A group of friends gather in front of a poster for International Week, discussing to which study abroad program they would like to apply. This scene happens repeatedly on the second week of every semester, which shows that a growing number of students are choosing to study abroad and broaden their global perspectives.
Soochow University’s Office of International and Cross-Strait Academic Exchange held a series of events during International Week, featuring more than 15 experience sharing sessions, study abroad information sessions, and the International Night. Many students took the time out after classes or during lunch breaks to learn more about the global exchange program and how to prepare for it. Statistics provided by the Office indicate Soochow currently has partnership agreements with 270 world-renowned universities, 151 of which provided 594 exchange opportunities for the 2018 school year. (These figures reflect only University-level exchange programs, and do not include school/department programs.) The data also shows that for the past three years, the number of Soochow students going abroad and international students coming to Soochow have increased yearly.
Yu-wen Yuan, a student of the Department of Business Administration School of Business, went to Warsaw School of Economics in Poland last semester (the first semester of the 2017 school year) because she wanted to learn more about Europe as well as experience the culture. Kai-Hung Hsieh, a student of the Department of International Business School of Business who went to Rennes School of Business in France, said going on an exchange program was a goal he set for himself during college.
Kai-Chieh Hu, Dean of the Office of International & Cross-Strait Academic Exchange expressed his delight in seeing the increase in applications for exchange programs. From exchange programs at all levels to short exchange tours, they expose students to different cultures and help to expand global perspectives. Just as the school motto “"Unto a Full Grown Man” suggests, Dean Hu hopes the exchange program can assist and encourage students to discover their goals in college years. The Dean also pointed out that he hopes to roll out the “One Thousand Soochow Students Study Abroad”project within the next five years to attract more international students to study at Soochow University. Conversely, there will also be more opportunities for Soochow students to study abroad.
This year, the Office of International & Cross-Strait Academic Exchange has created a special brochure for the China exchange program, and plans to redesign its website soon to provide students more information. In the future, Soochow plans to set up an all English degree program, and provide scholarships for students participating in exchange programs. Currently, Soochow is actively seeking to sign partnership agreements with renowned universities across the globe. With the rise of globalization, exchange programs are becoming the way to understand and connect with the global community. Go abroad is no longer just about travelling, but also about experiencing and learning about new things.
Note: Applications for studying abroad (excluding China) will be processed in the first semester; while programs to China will be the focus of the second semester.