Thinking about taking the leap and spending a few months studying in a foreign country?
Through all the excitement, it is easy to forget the overall purpose of going -- education. Aside from becoming acclimatized to a different culture, there is also traditional learning throughout this experience.
Taking classes at the Wenzhou-Kean University campus in China nearly mimics taking classes at the main campus in Union, N.J.
International students do not have to be concerned with learning Mandarin, as all courses at Wenzhou-Kean University are taught in English. It is even encouraged that all students communicate using English, instead of their native tongue, as additional practice at becoming well-versed in the language.
Wenzhou-Kean University courses are similar to the courses available at the main campus, but on a smaller scale. The campus in China currently offers seven academic fields to students. The offered majors include:
- Business Administration
- Computer Science
- Graphic Design
“Some students that go are not from the majors we offer, so they end up taking more general education or elective courses. About [75 percent] are from majors we offer, so they take both classes from their major/minor and general courses,” stated Yaruby Petit-Frere, director of Center for International Studies (CIS).
Although not every major is offered both here and in China, those whose majors are not listed above should not be discouraged from studying a semester abroad.
“Students who really want to go and for whom we don't offer a major typically work it out with their academic advisor and/or major advisor so they can do independent studies, so they can continue to be on track for graduation,” Petit-Frere noted. “We do not allow students to go to [Wenzhou-Kean University] if the courses they take don't go towards their graduation requirements.”
What Petit-Frere means is students interested in studying abroad will not be left to figure out all the details. There are people available to rely on for help.
As Petit-Frere mentioned, not only can students address their concerns with an academic advisor, but also with CIS. The top priority is a student’s education, and studying abroad should not hinder this. This can be a confusing process, but CIS wants to make this as smooth a process as possible.
Given the similarity in courses offered at both campuses, those studying abroad can expect the same curriculum and academic requirements in China as they would here in N.J. While studying at Wenzhou-Kean University, students are expected to be of full-time status. International students typically take between 15-18 credits, but it depends on a student’s major.
“So far, even those that take the full load of 18-19 [credits] have not had problems being successful,” Petit-Frere stated.
Students can get a glimpse of Wenzhou-Kean University to get an idea of courses available to them. A quick perusal on Kean Wise shows courses such as Intro to Politics, General Psychology, Spanish I and II, Business Law, Expressive Imaging and more. There are several academic disciplines students can dabble in, whether for major or elective requirements.
Aside from being in a different country, there are some differences students will notice.
Wenzhou-Kean University does not recognize college hour, which is campus-wide free time 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Instead, students gather for social activities and club meetings during the evening. This is because all Wenzhou-Kean University students live on campus in the residence hall, making it easier for students to get together compared to the difficulty of gathering commuter and residential students at one time.
Applications to study abroad in China for fall 2017 will open soon. Those interested in spending a semester at Wenzhou-Kean University are encouraged to reach out to CIS. To contact the Center for International Studies, emails can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org and calls to (908) 737-0350.