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Beyond NIU’s borders: Summer trip to China will teach leadership, service learning, culture

January 10, 2012
F. Michelle Bringas

F. Michelle Bringas

As a result of a site visit to Inner Mongolia and Beijing, China, this past summer, Michelle Bringas will lead a Study Abroad trip to summer to Beijing, China.

Bringas, director of the NIU Asian American Center, will travel from Wednesday, June 14, through Saturday, June 30.

The program takes an innovative, collaborative approach for a diverse cohort of 15 students to experience a short-term study abroad experience. Regina Curry, of the Center for Black Studies, and Angelica Mendoza, of the Latino Resource Center, will serve as co-coordinators.

Students will expand their understanding of leadership development, service learning and cultural diversity. They also will learn basic daily dialogue in Chinese Mandarin.

Students will:

  • engage in a one-day Leadership Institute Exchange with university students at Beijing Normal University, Peking University and Tsinghua University;
  • participate in service learning with the Migrant Children’s Bilingual Schools; and
  • conduct research about the unique historical cultural sites in Beijing, China.

Photo of a man in a rowboat in China

The historical cultural highlights of the trip will include the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, Ming Tombs, Olympic Village, Tricycle Hutong Tour and others.

Students will earn up to six credit hours and experience “value-added” learning through several learning outcomes. They will:

  • expand their global awareness and cultural competence;
  • enhance their ability to participate in cross-cultural communication and service;
  • develop leadership skills and critical thinking skills; and
  • apply knowledge from academic course work to ‘real world’ situations.

The program is open to students of all majors. Application priority deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 15. Applications are available online.

For more information, call (815) 752-1177 or email [email protected].