PLATTSBURGH — Clinton Community College’s Humanities 285 course took students global this past semester.
The course, called International Experience in China, was developed as an initiative to promote Clinton’s goal of preparing students to meet the challenges of a global society.
The class recently culminated with five students and one professor taking a 16-day trip to China.
Jordan Bouyea, Tara Cash, Ileana Emeterio, Jaylynn Tender and Deborah Tosin began the course on the Plattsburgh campus in January and continued 16 days beyond the end of the semester with the trip to China.
Professor Diane Parmeter accompanied the students as they went to study language and culture in three cities: Beijing, the capital of China; Dalian, a seaside city considered the “silicon valley of China;” and Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province.
Spring 2013 was the first semester this course was offered, made possible in part with scholarships from the CCC Foundation and funding from the CCC Alumni Association Student Development Grant.
“Over the past few years, we’ve made it a point to increase the number of international students who come to Clinton,” CCC President, John E. Jablonski.
“Thanks to (professor) Diane (Parmeter) and other faculty members, we are now increasing opportunities for local students to study abroad. In both cases, all of our students stand to benefit from the interactions that occur.”
Cash said she found the experience “enlightening to my view on China, my view on what it means to be a student, and my view of the American culture.”
One focus of the program was on living and experiencing Chinese culture and making connections with locals.
In Beijing, CCC students stayed in the University of Electronic Science and Technology dorms with Chinese students.
Students also had the opportunity to discuss Chinese/U.S. perceptions with Chinese students, observe courses, participate in cross-cultural programs and meet with college officials at Polytechnic University in Dalian and the University of Electronic Science and Technology in Chengdu.
Clinton’s connection with China began in 2008, when 10 students from Chengdu came to study at the college following a major earthquake that struck the Sichuan Province.
The students were among 150 students who SUNY brought from Chengdu to study throughout the system in response to the tragedy. Since then, new students from China come to study at Clinton each year.
A highlight of the recent trip was making connections with the CCC China 150 alumni. The group joined some of them in Chengdu for a special reunion dinner and a night of Chinese karaoke.