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February 14, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU welcomes Nanjing students

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Ten students and an instructor from Nanjing University in Nanjing, China, are arriving this weekend at Slippery Rock University to begin enhancing their English language skills and learn new skills related to the hospitality industry.

The project, headed by Kurt Schimmel, dean of SRU's College of Business, Information and Social Sciences, and Genevieve Bordogna, associate director for international student admissions, Tess Crispin, adviser for international and study abroad, Steve Park, ESL program director, is the result of SRU's resent travel to Chinese universities.

"The China visit, headed by President [Cheryl] Norton is paying rewards," Schimmel said. The visit included talks with leaders from a number of Chinese universities all considering various means of partnering with SRU.

"As China continues to expand opportunities for upper-, and upper-middle class people to travel, along with seeing an increase in international tourists, there is a growing need for hospitality services. We told our Chinese hosts about our programs, and working together we created a program that allows their students to study the hospitality industry here," he said.

The course work involves English-as-a-second-language classes as well as work in food safety and food preparation, hotel management, event planning, and how to undertake regional tourism and sports tourism programs, Schimmel said.

All of the visiting students have studied English throughout their education in China.

"Overall, we are helping them prepare for opportunities in their home country in the hospitality management industry," he said.

The students are not enrolled in SRU's standard courses, but in a special adjunct program geared specifically to their needs. They will be on campus until May 31.

While at SRU, the students are staying in campus residence halls and making use of campus dining facilities as well as participating in other student and community activities.

Schimmel is handling the academic side of their visit, Park is coordinating ESL programs, and Bordogna and Crispin, are aiding with the arrival and typical student concerns such as adjusting to a new culture, navigating a new campus and trying new foods.

Numerous campus departments are offering programs and services to support their studies, with special efforts to integrate them fully into American university life and making friends with local students.

Nanjing University, one of China`s key comprehensive universities under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education, dates from 1902 when it was known as Sanjiang Normal School. During the following decades, like SRU, it evolved as Liangjiang Normal School, Nanjing Higher Normal School, National Southeast University, the Fourth Zhongshan University, and National Central University.

In 1949, National Central University was renamed National Nanjing University. In October 1950, as required by the Ministry of Education, the name was changed to Nanjing University.

The university has three campuses, Gulou, Pukou, and Xianlin and is among the top universities in China, boasting advanced teaching and research facilities.

NJU currently has 43,477 students.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.