Gettysburg College Hosts Students from Jialian High School in China
By Gauri Mangala, News Editor
Over the last two years, Gettysburg College has developed a partnership with the Jialian High School in Beijing, China that has manifested into a program of education and understanding for the professors of Gettysburg and the students of Jialian.
A few years ago, on a Fulbright scholarship, professors from Gettysburg College traveled to the Jialian school to get a grasp for the education system in place in China. In tandem, last winter, the college hosted a group of 15 and 16 year olds from the high school for two weeks, specifically students that were aiming at studying abroad in an English speaking country for their undergrad. The program, which just completed its second run in January, is aimed to “give them a really good idea of what [liberal arts] really means,” explained program coordinator, Brenda Clark ’12.
The students spend two weeks studying psychology, health sciences, economics, and other mostly STEM-based classes. Gettysburg College students that work in the study abroad office, some who know Mandarin, work with the students in tutoring sessions after class.
“The Jialian kids were fantastic to work with not only to practice Chinese with but to learn some valuable insights into what their lives were like in Beijing,” explained Pete Brainard ’20. Brainard recently returned to campus from studying abroad in China for the fall 2018 semester. “I felt a genuine connection to them through our meals together, study sessions, and conversations.”
After leaving Gettysburg, Jialian students have a better understanding of Gettysburg College but, more broadly, the programs in place at liberal arts colleges to support international students.
“This is a really unique opportunity for high schoolers to have an immersive experience in college,” said Clark. “I think it’s a really important and valuable opportunity for them.”