After doubling in size from last spring, a program will bring 24 students from Nanjing University in Nanjing, China to SRU to develop their grasp of English and allow them take courses in hospitality, event management and tourism.
Nanjing University has been ranked one of the top five institutions of higher learning in China, combining both education and research studies. The university has over 35,000 enrolled students and offers programs for both Chinese students wishing to study abroad and American students wishing to study in China.
Following recent travel to China by SRU faculty and administration, the partnership between SRU and Nanjing has doubled the size of the program from the previous spring, when ten students and an instructor from Nanjing visited SRU to strengthen their English language skills and learn about the field of hospitality.
The visiting group of students will be developing skills to work in the growing field of hospitality and international tourism as more and more people begin to travel to and from China, thus creating a need for food, lodging, entertainment and more.
According to Dr. Bruce Boliver, assistant professor and chair of SRU’s hospitality, event management and tourism department, the SRU AVI food service will be working with the students for food-related workshops, and the students will also attend courses in English as a second language (ESL), hotel management, sports tourism and intercultural communications.
While at SRU, the students will have the opportunity to expand their language abilities with the help of Dr. Seungku (Steve) Park, director of the SRU Language Center.
“The students will learn English language by four language skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing,” Park said.
The students have already learned some English in China and are able to communicate proficiently to an extent when they arrive, Park said.
“Smartphones are now one of the most common gadgets when learning a new language and it is very useful to find words in different languages thanks to the accessibility to the Internet,” Park said. “Having communication with people who have different cultures is always exciting and gives me amazing moments about the world. The biggest challenge would be the stereotypes of certain groups of people in different parts of the world, much of which are myths created by mass media.”
SRU has approximately 100 students majoring in resort, recreation and hospitality management, several of which will serve as mentors to the Nanjing students as they participate in courses and campus activities.
The positive experiences of these students will help to develop a 2+2 program between SRU and Nanjing University, in which students would attend school in China and then transfer to SRU to complete their degree. Other international students from Sri Lanka, Turkey and Vietnam may also have the opportunity to participate in the newly developing program.