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Salem State Students Receive Scholarship to Study Chinese on the AASCU Rising Star Winter Study Tour

Salem State University (SSU) students Kayla Clegg, Sage Grant, and Nyatichi Nyabuti have been selected as a scholarship recipient of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Rising Star Winter Study Tour in China. The students are participating in the January tour which will visit Beijing, Xian, Wuxi, and Shanghai.

Clegg is working towards her bachelor’s degree in history and Asian studies at Salem State, Clegg has always taken a keen interest in China and Asia. She has taken classes in Asian politics and is slated to take a class in modern Chinese history during the spring semester.

“When my Mandarin Chinese teacher emailed about this, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I am very excited to see the differences between the US and China, and I am excited to see some of the historic locations in the country. I hope to learn more about the culture of China on this trip,” Clegg said.

Grant is working towards her bachelor’s degree in political science at Salem State, Grant teaches Tai Chi and martial arts and travels as often as she can to learn more about the world. Grant plans to attend law school in the future and is currently treasurer for the pre-law society of Salem State.

“It has been a lifelong dream of mine to go to China. My Chinese professor sent us the information on this program and told us how to apply, so I knew I had to take this opportunity,” Grant said. “I’m so overwhelmingly excited about each part of the trip. I hope to learn a lot more about modern Chinese culture and to see the comparisons and differences to American culture.”

Nyabuti is working towards her bachelor’s degree in political science at Salem State, Nyabuti, a freshman, is very busy on campus. She is in pre-med studies and is also interested in international politics. She is an intern with the New Voters Project and a student leader on campus.

“I've always been fascinated by the Chinese language and when I saw that Salem State offered it as a course, I just had to take it,” Nyabuti said. “I am very excited for the food and just being in China; I cannot wait to experience the sights and activities, maybe I can even utilize the Chinese I've been learning. I hope to learn more about Chinese modern and traditional cultures as well as the top industries.”

Salem State has a long-term relationship with CCIEE and AASCU via the China Dual Degree Program through which over 200 Chinese students have studied at SSU for two years and earn degrees from SSU and their home institutions across China. According to AASCU, the goals of this program are to “strengthen cross-cultural communication skills of student participants; improve the professional capacity of the student participants; and facilitate the increase of students studying in China in the vocational education sector.” Students participating in this tour will be given an in-depth cultural experience while engaging in dialogue and interaction with Chinese students.

Kim Burnett
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