G-MEO Summer 2019 Students' Interview with GoChengdu
Chengdu in the Eyes of Foreign Students
JULY 2019, Original article from GoChengdu
Last week, Chengdu media Gochengdu made an interview for Chengdu American Center's students and faculties, sharing their study abroad experience in Chengdu and how it influences their perception of Chinese culture and lifestyle.
As the first innovative program for overseas students in China, the Chengdu American Center for Study Abroad (CACSA) was co-established in 2012 by the Chengdu Municipal Government and Global Maximum Educational Opportunities Inc. (G-MEO). So far more than 480 students from 33 higher education institutions in the US have studied abroad with G-MEO at the center.
My Study Abroad Experience in Chengdu
Haven't decided where to go for your study abroad adventure? Here are some good stories for you. Listen to what U.S. college students said about their study abroad life in Chengdu.
"I can feel people's willingness to help us, even though I do not understand any Sichuan dialect. I am going to learn traditional Chinese characters in summer vacation." ― Rhiannon Toole, from University of Rhode Island. She can speak fluent Chinese.
To Rhiannon Toole, 19-year-old student from the University of Rhode Island, summer 2019 is a very important time for her. Rhiannon is a "Chinese fan" who speaks fluent Chinese. She has been learning Chinese since the sixth grade and at university chose to major in Chinese. In her eyes, studying in Chengdu is a milestone in her life that cannot be missed.
Although she has been to other cities in China, her strong interest in pandas, hot pots and Sichuan dialects made Chengdu her first stop on her study abroad journey. After her arrival, she found that Chengdu is different from other big cities, the people are especially friendly and inclusive.
“They are always happy to help us. Although I don’t understand Sichuanese, I can feel their goodwill.” she said. The harmonious and friendly local environment has made this foreign young girl fall in love with the city. “This city makes me feel safe.” She explained. Now, Rhiannon Toole is planning to go to China for internships and study traditional characters in 2020 summer vacation. In her mind, Chengdu is the place she never said goodbye.
"In Chengdu, it's super convenient to use Wechat Pay and Ali pay. With a cellphone, you can buy whatever you want at almost all convenience stores here." ― Justin T. Murray, now an intern at a company in Chengdu.
Unlike Rhiannon, Justin Thomas Murray went to China without knowing a single Chinese sentence. Having a minor in international trade, he is interested in studying the similarities and differences of international business between China and the United States. Justin is currently doing his internship at a Chengdu company. He obtained an unique insight into the cultural differences between Chinese and American companies. To him, the knowledge and information he gained with G-MEO in 10-weeks studying abroad is a precious harvest.
Speaking to the living in Chengdu, Justin especially loved their payment method. Compared with other countries who like to use credit cards, Chengdu people paid by their mobile phone from big shopping malls to small street stalls. He said he would definitely like to stay longer next time to experience the convenience of the famous mobile payment - WeChat Pay.
"Chengdu is my favorite city in China. It is a modern metropolis, and on everyone's face there is always a smile. It makes me feel at home."― Alexander Gulino, from the American University in Washington DC.
Despite some students parents expressed their concerns about studying and living in Chengdu, what students experienced and saw in Chengdu had completely eliminated all these uneasiness and worries. Staying in Chengdu they feel, like other big cities around the world, Chengdu is modern, fashionable, comfortable, and even more clean and safe.
“I have been to many cities in China, but I like Chengdu the most. As a modern city, Chengdu makes me feel at home,” said Alexander Gulino, an international business student at American University. He believes this study abroad experience has benefited him a lot. Making his decision to study abroad in Chengdu let him see and understand the real China with his own eyes.
Teaching Abroad in Chengdu
What does the abroad life look like from a professor's angle? GoChengdu interviewed the professors at G-MEO Chengdu American Center, and here is what they said...
"I really like the diversity of the neighborhoods of the city, where you can enjoy interesting architecture and cultural practices."― Richard Nisa, professor of geography at Fairleigh Dickinson University
"For me, I like to be part of Chengdu culture. I don't want to be a tourist here…I like to be part of the communities, and that's why I spent most of my time hanging out with my Chinese friends here." ― Andrew Guth, professor of public policy and global issues.
"Chengdu is a mega metropolis that I have grew accustomed to over the last four years."― John G. Dulmage, professor of psychology at the G-MEO Chengdu center.
G-MEO Chengdu American Center
Since 2012, Chengdu Municipal Government and G-MEO established the Chengdu American Center to provide opportunities for American college students to study, intern and live in Chengdu. The center has now became a door for the young generation to understand Chengdu and China.
With the strong support of the Chengdu government, G-MEO and other famous universities from the United States and China have sent over 480 college students from 33 universities in the U.S. to study and intern abroad in Chengdu since the center launched.
Today, Chengdu American Center is receiving more and more attention from the Chinese and American education industry because it not only represents a groundbreaking international education cooperation but also helps China and the United States develop internantional educational resources.