UAPB to offer scholarships to study abroad at Chinese universities

Will Hehemann School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

Members of a committee formed to recruit students to study abroad in China pose with students set to study in China in the summer 2015 semester.

Members of a committee formed to recruit students to study abroad in China pose with students set to study in China in the summer 2015 semester.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Starting in the summer semester of the 2015-2016 academic year, students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) will be able to study abroad in China as part of an agreement between the Chinese government and a list of other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

As a member of the HBCU-China Scholarship Network, UAPB will provide scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students for enrollment at any one of 25 universities participating in the program. Scholarships will cover periods ranging from four weeks to two years.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time a major foreign government has extended scholarship opportunities to students at HBCU institutions,” Dr. Pamela Moore, associate director of the Office of International Programs at UAPB, said.

The full scholarships will include tuition and room and board, while students are responsible for international airfare, visa fees, travel insurance and spending money while in China.

A pilot group of thirteen UAPB students is tentatively scheduled to study in China for the summer 2015 semester. To be eligible for the scholarships, students must complete a humanities course entitled “Introduction to Chinese Culture.”

“The inaugural course aims to provide students with a basic appreciation of Chinese language, history and culture,” Dr. Moore said. “In this regard, the course will play an important role in preparing students for the cross-cultural transition that will occur when they leave the U.S. and travel to China.”

A three-week online orientation administered by the HBCU-China Scholarship Network designed to teach students about the basics of living and studying abroad in China will be incorporated into the new course.

Recruitment for the pilot group was conducted by a steering committee led by Dr. Moore, Dr. Madan Dey, professor of aquaculture economics and marketing, Dr. Yong Wui, professor of business administration and economics, Dr. Jessie Walker, interim chair of the Department of Computer Science, and Dr. Paul Lorenz, chair of the Department of English, Theatre and Mass Communication.

The Introduction to Chinese Culture course, which is sponsored by the English department, will be offered yearly. Dr. Lorenz said he envisions the Chinese language program expanding in the coming years.

“We anticipate developing a foreign language program in Mandarin Chinese so that students can continue to strengthen their language skills after they return from their first experience abroad in China,” Dr. Lorenz said. “As China is an emerging global economic power, mastering Mandarin Chinese can open doors to global opportunity for our students.”

Dr. Moore said outreach efforts to recruit a second cohort of students to enroll in the introductory course and study in China commenced during UAPB’s International Education Week last semester and will continue this semester.

“This is an awesome opportunity for our students,” UAPB Chancellor, Dr. Laurence B. Alexander, said. “The scholarship will enable our students to be prepared for a global society.”

For more information on study abroad opportunities in China and other countries, contact the Office of International Programs at 870-575-8545 or moorep@uapb.edu.

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