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For over twenty years, since 1989, faculty and students of the University of Maine at Farmington and Beijing University of Technology have studied and taught at each others' university. The exchange has enriched the lives of students who are not able to spend time abroad by providing language and culture instruction at their home universities.
UMF offers Chinese language courses through the intermediate level taught by experienced language teachers from BJUT. The Chinese exchange professor also offers a course in Chinese culture in the spring semester and sometimes during May Term. Likewise, UMF faculty teach courses at BJUT ranging from English Literature to Advanced Oral Expression for teachers of English at BJUT.
UMF students spend one or two semesters studying Chinese language and culture. They attend language classes four hours each day and take frequent excursions to see historical and cultural sites around Beijing. They live in the foreign students' dormitory close to the main gates of BJUT, providing easy access to the campus and a rich opportunity to meet students from Japan, Korea, Norway, Denmark, England, and even New York who have come to learn Chinese.
Not everyone is able to spend a year in China, but many would like to know more about China or have a chance to practice their Chinese. The University of Maine at Farmington summer experience in China was designed to give more people the opportunity to develop or expand their interest in China. In the past we have visited Shanghai, Xi'an, Guilin as well as Beijing. In Beijing, we visit the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, attend the opera, musical events, and even have some time for shopping. The experience varies each time, but it is always an adventure.
Students, staff, faculty, alumni -- well, anyone who is interested in further information about the summer program should talk to Marilyn Shea, (Psychology), Lynn Eustis, (International Exchange), or to the current Chinese exchange professor.
The First Group
On the left Fred Brittain, Denise Edgar, and Kay Sullivan (seated center) are all now graduates of UMF. Kay and Fred are both presently computer specialists at the UMF Computer Center. Judy Zink, seated on the far right, was a Psychology major who graduated in '98. Standing in the center wearing her vest is Beth Lundy who worked with the business office. I am standing (leaning) to the right of Beth. I am a Professor of Psychology. Not shown: All my friends at Beijing University of Technology who have always made us welcome.
Last update: FEBRUARY 2011
© Marilyn Shea 1996, 1999, 2011