US University links up with Chinese school to improve foreign exchange program

When one US University realised they weren’t getting enough foreign students through their doors they decided to do something about it. Find out how this forward thinking University is connecting with schools from other countries to help promote studying abroad. 

Illinois State University has signed an agreement with a university in China to foster faculty and student exchanges as part of the school’s larger effort to increase international programs.

ISU President Larry Dietz made a trip to China along with education and international studies faculty members. ISU signed the agreement with Wuhan University, a school about 750 miles south of Beijing with 34,000 undergraduate students.

ISU has a larger goal of providing

more programs that develop a global environment. It wants more students to study abroad and to increase the number of foreign students studying in Normal. International students are about 2 percent of ISU’s student body. Dietz says for a school of ISU’s size, it should be about 5 percent.

“That’s not going to happen overnight and we don’t want it to come all from one country,” Dietz told The (Bloomington) Pantagraph (http://bit.ly/1vYGMxD). “We want a diverse international student population.”

The agreement with Wuhan University also calls for training and joint research activities and academic material exchanges. While in China the ISU group also met with two other schools with interests in working with ISU.

Illinois State also has been working with Brazil, Panama and Saudi Arabia.

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Jason Brown

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