Herkimer County Community College was home to 47 Chinese students from Bright Vision Education Summer Camp on Tuesday. The students, ranging in age from 13 to 19 years, spent the day at HCCC learning about what it’s like to go to college in the Mohawk Valley.
HCCC Director of International Programs Tze Teck Sim said he met Charles Zhao, chief executive officer of Bright Vision, an international education program based in Beijing, China, about three years ago at a college fair and the college has been working with the organization since. “Bright Vision previously promoted students to attend college in the Southwest until I and HCCC Dean of Students Matthew Hawes talked with Zhao on how to promote and market colleges in the Northeast,” said Sim.
Bright Vision has invited Sim and Hawes to Beijing to give a lecture and to teach students about the college opportunities available in the Northeast United States, as well as at HCCC.
In 2010, Bright Vision invited faculty from HCCC to teach students in Beijing. This, said Sim, gave students in China a chance to see what it would be like to learn at the HCCC campus.
HCCC Public Relations Director Rebecca Ruffing said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to spread information about the college in the U.S. and foster the relationships that help to bring in international students that enhance the culture and diversity of the campus.”
Ruffing added, “It’s a win-win situation, the international students learn about our culture and our students can learn a lot about other cultures and the world.”
On average, about 100 international students from 16 different countries are enrolled every fall semester at HCCC, said Ruffing.
Sixteen-year old Shuwez Lzu, of Tianjin, China, said she was excited to see the college. “The environment is different from the schools in China, but it is very impressive,” she said.
During their time at HCCC the students were given time to visit the athletic center.
Liz Hong Jza, of Beijing, China, said he loves playing basketball. “I’m excited to be here and play basketball,” the 17-year old said, adding his favorite basketball team is the New York Knicks.
The students in the Bright Vision Summer Camp will spend a week in Central New York visiting colleges, including SUNYIT and Hamilton College, and family homes to better understand American education and values.
The Bright Vision Summer Camp program will then continue in the Northeast to cities such as Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C., where the students will continue to visit colleges.