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Exchange with China is first in LU’s history

Five students and two faculty members from Chengdu Technological University in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, China Exchangespent time on the Lamar University campus this summer kicking off a student exchange program between the two institutions.

“Students were here for two weeks, and the faculty stayed an additional week,” said Paul Bernazzani, a professor of chemistry who is also the acting associate provost for programming and the interim associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. “We hope to send LU students to China but it’s not on the schedule yet.”

Bernazzani and Irene Shim, director of international recruitment & study abroad, have been working several years to establish a relationship with a university in China in order to develop an exchange program. “In May we visited Chengdu. The people were very nice, and the university is about the same size as Lamar University,” said Bernazzani. “It’s an applied university, too, so what we’re doing here is similar to what they are doing there. It is a good fit for an exchange.”

While in Texas, the undergraduate students, consisting of statistics and industrial engineering majors, attended classes and were immersed in culture – food, entertainment, English language and history. Over a weekend, they traveled to San Antonio to tour The Alamo.

In the classroom, students, who stayed in dorms on the LU campus, completed a variety of cross discipline projects including a biochemistry experiment to look at mutated DNA.  

“Through our discussions with the students, we learned that the program was a positive experience,” said Bernazzani. “Working with the faculty, we exchanged educational ideas and compared our educational processes to theirs. Exchanging ideas is always good.”

Bernazzani hopes that the program with Chengdu University will ultimately result in a program that allows students to spend two years at Lamar University and two years at Chengdu Technological University, resulting in two degrees.