For 112 Chinese students enrolled at Kean University’s campus in Wenzhou, China, the summer of 2013 promises to be memorable – and exhausting. In a good way.
The students touched down at JFK and LaGuardia airports on Friday night, July 12, to begin a six-week English immersion program at Kean that will take them to some of the region’s most-important cultural and historic landmarks. This is going to be a summer like no other for these students,” said Dr. Dawood Farahi, president of Kean University.
Exhausted but excited to be in the United States, the students were greeted by Kean University administrators, staff members, police officers, and students. They included Janice Murray-Laury, vice president of student affairs; George Chang, acting dean of the College of Natural, Applied, and Health Sciences; Suzanne Bousquet, acting dean of the College of the Humanities and Social Sciences; Scott Snowden, director of the Center for Leadership and Service; and Paul Huang, associated director of academics for Wenzhou-Kean.
The students, many of them wearing Kean t-shirts, were escorted by shuttle to Union Township. More than a few nodded off during the ride from the airport, but by the time they arrived on campus, they were wide awake and ready for more welcomes as they checked into residence halls.
After a well-earned rest, the students received a campus tour on Saturday morning, giving them a chance to become familiar with the University’s world-class facilities. They enjoyed a traditional American barbeque and were given a tour of Liberty Hall Museum led by Dr. Farahi.
The University has put together a jam-packed schedule of cultural, educational, and recreational activities that will give the students a real taste of life in the New Jersey-New York region. They’ll visit world-class museums, take in a baseball game, visit amusement parks, and tour some of the world’s best-known landmarks.
And, yes, they’ll polish their English skills as well.
“This is yet another milestone for Kean University,” said Dr. Farahi. “Just a few years ago,we set out to become one of the few state universities in America with a campus in China. Now we are seeing the benefits of our partnership with our friends in Wenzhou. We welcome these students to the United States, to New Jersey, and to Kean University.”
When Kean University broke ground on its new campus in Wenzhou, several months ago, Dr. Farahi emphasized that the historic venture would be a true collaboration. Kean would send students to China for a once-in-a-lifetime educational experience, while Wenzhou Kean students would fly in the opposite direction to learn about life in the United States. That process will unfold over the next six weeks, as the Chinese students take in the sights and sounds of one of the world’s most-exciting metropolitan centers.
Students will tour Cape May, Philadelphia, Manhattan’s Chinatown district, and Times Square. They’ll have the opportunity to visit the Statue of Liberty, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Natural History. They’ll attend a Yankees’ game against the Detroit Tigers. And they’ll participate in intramural and recreational sports and games on Kean’s campus.
“The connections they make here in New Jersey will last a lifetime,” Dr. Farahi said. “Programs like this one will foster understanding and cooperation across borders and oceans, to the benefit of all of us."
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