This summer Biology Professor Carole Gibson was invited by the Office of Global Programs to teach in a pilot program at a boarding high school in Suzhou, China. The program offered a college course to Chinese students planning to study in the US so that they could become familiar with American-style teaching, group work, and expectations in oral and written work. One of the students who enrolled will be entering Wake Forest in the fall. Professor Gibson shared the following brief account with us:Nelson Brunsting of GPS got me to Suzhou and saw me safely established in my luxury room in the dorm. Based on my preconceived notions of Chinese excellence in science, I decided to offer a course in biotechnology. It turned out that maybe I could have been a little less ambitious. The class met three hours a day, five days a week for three weeks. Every afternoon we met to work on the students’ writing skills and to review what we had covered in class. We finished the course with a capstone project in which the students prepared a case study on environmental technology for submission to the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment case study project. The students were wonderful, and we all survived a very intense course. The people I met were warm and welcoming, and could not have done any more to make my visit a good one. I saw a lot of the beautiful city of Suzhou that for some reason that was not obvious to me is called the “Venice of China”. I experienced some Chinese foods not found in restaurants here: goat, pigeon, chicken feet, and more. I had a wonderful weekend in Beijing where Wake Forest biology major Lilly Li and her boyfriend Allan showed me the sights and accompanied me to the Great Wall of China. I think the pilot was a real success, and Nelson is already planning for TWO courses in China next summer, one in Suzhou and one in Beijing.
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