Smiles from 7,400 Miles Away in Shanghai Funded by Gilman Program Scholarships, CUNY Travel Grants, and Presidential Awards

The benefits for a student to study abroad and take advantage of the international education opportunities at CSI are many. Students earn credit toward their degrees while gaining an international dimension and global perspective in their studies. Not only do students have life-affirming, life-changing experiences but they also differentiate themselves from their peers. Study abroad alumni excel in their careers after graduation due to the cross-cultural skills and experience that they gain abroad. In addition, CSI students can use financial aid and take advantage of many scholarship opportunities to make study abroad a reality. Study abroad can be an exciting and integral part of a wonderful education at CSI, even if a student has a goal to graduate in four years with exactly 120 credits.

Walter Rozenfeld, a CSI sophomore from Tottenville, was interviewed via text message while on a program-led field trip to Beijing. He wrote “Beijing was nice, it’s like New York to me really the big city and all. But I miss my home town Nanjing. I just wanna say that this has been the best idea I have ever come up with. Coming to China has been a dream come true. The teachers are great. They are like mothers to all of us. We all learned more Chinese here than ever before…”

While there is no Chinese language requirement to join the program, both Rozenfeld and Ain Richardson studied Chinese at CSI prior to flying to China in February. Matt Greger, however, had no prior knowledge of Chinese and is being introduced to the language in China. Students also attend classes taught in English on such topics as Chinese culture and society, history, and political science.

Both Ain and Matt applied for and received generous scholarships (CSI Presidential Awards to Study in China and CUNY China Travel Grants), which are administered by the Center for International Service. In addition, Ain successfully competed for and received a prestigious national scholarship from the Gilmarogram, which funds worthy PELL grant recipients to study lesser-studied languages, like Mandarin Chinese, abroad. All students in the program are now back in Nanjing after a one-week field program field trip to Beijing where they visited the Forbidden City and climbed the Great Wall.

CSI, long known for its study abroad programs in China, currently has seven students studying in the semester program at Nanjing University; among that group are three CSI students. A recent highlight of their experience included a visit from CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales and Ann Helm, the Executive Director of the Center for International Service, who recently completed a visit to China where they met with CSI partners from Shanghai and Nanjing Universities, Shanghai Normal University and affiliated high schools.

While in China, they met with the three CSI students who are now studying at Nanjing University. Each of the students is enjoying learning about and exploring China this spring.

To find out more about programs in China and other study abroad opportunities, visit the Center for International Service in Building 2A, Room 206 or contact the office at studyab@csi.cuny.edu.

By Russell Davis

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