The 12 students visiting Augsburg from United International College in Zhuhai, China, find Americans friendly and polite, and believe they exercise more in a healthier environment than found in China. And baseball games, which aren’t found in China, have been exciting.
The students, ages 19-22, arrived in Minneapolis on July 2, just in time to meet American culture at a Fourth of July picnic on Nicollet Island, complete with hot dogs, potato salad, and fireworks. The students are enrolled in an Augsburg summer session course and are participating in a program on Minnesota history and culture. Before returning home on August 7, they will complete a project about Minnesota and Augsburg that they will present in China.
None of them has had time to think about home, however, with a busy schedule of field trips, visits, and events. They’ve enjoyed a variety of museums in the Twin Cities—art and history museums, the State Capitol, Ft. Snelling—and also noted how many more historical sites they have in China than here.
Two weeks ago, the UIC students joined with Augsburg first-year TRiO and Pan-Asian students for a canoe trip and picnic on the St. Croix River, paddling down river from Taylors Falls.
While some students from UIC have visited Augsburg previously, the goal of this visit is to launch student exchanges between the two colleges. Additional UIC students will come to Augsburg during spring semester next year, and Augsburg students will plan to study there.
Faculty, also, share in this partnership. This year during fall semester, philosophy professor Bruce Reichenbach will teach at UIC. His assignment follows that of recently-retired Joyce Pfaff, professor emerita of health and physical education, who spent fall semester last year at UIC teaching physical education and starting fitness classes.
United International College is a four-year college jointly founded by Beijing Normal University and Hong Kong Baptist University in 2005. Its mission is to build a new model for liberal education in China and to nurture graduates with international perspectives. The college has 3,300 students who study in classes all taught in English.