This coming summer, the University of Vermont will welcome a cohort of students from throughout China enrolled through the new U.S.-Sino Pathway Program (USPP). Marnie Owen, Academic/Student Services Advisor in the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, traveled to China in March to visit with students interested in engineering, mathematics and computer science.
"This is UVM's first major initiative to internationalize our campus," says Marnie. "We have long had a very small international student population, and we are looking to change that." Part of UVM's mission is to "prepare students to be accountable leaders who will bring to their work dedication to the global community." "We cannot accomplish this without developing a more globally diverse student body," notes Marnie.
USPP is operated by Kaplan China, in cooperation with the Consortium of North American Universities (CNAU). The program is offered in educational centers in eight of the largest cities in China. Students spend a year in residence in these centers, studying intensive English and earning Northeastern University credit in various disciplines. After the International Foundation Year, those who meet the academic standards move to one of the four consortium member institutions: UVM, Northeastern University, Baylor University, or the University of Utah.
The first USPP cohort will arrive in Burlington in June for UVM's Summer Bridge Program. The Program includes academics, recreational activities and sessions designed to orient them to the University, Vermont and life in the U.S. "Burlington, Vermont will be a big change of pace for these students," says Marnie. The four Chinese cities her team visited have populations of between 6 million (Changsha) and 32 million (Chongqing). "For these students, Vermont's largest city is a very small town," adds Marnie.
Marnie is working with others at UVM to prepare the campus for the arrival of these students, as well as help the community better understand the backgrounds of one of the University's largest international graduate student populations. Throughout the spring semester, the University offered free presentations on the cultural and education issues of China. The presentations will be offered again during fall 2010 semester. For more information, contact: Marnie Owen, 103 Votey Hall, Phone: 656-8857, Email: Marnie.Owen@uvm.edu