City for one day.

Each summer a group of faculty from ZJETP visit the Fargo area, and VCSU partners with NDSU to host a portion of their visit. Their city of Hangzhou is a major coastal metropolitan area of approximately 6-8 million residents located about 100 miles from Shanghai, so the time spent in a rural setting such as North Dakota is quite a change for this group compared to their normal surroundings. We have heard a number of positive comments from our ZJETP guests in past years, and it is clear they certainly appreciate the wide-open spaces and friendly reception they receive while in North Dakota.

This year's group includes professors of business, food safety, and computer science. During their stay in North Dakota they will be taking cultural and corporate tours, agricultural tours, learning about the American higher education system, practicing conversational English, and taking workshops covering a variety of academic subjects.

VCSU has arranged a variety of activities for them to heighten their overall experience in our state. They will interact with our professors, staff, and students to learn about VCSU and see first-hand some of the teaching methodologies used on campus. Our guests will also spend part of the day in Kathryn at VCSU's Prairie Waters Education & Research Center where they will have the opportunity to participate in various hands-on learning activities. They will also have some time to explore downtown Valley City and get a feel for the community.

We are excited to host another delegation from ZJETP once again this summer. It is an exciting opportunity for these nine guests to learn from VCSU faculty, staff, and students, and, likewise, a terrific opportunity for our campus personnel to learn from them. Visits such as these are a powerful part of the educational experience for all involved.

Over the past four years, VCSU and ZJETP faculty and students have participated in exchange programs: in addition to the summer ZJETP visits to VCSU, five VCSU professors have traveled to China and taught summer programs in English and Computer Science at ZJETP, and nine VCSU students traveled to China for a three week study trip. During that same time period, six students from ZJETP have studied at VCSU. VCSU's partnership with ZJETP is an important component in strategic efforts we are taking as a campus in expanding our diversification and internationalization activities to create new educational opportunities for students, staff, and faculty.
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