African American students return from tuition-free study in China
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 31, 2016) — Most American college-bound students await their first days on campus fueled by a special concoction of adrenalin, curiosity and more than a little trepidation. So imagine how that anticipation must intensify, if you’re headed for a two-week university study session in China.
The first of eight American student-chaperone delegations primarily from Historically Black Colleges & Universities and Congressional Black Caucus districts departed on May 14th for China, tuition and expenses paid, courtesy of the Chinese government, excluding their round-trip international airfare. The first delegation which departed from Rep. Hank Johnson’s (D-GA) district returned to the U.S. on May 28th. During the summer of 2016, 168 students and 22 chaperones will be traveling to China, as part of an African American education initiative sponsored by the China – United States Exchange Foundation and China’s Ministry of Education in collaboration with its partners, and managed in the U.S. by Wilson Global Communications of Washington, D.C. The total value of students’ tuition, lodging, meals and tour entrance fees during the three-year life of the project is valued at between $1.2 million USD and $5 million USD.
“This is an amazing opportunity for students to study in China…and find their place in the global economy,” Johnson said. “I can’t be prouder of the Clark Atlanta students who are taking this trip of a lifetime.” Besides their academic activities, the American visitors will tour major Chinese cultural and historic sites, including the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.
For Brianna Rogers, an Oakland, Calif., communications major from Berkeley City College, the trip this summer will be her first time abroad. “I’m excited to learn about how Chinese men and women communicate with each other,” she said. “I’m curious if there is a hierarchy there and what their communications look like. I now have a passport and a visa is in process — it’s just exciting to think that I’m going to China. I feel humbled, grateful and blessed.”
Shinzira Shomade, of Washington D.C., is a psychology major from Bowie State University. She has traveled in the past to Bermuda, Jamaica and Nigeria. “For me as a mother, this two-week trip is an excellent opportunity for non-traditional students to get experience abroad,” she said. “It’s important to gain cultural competency in today’s world – and I’m very excited to learn how students in China interact with their professors and people in authority. I would like to learn…if Chinese students learn differently (than us); what are some of the nuances (in China), and what things we take for granted in America,” she added.
“At Wilson Global, we’re proud to manage this extraordinary global educational initiative,” said CEO & founder Julia A. Wilson. “This exciting initiative is a cross-cultural relationship-building effort designed to enhance U.S.-China relations – and to give students from predominantly black American universities and colleges a special opportunity to interact with Chinese students and educators in a progressive and collaborative environment. We believe this will be an experience that American students and chaperones will not only value, but cherish. And we’re most grateful to Mr. C.H. Tung, founding chairman of the China-United States Exchange Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to enhance relationships between the U.S. and China. It was Mr. Tung’s initial introductions to China’s Vice Premier overseeing the Ministry of Education that has made it possible to realize such valuable study opportunities in China.”
Based in Hong Kong, CUSEF was established in 2008 with the belief that global well-being could be advanced by building a positive relationship between the world’s strongest developed nation and the most-populous fast-developing nation. The foundation is a non-government entity and is privately funded. CUSEF believes that mutual understanding and trust are the cornerstones of success for the world’s most important bilateral relationship. The foundation’s programs serve as a critical bridge for both countries by facilitating open and constructive dialogue and exchange among policy-makers, business leaders, think tanks, cultural icons, and educators from the United States and China. Wilson Global Communications is the appointed international public relations liaison representative for the foundation in the U.S.
Other student groups slated to study in China this summer for 2-weeks include delegations from: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, Texas and the District of Columbia. HBCUs involved are: Bowie State University, Clark Atlanta University, Fayetteville State University, Kentucky State University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, Savannah State University, Spelman College and the University of the District of Columbia. Each delegation is comprised of at least 20 students and two chaperones.
In all, 400 two-week scholarships were awarded to the CBC along with 1,000 longer-term scholarships, ranging from six-weeks to two years awarded to HBCUs, as part of a three-year program. Vice Premier Madam Liu Yandong announced the scholarship initiative on Capitol Hill in November 2013. VP Liu is China’s highest-ranking elected or appointed official in charge of education. Next week in Beijing, Madam Liu and U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry will co-host the China-United States People-to-People Exchange meeting at which progress reports on the HBCU-CBC-China Scholarship initiative will be provided by Dr. David Wilson, president of Morgan State University, and Ms. Julia Wilson, CEO & Founder of Wilson Global Communications.
Wilson Global Communications, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a leading international public relations and communications consulting firm, specializing in strategic cross-cultural relationship building services between the U.S. and various countries in Africa and Europe and in China and Brazil.