China Trip Part of Historical, Modern GU Ties
July 12, 2011 – As members of the university’s basketball team get ready to visit China in August, they can look back at a rich history of ties among the Jesuits, the university and the Asian country.
Rev. Matteo Ricci, S.J., the first Jesuit to enter China, began to engage the Chinese people in mutual learning and exchange more than 400 years ago.
The university has followed a similar path – building shared knowledge and deeper understanding in its academic partnerships with universities throughout the world.
Georgetown undergraduate students were first given the chance to study abroad in China in the 1980-81 academic year, when the Undergraduate Bulletin stated, “Chinese majors are encouraged to spend their third year in a Chinese-speaking country.”
Today, study abroad programs expand well beyond language immersion, focusing intensively on broad cultural exchange.
“We give our students the opportunity not only to learn Chinese language, but also Chinese business and finance, culture, politics, government, history, international relations and many of the sciences and humanities,” explains Katherine Bellows, executive director of the Office of International Programs. “We see students choosing to study in China because it offers the contemporary relevance they seek in today’s world.”
World of Choices
Georgetown students who study abroad in China for full semesters can choose from programs in nine different universities located in cities that include Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and others, depending on their area of academic interest.
There also are three different programs for summer study, including a Global Health Program and a Business Management & Intercultural Communication program at Fudan University in Shanghai, with which Georgetown maintains an official partnership.
In the 2010-2011 academic year, 71 undergraduates studied abroad in China.
Exchange and study-abroad programs for graduate students extend this specialized study to build more in-depth knowledge and international experience.
Georgetown law students, for example, can spend a semester at the Tsinghua University Law School to pursue the first-ever English language master of laws (L.L.M) program offered in China.
Medical students can spend time at Fudan University’s Huashan Hospital focusing on international health and medical practices and policy in China.
MBA and International Executive MBA students participate in the Global Residency Program, in which participants conduct consulting projects for companies and have a weeklong residency in China.
Numbers Don’t Lie
The university’s exchange relationships with China go both ways. During the 2010-2011 academic year, 252 students from China pursued an academic program at Georgetown, the highest number of international students by more than 40 students.
“The experiences that Georgetown students have while on their overseas programs in China, combined with the Jesuit values our visiting students from China learn while they are on the Hilltop, will no doubt prepare all of these students to be successful in managing the challenges of the future,” Bellows says.