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Appalachian strengthens international relationships

chinese_t.jpgBOONE –Yang Jianping, one of two news media professionals visiting Appalachian State University this semester, hopes to apply what he has when he returns to China. “I have learned that interaction is important between students and teachers, and it should be the same in the workplace between a leader and his subordinates,” he said.

In its commitment to building a relationship with China, Appalachian is hosting Jianping and Huang Donghui as exchange scholars to learn about American culture and improve their English.  Jianping is secretarial director of China International Publishing Group (CIPG) and Donghui is technology director of, a subsidiary of CIPG.

Yang Jianping, left and Huang Donghui.jpgYang Jianping, left, and Huang Donghui are news media professionals visiting Appalachian State University from China this semester through an exchange program with the Walker College of Business. (Appalachian photo by Tommy Penick)

The men are here as part of an agreement between Appalachian and Fudan University in Shanghai, called the Walker College of Business Holland Fellows program. Every summer, 10-12 Appalachian students intern with a company in China and learn business skills, and in exchange, two businessmen from China come to Appalachian for a semester to learn about American culture and improve their English skills.

“I have been in Boone for two months and have gained three impressions of the American people,” said Jianping. “One: Americans are friendly. The students help us with our English and our neighbors have introduced us to more people. Two: The students are very innovative.  The relationship between students and professors is like the relationship between an actor and a director. Teachers ask questions, and students answer them and present new ideas. Three: The American people are very passionate. They organize and do lots of things, like the Homecoming Parade.”

To experience some of American culture during their time here, Jianping and Donghui attended Appalachian’s Homecoming Parade and an Alternative Fall Break (AFB) service trip with students who worked at a wildlife refuge in South Carolina. They also have sat in on business classes and other classes. Donghui has taken many pictures of Boone and the surrounding areas to remember his trip. “Boone is beautiful and I like to take pictures of everything we see here,” he said.

“There are many differences between Americans and Chinese, but we became good friends with the American students,” said Donghui of his experience on the AFB trip. “We taught them some Chinese and they helped us with our English.”

In the latest Open Doors Data report from the Institute of International Education, Appalachian ranks fourth for long-term study abroad programs and seventh overall for the number of students in study abroad programs in the master’s degree-granting institutions category.  In the 2008-09 academic year, Appalachian had 575 students participate in long-term study abroad and a total of 668 students participate in all study abroad programs.