(Buffalo, N.Y.) – SUNY Buffalo Sate has partnered with Zhengzhou University of Light Industry (ZZULI) in China to offer a few students a summer exchange opportunity.
The two-week trip is intended to introduce students to Chinese culture and traditional arts such as calligraphy, folk music and paper cutting.
Tricia Herritt, director of international education at Buffalo State, appeared on the Buffalo Review TV to talk about the exchange opportunity.
Herritt said only two or three students from Buffalo State will be accepted into the program that will run from June 19 to July 3.
“I feel like I have the best job at Buffalo State College,” she said. “I feel like a genie that grants wishes for people to study abroad or study away.”
Students interested in the program will have to write a one-page essay that addresses how the experience will affect their academic work and professional goals.
“This is a really a unique opportunity that is more of a travel, tourist trip than any of us would take with our families,” said Herritt.
She said the program will allow students to grow and learn by exploring a new culture and breaking out of their comfort zone.
“We’re all wired differently, so I think some people, if they’re going and they’re expecting the same Buffalo State experience that they have, it’s not going to be the same,” she said.
Many students who participate in exchange programs call the experience “life changing,” according to Herritt. She said past participants have even started the Buffalo State College Travelers Club, which began last semester.
Students selected for the China exchange will have to pay about $1,500, which will cover their airfare, a tourist visa and health insurance.
All in country program costs — such as accommodations, meals, transportation and insurance — are covered and students will be housed on the Zhengzhou University campus.
This trip is part of the National Student Exchange, which started in 1968 at three schools in Alabama, Montana and Illinois. Since then, it has grown to include more than 90,000 students in North America.
Since joining Buffalo State a year ago, Herritt has seen 233 students study outside the U.S. in either the National Student Exchange or study abroad programs. However, she said she would like to see that number double in the next few years.
“Buffalo State has the oldest study abroad program in all of the SUNY system,” said Herritt.
Students who wish to apply should address their essay to Dr. Robert Summers, assistant dean for international and exchange programs, and email it to Herritt (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 28.
Questions can be directed via email or by calling the Office of International Education at 716-878-6834.
* Monique Maxwell contributed to this report.