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In August 2010, the China Center hosted a group 22 high school and college students—most of whom came from the high school affiliated with Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, China—who came to the University of Minnesota to improve their English language skills, learn about U.S. college life, and become acquainted with the University.
Structured similarly to a week-long summer camp, each day the students had a formal learning experience followed by fun activities. The learning experiences were a series of workshops on English writing and speaking and an information session about University of Minnesota undergraduate admissions when they learned about the wide range and high caliber of degree programs offered at the University.
The activities selected were intended to provide a cultural snapshot of the Twin Cities and typical student life. During the course of the week, the students volunteered at a local organization, visited the Minnesota State Capitol and St. Paul Cathedral, explored the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Como Zoo, attended a St. Paul Saints baseball game, shopped in downtown Minneapolis and at the Mall of America, and enjoyed an American barbeque at Minnehaha Falls Park.
The students stayed in University student housing and ate most of their meals through the student dining services. This allowed them to have a first-hand experience of a typical University of Minnesota undergraduate lifestyle.
The China Center made all of the arrangements for the group for their week in Minnesota. The result of the thoughtful program design and warm hospitality the students received was that they left as ambassadors for the University of Minnesota. The students had little to no awareness of the University prior to their trip, but by the end of it had not only learned a great deal about the University, Minnesota, and the Twin Cities, but were also very interested in attending the University and sharing their experiences with others. This kind of bridge building to potential students to the University is what the China Center continually strives for. If you are interested in visiting the University or in hosting visiting groups, please contact the China Center.