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China Learning Abroad Program

Sponsored by the Asian American Studies Center

The 2018 China Learning Abroad Program participants are celebrating the successful completion of the two-week educational and cultural study program designed to provide an opportunity to learn about the Chinese culture, history, education, politics, philosophy, economics and government through lectures, workshops, cultural events  and social activities in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai China.

Group members included faculty and graduate students from College of Education, graduate students from College of Social Work, undergraduate students and community members. The 2018 China Learning Abroad Program group proudly included a graduate student that required disability services.  

Educational Experience:

The group attended a lecture by Hantian Wu on China’s higher education system in Shanghai which provide a historical and cultural perspective at East China Normal University. Critical dialogue was welcomed and the group enjoyed engaging with the Chinese faculty and graduate students.

A lecture by Wu Hewen at Shanxi Normal University in Xi’An highlighted the ethnic minorities education system in China and provided the opportunity to meet with some Chinese minority graduate students.

The group participated in the U.S.- China Education Leadership Policy Studies Forum at Beijing Normal University in Beijing. Vice President Zhou Zuoyu addressed the group and presented the opportunity to continue the global scholarship between the University of Houston and Beijing Normal University. The forum was facilitated by Jiayong Li, Vice Dean for International Affairs, faculty of education, and Yali Zou, University Endowed Professor for Global Leadership Studies.     

There were a total of 28 presentations. From the University of Houston, presenters included Yali Zou, Lyle McKinney, Tiffany J. Davis, Norma Olvera, Consuelo Arbona, Vincent Carales and Jerrod Henderson.  Graduate student presenters included Esmeralda Valdez, Marissa Moreno, Trang Phan, Brent Spraggins; Koryn Dillard, Miranda Wilson, Adalia Espinosa, Melissa Iracheta, and Ricky Greer. Beijing Normal University presenters were Chengwen Hong, Shuiyun Liu, Miao Pei, Yaxing Zhang, and Jian Li. Beijing Normal University graduate students presenters included Yanan Zhang, Qingying Li, Yaowen Zhang, Rongrong Ma, Yubing Liu, Jingyi Meng, and Bin Zhao.        

Cultural Experience:

Aside from the educational and academic value of the program, the group enjoyed the opportunity to visit national and historical treasures in China, including the following sites: the Great Wall, Ming Tombs, the Temples of Heaven, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Waterfront Band, Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai Yu Gardens, Terra Cotta Warriors, Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple, Wild Goose Pagoda and Ancient City Wall.

Student Quotes:

  • “Participating in the China Learning Abroad program provided the opportunity to learn about China’s higher education system and experience its culture as well as learn about its ancient history. This truly was a life-changing experience and I’m grateful to the Asian American Studies Center for affording such an amazing opportunity for the university community.” 

Esmeralda Valdez, Ph.D. student, higher education leadership & policy studies  

  • “By creating study abroad opportunities, the Asian American Studies Center provides students with opportunities to make connections, gain global competency, and immerse in culture in a way that would not be possible in a traditional classroom setting.”

Miranda Wilson, Ph.D. student, higher education leadership & policy studies

  • “This was a great learning experience to see how China’s higher education system is parallel to the U.S. and that they share many of the same challenges.”

Rick P. Greer, Master’s student, higher education

  • “The China Learning Abroad Program was a life-changing experience. The opportunity to visit three cities and learn about thousands of years of Chinese history and culture is an experience that I will never be able to duplicate.  I will never forget standing on the Great Wall of China.  As a result of this experience, my worldview has been broadened and I now have my own experience in China that will continue to inform my work with students.”  

Brent Spraggins, master’s student, higher education

Who do I contact for more information?

Asian American Studies Center
452 Farish Hall
Phone: (713) 743-9863 or (713) 743-4982
Fax: (713) 743-9836k

Enjoy the university and cultural photos from the 2018 China Learning Abroad Program: