Kansas State University's Bill Meredith, special assistant to the provost and past director of K-State's School of Family Studies and Human Services, is working to increase the number of exchange programs between K-State and China.
China is one of the oldest and most continuous civilizations on the plant, so students at K-State can benefit from learning about the country and studying there, according to Meredith.
"In our rapidly changing world where different countries are becoming increasingly reliant on each other, it is of vital importance for each of us to become more aware of other countries and cultures so we can effectively work with them," Meredith said. "Study abroad experiences are life changing for students and will have positive benefits, both individually and beyond, for years to come."
This last academic year, nine undergraduates from South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China, came to K-State to study various subjects. In exchange, one K-State student is presently studying at the Chinese school, and many others are considering the opportunity. This coming year, and each following year, 10 more students will be added to the program.
"It is hoped that more K-State students will spend a semester at South China Normal University to learn Chinese language and culture, and that other students will go for shorter periods," Meredith said.
Faculty and graduate students in K-State's marriage and family therapy and early childhood education programs, offered through the School of Family Studies and Human Services, also have gone to the Chinese university to conduct research and give presentations. Seven faculty members made the trip to China in May.
"Marriage and family therapy is an emerging field in China and K-State is doing its part to help that field grow," Meredith said. "The Chinese also are adopting more Western ideas relative to early childhood education. The School of Family Studies and Human Studies is well suited to help them and, in the process, our faculty and students learn from them as well."