With more students seeking out study abroad programs in China, the University of Dayton has created an international center to accommodate their adventurous ambitions: the China Institute.

Located in the ultramodern Suzhou Industrial Park, which is also home to one-third of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, the China Institute offers a familiar mix of Eastern and Western cultures. Yet it’s just across the lake from the 2,000-year-old city of Suzhou.

“At the China Institute, we’re helping students become fluent in tomorrow,” said Jason Reinoehl, vice president for strategic enrollment management. “Our high-tech classrooms, embedded experiential experiences and comprehensive student life programs make the China Institute the perfect education setting for expanding global and intercultural learning.”

Through the partnerships the China Institute has cultivated, students engage in a truly immersive education.

“The China Institute has developed partnerships with other universities in China such as Nanjing University, which includes bringing in exceptionally talented professors to teach in their specialty at the Institute,” said communication lecturer Cassandra Secrease. “Working alongside these folks is inspiring; they enrich the experience.” 

Students can also engage in experiential learning opportunities, conduct projects and learn alongside industry experts from Fortune 500 and multinational corporations. It’s an experience that strengthens résumés and helps students confidently compete in a global marketplace. 

“As a business major, going to China just makes sense,” said Julia Kokenge. “Not only do you have the chance to further your personal development by expanding your horizons, but you also get to exploit numerous professional prospects including onsite visits with some of the world’s Fortune 500 companies.”

In summer 2017, the University teamed up with Fuyao Glass America to offer a new course utilizing sociology, political science and economics to study the effect of China’s growth on its waterways, and included a three-week tour to examine key waterways first hand.

“Our goal was to create a unique academic experience in this critically important area of study for both countries,” said president emeritus Daniel J.  Curran, who taught the course. “It was an advantage having multiple sets of eyes looking at the landscape from multiple perspectives.”

 In today’s increasingly interconnected world, it’s important for students to have international experience and develop the skills to be competitive in the global marketplace. To help close the gap on access to global learning opportunities, the University of Dayton offers its students the opportunity to study at the China Institute for the same cost as a semester on campus. In addition, the University partnered with Diversity Abroad to offer students nationwide scholarships to study at the China Institute. Each semester, we offer one full scholarship and four scholarships worth $20,000.

“It’s uncommon for a University of our size to have an international center with such strong relationships to multinational companies and professors in the areas of innovation, product development and education,” said Eric Spina, president. “We are breaking the traditional model of education abroad in a way that is accessible and affordable to any student.”