Tuesday December 2, 2014

Strengthening Cultural Ties

The U.S. Ambassador to China was on hand to dedicate the new American Cultural Center at the University of Dayton China Institute in the Suzhou Industrial Park.

Ambassador Max Baucus joined University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran Tuesday, Dec. 2, in opening the learning center, one of only 20 such centers funded by the U.S. State Department in China.

"The relationship between the U.S. and China is the most important in the world and ACCs like the one here in Suzhou help to increase ties between our two countries," Baucas said.

The state department program supports activities to bring Americans and Chinese together to explore U.S. culture, society, government, language, law, economic system and values.

"It is truly an honor for the University to be selected for this program," Curran said. "We look forward to working with our partners to create opportunities within the park and in area schools for Chinese students and professionals to learn about American culture, and to broaden understanding between our two countries."

Programs at UDCI's American Cultural Center are expected to include: learning projects by University of Dayton and Chinese students; a cultural immersion program for Chinese students; presentations on American culture and society; support for American students teaching English in Chinese schools; and training programs for Chinese companies on corporate social responsibility, energy efficient manufacturing, and environmental design. 

Guests at the ceremony included officials of the Suzhou Industrial Park, corporate partners of the University located in the park, representatives from local high schools and universities as well as University of Dayton officials.

The University of Dayton opened UDCI in 2012 in the Suzhou Industrial Park, one of the fastest-growing innovation parks in the world. SIP made a multimillion-dollar investment in renovating a five-story, 68,000-square-foot building for classrooms, laboratories and project space for the institute, primarily because of the University's strong ties in China and its track record in product development through the School of Engineering's Innovation Center.

Since its inception, UDCI has grown to offer business, engineering, humanities and science courses to American, Chinese and international students. Students have opportunities to participate in corporate-sponsored research and development projects, and internships. 

UDCI also offers professional training courses in communications, engineering, project and business management, technology and technical English to Chinese professionals in the industrial park and the Suzhou area. 

UDCI's first semester-long program will start in January, with 35 students from the University and other schools taking courses in arts, business, engineering, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. University of Dayton students may take advantage of the opportunity at no additional cost relative to a semester on campus. 

For more information about UDCI programs, visit the related link.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell at pshindell1@udayton.edu.

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