China (PRC)

MSU-China Fellowship for Enhancing Global Understanding Program

May 8 – 29, 2014 



Led by Dan Schultz and a faculty leader TBD. Study tour leader can be emailed at

Program Background

In 2008 a formal partnership agreement between the College of Education at Michigan State University (MSU) and the Faculty of Education of Southwest University (SWU) in Chongqing, China was signed to establish an international scholars exchange and study program.  The purpose of the program is to help future researchers develop a global perspective on educational policies and practices.  The program is designed to provide graduate students pursuing doctoral study in education an opportunity to learn about and study the educational system and culture in Chin and in the United States.  Globalization and preparing students and leaders to participate in the global economy are two of the themes addressed through this international study program.

Program Organization and Design

The China Fellowship for Enhancing Global Understanding Program is designed to provide an intensive blend of academic and cultural experiences for the participants.  Prior to departure, the selected students will participate in a required series of orientation meetings and conference call discussions to help them prepare for their visit toChina.  The information provided will include briefing materials on the itinerary, the planned cultural experiences and the expectations for the participants as visiting scholars. The 2014 MSU doctoral students will also get to know the current SWU visiting scholars at MSU prior to their return to China in April 2014.  These colleagues will be part of the Chinese support team in Chongqing for the MSU and UW students.  In addition, a recommended reading list of articles and books concerning globalization and its impact on education, and information about China and its education system will be provided prior to departure. 

Cultural Visits and Experiences

The travel itinerary begins in Beijing,China’s national capital with guided visits to several significant monuments and historic sites.  These include the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Palace Museum, Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven complex, the 2008 Summer Olympic Park, the Chinese National Museum and a tour of a traditional cloisonné workshop.  In Chongqing the students will view historic sites such as the ancient village of Ciqikou, the Chongqing Municipal Zoo, the Three Gorges Museum, the Dazu Rock Carvings, the Yi Shang Hot Springs, the Jin Dao Gorge and experience a cruise on the Yangtze and Jailing Rivers hosted by SWU.  In Shanghai the group will tour the Shanghai Museum of Chinese Art and Culture, the Shanghai Municipal Planning Authority Exposition, the scenic Yu Yuan Gardens, the Bund, the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and other cultural activities. Professional English speaking guides are utilized in Beijing and Shanghai.

Briefings and Academic Lectures

A faculty lecture and a discussion with graduate students at Beijing Normal University (BNU) kicks-off the academic component of the program.  Briefings with key national education organizations may also be arranged.  The academic and cultural program component at SWU is developed by the Office of International Programs in theCollegeofEducationin collaboration with MSU.  With the direct support of the Dean of the Faculty of Education, a series of academic lectures by leading SWU faculty and administrators will be provided throughout the two-week campus experience.  These lectures address a broad spectrum of topics, such as Chinese history, the moral development of students, ethnic minority issues, research on pedagogy and curriculum, special education reform and teacher preparation programs and current policy initiatives.  A briefing with the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission provides information on the scope and breadth of policy and planning in this autonomous region of China.

Student Academic Presentations

A key component of the program application process requires each MSU candidate to prepare a statement of their research and educational interests and identify potential topics that they could present during a formal academic lecture at SWU.  Each doctoral student works with their university academic advisor to identify potential presentation topics that reflect their research and graduate program interests.  As the proposed topics often overlap, online discussions to support student collaboration on presentation topics and cross-institutional student team presentations are encouraged.  

Faculty Mentors

EachU.S.program participant will be assigned a SWU faculty mentor to work with during their campus visit.  Assignments are based on research interests, program compatibility and faculty availability. Faculty members that have participated in the MSU-SWU exchange program will serve as mentors to help support the learning of the U.S. students.  These mentor/student assignments offer rich opportunities for learning and cultural understanding.

Academic Salons and Briefings

The students also attend academic salons designed to encourage comparative discussions between the U.S. and Chinese students.  The U.S. students may be invited to sit in on class lectures with their student colleagues, give talks on research topics or visit special area schools through contacts made by faculty mentors.

School Visits

A valuable part of the program is the opportunity to visit several public schools in urban and rural areas in metropolitan Chongqing.  These pre-arranged visits to primary, middle and high schools provide opportunities to observe classroom instruction and allow informal discussions with school leaders, teachers and students.  Campus tours, student performances and examples of student artwork are typically included.  

Student Partners

Each U.S. student is assigned 3-4 SWU graduate students who have been selected to work with them during the campus visit.  These student-to-student or “buddy relationships” are an integral part of the Fellowship for Enhancing Global Understanding Program and provide an essential support system for learning about and experiencing the language, culture and history of China.  Over meals and other shared experiences, conversations about language, culture and education systems contribute to a deeper understanding of China and its history.