Winthrop University plays host to nearly 200 international students. By 2010, it may welcome an additional 25 or more Chinese students to its College of Business Admini-stration.
The students would be part of a new relationship forged between Winthrop and Nantong University. Nantong, a city a few hours outside of Shanghai, is on the verge of an anticipated business boom.
A new 10-mile bridge will cut commuter time to Shanghai from several hours to about an hour and a half, opening the door to new business. College students are being encouraged to learn English and take U.S. business courses so they can work with large Chinese accounting firms that need bilingual accountants.
Under the joint program with Winthrop, Chinese college freshman in Nantong would take Winthrop accounting courses online and by mail. But they would complete their final year at Winthrop's College of Business Administration before returning to China to graduate.
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Winthrop officials hope that at least 25 of the 76 Chinese freshmen enrolled in the program will make it to Winthrop in the fall of 2010. They would be part of a large group of international students now studying at Winthrop.
The university has welcomed large numbers of French students for more than two decades. Most international students study either business or mass communication and stay for only a semester, although some pursue degrees from both Winthrop and their home institutions.
After the French, the next largest contingent is a group of 26 Saudi Arabian students. But Winthrop also has students from Spain, Morocco and other nations.
This relationship is a plus not only for the students from abroad but also for Winthrop. The program with China could be particularly valuable as China continues its rise as an industrial and technological power in the world. We can envision a reciprocal arrangement in which Winthrop students would be able to spend a semester in Nantong.
Programs such as this can only enhance Winthrop's ability to expand the breadth of its business programs and, at the same time, provide a more diverse learning experience for its students.
Winthrop's new program with Nantong University should benefit both institutions.
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