Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 28, 2018

Visiting Students Experience Cross-Cultural Education at MU

Kylie Mitchell

Manchester University recently hosted a dozen Chinese students on campus and in the community who were participating in the Lingnan W. T. Chan Fellowships Program.

“This program provides challenging educational and leadership opportunities for Chinese undergraduate students through service learning and intercultural experiences in the United States,” said Alexis Young, senior director of Auxiliary Services.

The Fellows lived in American homes for the duration of their time spent in the United States. While here, they attended seminars, cultural events and mandatory weekly reflection meetings.

The 12 students will be participating in this service for six months.

Before arriving on campus, the Fellows were in the United States for a month and a half. However, they agree that Manchester University is one of their favorite destinations by far, and the hosts provide great help in making the experience that much better for them.

Flying here was quite the adventure for them. Although the plane ride itself was easygoing, it lasted for 15 hours, and many lost their luggage at the airport. It wasn’t until they arrived at their destination that it was sent through the mail.

While on campus, the Fellows went to a corn maze, visited service organizations, traveled to the Johnny Appleseed Festival, the World Cultural Festival and other Indiana sites. They also ate at the Haist Commons, attended the MU vs. Defiance football game on Saturday, Sept. 15 and joined in on classes on Monday, Sept. 17.

This is a first-time experience for MU. Planning for this event began several weeks in advance when the board of trustees learned of this program, and ultimately decided it would be a great idea for the campus.

“We are very capable and willing to host any group that wants to come and see what rural Indiana is like,” said Michael Dixon, chief diversity officer. “Everyone I’ve encountered has nothing but great things to say about them.”

The trip is a requirement in the Hong Kong program. Through a nonprofit organization, all funds are raised to cover the cost of each individual. This provides students the opportunity to come to the United States.

All 12 students had a positive experience on campus. They found the atmosphere to be drastically different from Hong Kong, where it is always busy and on the go. However, all of the students agree Manchester provides more of a laid-back environment that is easy to enjoy.