KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo has entered a partnership with a Chinese school that could lead to international opportunities for students and faculty.
Todd Gambill, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management, signed the agreement during a visit to Shiyan Foreign Language School, a private K-12 school in Shiyan City, Hubei Province, during a recent visit.
He and the school chairman, Zhang Chaorong, plan opportunities for IU Kokomo students and faculty to visit China, and for Chinese students to come to campus, with the first group expected in August.
“This would be a life-changing experience for our students. It’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Gambill. “It could also help us bring international students to our campus, which increases diversity and gives everyone a richer experience.”
Leah Nellis, dean of the School of Education. Chad Broeker, director of international student services, and Xiaoqiong (Crystal) Wang, assistant professor of finance, also represented the campus.
Nellis is currently developing a class for spring 2020 that would include travel to the school in China, which has about 6,800 students on two campuses.
“It gives students the opportunity to experience a new culture, and for education students, a chance to experience the education process in another country,” she said. She noted the area is culturally rich, set near the Wudang Mountains, home of one of the most important Taoist shrines.
The city of more than 3 million people is known as the “Detroit of China,” as it is one of the most important centers of the automobile industry in China, Nellis added.
Gambill said the Chinese school may send its teachers to IU Kokomo to learn new strategies for teaching English, and IU Kokomo faculty and coaches may go to China to teach and lead programs.
“We’re talking to them about a number of opportunities,” he said. “We want our students to have experiences all over the world. This is just one of them.”
Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.