The world is very big, and Fort Hays State University offers a multitude of ways students can experience it.
An opportunity to spend a month at Sias International University in Xinzheng, China, is offered through FHSU, with expenses paid by Sias and FHSU. Those expenses include: round trip airfare from Denver to China (paid by FHSU); room and board (paid by Sias); optional travel package for excursions in China available for a fee; and the opportunity to enroll in and earn FHSU credit.
"It's such a great experience," said Tre' Giles, a Colorado Springs, Colo., sophomore and a leadership studies major who participated in the China summer study abroad trip in July 2013 with fellow FHSU student Kyle Calvin, a Ness City senior and a finance major. Karla Murguia, Hays senior, a justice studies major, also went to China this past summer.
"We would never have gotten to ride a tandem bike around an ancient city on top of a 50-foot wall if we didn't go to China," said Giles. That was one adventure he and Calvin went on together.
"You can't experience those types of things in America. It's so important to go abroad and see those types of things, especially since this is the most affordable way to do it," he said.
The next China study abroad program will be July 2014. The program offers stimulating courses which include Chinese culture, art, martial arts, dance, folk songs, calligraphy, cooking and physical education. All cultural courses and major subject studies are offered in English.
For Giles and Calvin, who shared highlights of their China trip with Hays High School students in mid-October, the month-long experience in China was full of adventures. Maneuvering through the hustling streets of Xinzheng on mopeds, they made quick friends with folks along the way. They said another highlight was visiting Xi'an and seeing for themselves the Museum of Qin terra-cotta warriors and horses.
"I really enjoyed the experience," said Calvin. "Xi'an was our favorite. We loved it."
"It was cool because it was an ancient culture mixed with a city that is really becoming modern at the same time," Giles said. "It was really a pure immersion of western culture meets eastern. That’s why we liked it so much."
Giles and Calvin, along with Murguia, will present an overview of their experiences at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the university's Memorial Union.
Three undergraduate FHSU students will be selected to participate in next July's study abroad experience. To be considered, students must be enrolled full-time as undergraduate FHSU students for the fall 2014 semester and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average. Applications are due Dec. 18, 2013.
Application materials, information and a blog of past participants are available at www.fhsu.edu/exchange, or by visiting the Office of Strategic Partnerships, Sheridan Hall, room 112, or the Student Affairs Office, Sheridan Hall, room 208.