Hawkins Travels to Japan, China
Trip Solidifies Agreements for Exchange of Students, Faculty, Staff
Bellevue University President Mary Hawkins traveled to Japan and China in mid-October to solidify and finalize a number of relationship agreements with schools in those countries. The agreements allow for students, faculty and staff from both schools to travel to and study at each other's institution.
"We've always enjoyed a rich experience from our international partners," Dr. Hawkins said. "Over the years, we've had (international partners in) Thailand and Nepal. We've had exchange agreements in some of the Gold Coast countries of Africa and now we're opening up the Japanese and Chinese markets."
Dr. Hawkins' trip began at Hiroshima International University (HIU). She stayed with the family of Yuma Omachi, a student at the school who had stayed with Dr. Hawkins' family during his time at Bellevue University. Students from HIU have been coming to Bellevue University in the summer to study English and American culture. Many University staff members have hosted students who gain much from the experience. HIU is planning to bring another cadre of students next August. She also visited Hiroshima College of Languages during her time in Japan. In the past, Bellevue University has had transfer students attend and graduate from Bellevue University, although there are none currently attending.
Dr. Hawkins then moved on to Shanghai Maritime University in Shanghai, China. Bellevue University is currently hosting Maritime's Charlotte You as a visiting scholar/lecturer. Hawkins then travelled to Guangzhou, China and Guangdong Chuangxin Sci-Technical Vocational College where she signed a relationship agreement with the relatively new, but rapidly growing school. The arrangement will include students from Guangdong coming to Bellevue University next fall. The agreement will also allow for faculty and staff exchanges. Two faculty members, Linda Thomas and Darius Watson, have volunteered to go over to Guangzhou and spend time working with students to prepare for studies at Bellevue University.
Next, Dr. Hawkins visited ZengCheng College of South China Normal University, a school that currently has two students studying at Bellevue University and will send as many as 100 students over each year. Logistics Management will be an area of emphasis for students from ZengCheng. The agreement has been endorsed by the Chinese High Educational Institution which is a high recognition for this partnership. The endorsement was celebrated in a signing ceremony at which Dr. Hawkins and the President of ZengCheng spoke to a large audience of students and staff.
The trip concluded with a visit to Nanguo Business College of the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. Dr. Hawkins met with 3 women who will be coming to Bellevue University in the spring. Nanguo is known for their language programs and have sent 16 students to Bellevue University over the past few years. Two Nanguo students, Wencan Liu and Chuntao Fu, are currently enrolled at Bellevue. Another Nanguo student, Diping Huang, worked part-time in the Bellevue University International Student Office, along with Chuntao Fu. Diping is currently doing her Optional Practical Training (OPT) at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
"My trip over there was very productive in terms of my understanding of their commitment to the relationship and also demonstrating our commitment to them," Dr. Hawkins said. "Not only do we get some really wonderful student scholars, but our students, our faculty, and our community comes to have a better understanding of the cultures of these countries."
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