Alfred State College is one of 22
participating SUNY schools which will host a total of 150 Chinese students
whose homes in Sichuan province were devastated by an earthquake in May.
The students, primarily sophomores and juniors, will arrive
in the United States later this month, and will study for two semesters as
full-time students at SUNY state-operated and community college campuses,
beginning this fall. The goal is to build a team of young
leaders based on their common experiences in the United States.
150 students were chosen after a careful review of their academic performance
as well as English language testing conducted by a team of eight experienced
English language teachers from across China. The selected students had to
be Sichuan residents and were selected from four national universities under
the leadership of the Ministry of Education in Beijing and from among several
local/provincial colleges and universities in Sichuan. Students were
assigned to various SUNY campuses through a sorting process that involved a
team of experienced academic administrators. Assignments were made on the
basis of student interests as well as the ability of the respective campuses to
accommodate additional students from abroad in currently available spaces.
There is no impact to current student enrollment or fall applications.
Additionally, the State University has undertaken a fundraising drive so this
initiative will not result in any costs to New York State taxpayers
When they return to China, these talented men and
women from diverse Chinese ethnic groups will help re-build the
local economy and infrastructure in the region the earthquake
impacted. Each student has committed to return to China upon completion of
the program in May/June 2009 and to a period of national service in Sichuan to
help with the rebuilding effort.
The participating students include 53 men and 97 women and
there are about 10 percent who are Chinese minorities, meaning they are from
the Zang (Tibet) and Qiang ethnic groups. Among those living in the
earthquake-affected areas, the Zang and Qiang minorities suffered a great
Alfred State College will host two female students who will
be enrolled in liberal arts programs. Dr. Shaojie Jiang, director,
International Education at Alfred State College, will travel to New York City
to escort the college's visiting students to their new home for the next
In the Pioneer spirit and tradition that is a part of Alfred
State, campus employees are putting together a welcome basket for these two
students to help them furnish their rooms, nourish their bodies and their spirits, and prepare them for our Western
New York winters.
"We are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to the
victims of the devastating earthquake," said Dr. John M. Anderson, president,
Alfred State College. "We hope their time here is not only productive,
but also that it helps them begin to heal from the damaging effects, both
physical and emotional, that they may have suffered from the disaster. We
also look forward to the cultural exchange among our students and faculty,
which will enhance the educational experience for them all."
State University of New York has been involved with educational exchange and
research collaborations with China and anticipates that this initiative will
increase the connections between New York State and the Sichuan Province,
leading to economic, educational, and cultural benefits.