Students from China visiting NMU learning about art, English and U.P. living

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MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University is playing host to some foreign guests for the next two weeks all in the name of education.

19 students from Aba Teachers College in China are visiting to learn English and art.

“We’ve been building a relationship with Aba Teachers College, which is located in western Sichuan province, and that started out with an art show in the DeVos Museum many years ago,” said Daric Christian, Associate Dean and Director of the School of Art and Design at NMU. “More recently we’ve been working on teacher exchanges. Myself and professor Keith Ellis from the School of Art and Design traveled to Sichuan in May and we taught classes at their university.”
 
Ceramics was the lesson today for students as they worked in the ceramics classroom at NMU. All week long they’ll be learning about graphic design, product design and also be working on some outdoor painting as well.
 
“It’s a brand new experience because I think none of us have visited the U.S.A. before,” said Chow Yen, Professor at Aba Teachers College. “But we are so excited and we are happy to eventually come here.”
 
“I think it’s very important for students, during their college education, to experience another culture,” said Christian. “There’s nothing better than actually traveling there so it’s our hope that we can actually send some Northern students to their university soon.”
 
If learning art wasn’t enough, students are also learning about the surrounding area- which is actually something they share in common with those at NMU.
 
“They’re also in a beautiful part of China where people really love the outdoors, so we have that in common,” said Christian.
 
Two faculty members from Aba will be visiting NMU in October to teach traditional Chinese painting.

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