By Laurie Stone
Eastern New Mexico University is participating with Sichuan University of China in a 1-2-1 dual degree program, unlike any other program in which ENMU has ever participated.
The 1-2-1 program will allow 13 undergraduate Chinese students to complete their first year of college at a Chinese university before coming to ENMU for two years, according to international student advisor Fred Chilson.
The students will then return to China for their final year of studies. After four years, the students will earn a degree from Sichuan University and one from Eastern.
Chilson said the program was not a foreign exchange program. The difference between the 1-2-1 program and a foreign exchange student program is that in a foreign exchange program, students pay their own fees and study abroad for one semester, but receive a degree from their original university only.
“We’ve set up relationships with six universities in China,” Chilson said. “The idea is to allow them to get a feel for American education.”
Also, it is not an exchange program because no ENMU students will be studying abroad.
Chen Bing, the director of international exchanges at Sichuan, said through an interpreter, “This is an honor for Sichuan University to partner with ENMU because it will help us learn about one another’s culture. We won’t be isolated and we will get a better education.”
Lixing Huang, a student from Sichan University, described Portales as being, “a little too hot, not too big and quiet.”
The population of Sichan, China, is more than 10 million. Bing, speaking of the 13 exchange students, said, “though culture shock is definite to occur, each student has come here for learning and they must help each other.”
Huang said that she was very excited about this opportunity.
“It will give me a chance to learn how to stand on my own and enlarge my scale and views,” Huang said.
Gary Musgrave, vice president of student affairs, felt the program would have its greatest benefits for the current students of ENMU.
“The students from Sichuan, China are very intelligent, sincere, and committed to being successful,” Musgrave said. “This is a good role model for our kids. The students at Sichuan University are great ambassadors for our students.”