(Baozi; photographer unknown)
When a new school year begins, lots of new experiences come along with it. But, could you have guessed that one of those experiences will take a group of Greensboro College faculty and staff all the way across the globe? On September 20th, four members of the GC community will take off for a ten day trip to China to recruit Chinese students interested in going abroad.
Going on the trip will be Dr. Lawrence Czarda, president of Greensboro College, Dr. Paul Leslie, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Ms. Cathryn Bennet, Director of International Programs and Dr. Michelle Plaisance, Director of TESOL.
The purpose of the trip, according to Ms. Bennett, is simply to “share what Greensboro College is all about.” The goals for the trip as explained by Ms. Bennet are to “Explain the unique and individualized opportunities for small classroom sizes that afford close interaction with faculty members; we will talk about the continued legacy of a liberal arts education to foster the soft skills necessary for success in an increasingly interconnected, globalized society; we will demonstrate our goodwill and commitment to fostering the growth of students as whole, integrated beings with facets of mind, body, and spirit. In personally visiting potential partner universities and communicating the Greensboro College experience, it is my wish and intent that students and schools on this China tour will see an opportunity to be supported as unique individuals in an environment that promotes community integration and contribution.”
The group will be stopping by five universities: Kushan Campus, Central China Normal University, Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences, Beijing Normal University, and University of International Business and Economics in their mission to foster international relationships. They plan to discuss potential study abroad opportunities available for those students at Greensboro College.
The trip will contain many serious aspects, like business meetings and a signing ceremony. During this formal event attended by government officials Greensboro College will make official their partnership with the company looking to bring students abroad.
The group hopes to have some time to take in China’s vibrant culture during their visit as well. When asked about the culture, Ms. Bennet, who has lived in South Asia and been to China before, replied, “I’m very excited to visit again; the ancient culture and traditions make for a rich, complex cultural experience especially when juxtaposed with the exponential growth of modernity in China’s urban hubs.”
Ms. Bennet hopes to visit the Chengdu Panda Preserve, Wuhou Temple, the Lakes District, the Hanging Gardens, and the city of Xi’an. Ms. Bennet also mentions that she is particularly excited for the rest of the group to try Baozi, which is a steamed bun filled with different types of meat, and century eggs, which are eggs preserved for weeks or months, which she warns are “not for the faint of heart!”
Although this trip will certainly be landmarked as an important date in the history of Greensboro College’s interactions with international students, it certainly won’t be the first. In fact, GC has a rich history with students from all corners of the earth. The school hosted its very first international student over a hundred years ago- Miss We Tsung Zung in 1914. After her time at Greensboro and additional studies at Smith College, Miss Zung went on to have an extremely accomplished and barrier-breaking life, particularly for a woman of her time. She taught school in China, published scholarly articles, and even was a part of an international conference in Geneva.
As of today, Greensboro College has international students from 18 different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. These students are currently participating in almost all of the college’s programs, including both traditional and adult undergraduate students, graduate programs (like TESOL), and short term exchanges.
Make sure to watch out for news about how the trip went in October, and the possibility of Chinese-exchange students in coming semesters!
This article was written by Kinsley Prendergast.