Arcadia's China Preview class with students from Jiangsu University in 2017. Photo by Caitlin Joyce '20.
For the first time, students from Jiangsu University in China will visit campus on a “reverse Preview” in January.
Through a collaborative agreement with Jiangsu University, students can enroll in a dual degree in Mathematics and Actuarial Science programs —usually completing two or three years at Jiangsu, then finishing their degrees in Glenside. When new students arrive in July for the Arcadia portion of their program, it’s usually their first time visiting campus. However, from Jan. 11 to 25, 2020, 12 first- and second-year Jiangsu students will have the opportunity to see the campus, meet their future classmates, and learn about Glenside and Philadelphia.
“For many of the students, it will be their first experience leaving China,” said Jan Finn, associate dean of the Office of International Programs (OIP). “We want to show them how welcoming our community is and what they can expect if they come here as students.”
Each year, Finn leads students on a Preview course to China, where they visit Jiangsu University and meet their counterparts. This year, when students visit in March, they’ll reunite with friends.
“I’m really excited to see the relationships that will be built,” said Finn. “We always pair the students, and usually the first time they meet is in China. But now, they’ll be able to meet earlier in the class and form relationships for when we visit China in March.”
In addition to attending Finn’s Preview class, Jiangsu students will also visit the English Language Institute (ELI) to learn about the classroom experience in the United States, and then observe a Math course. Additionally, ELI will host classes about American culture and OIP will begin orientation so that students can return home and share details with their parents. Outside of academic activities, OIP has also planned a Lunar New Year celebration and trips to Philadelphia and New York City, while iPAL members are planning social activities.
“It’s interesting to work with all the international students,” said Zicheng Huang ’20, an Actuarial Science student who began at Jiangsu. “We’re a big family, and we always want to help new international students. This is a good way for the Jiangsu students to start to know American culture.”
Arcadia University’s Preview courses provide students with a taste of studying abroad as first-year or transfer students. This year, 14 Arcadia Preview courses will travel to locations around the world during spring break, March 14 to 22.
Since Preview’s inaugural trip in 1994, Arcadia has sent nearly 8,000 students abroad, with more than 500 faculty and staff members serving as course leaders and co-leaders.