Beijing Scholars Visit Campus as Part of Cross-Cultural Study Program

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By Anne-Margaret Swary

During the fall semester, BGSU welcomed a group of international students and scholars from Beijing Union University (BUU) in China as part of a cross-cultural study program led by Dr. Bob Lee, program coordinator for the Tourism, Leisure & Event Planning (TLEP) program in the School of Human Movement, Sport & Leisure Studies (HMSLS).

During their 11-day visit, the students took part in classroom visits and cross-cultural conversations with BGSU students in an effort to increase cultural awareness, decrease cultural alienation and enhance cultural appreciation.

“Our goal is to build an educational cross-cultural bridge connecting resources of in two schools,” Lee said. “Educating global leaders is part of a growing number of college mission, including ours. We are aiming to produce future leaders in tourism and event management with a global vision.”

Lee and his BUU counterparts, Dr. Yu Liu and Dr. Qiuju Wang, believe globalization is a trend that cannot be reversed; instead institutions of learning need to embrace globalization so that students can be better prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.

In addition to on-campus learning activities, BUU students also were invited to visit Bowling Green City Hall, where the mayor hosted a reception for them, in addition to visits to the local library, convention and visitors bureau, and city parks and community centers. They also traveled to several state tourism destinations, including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and Ohio Amish Country.  

This is the second cohort of students from BUU who have visited BGSU through the collaborative research project, funded by the Tourism College at BUU. A total of four faculty members and 22 students have traveled to BGSU for workshops and research visitations in recent years, and several BGSU faculty members from the School of HMSLS have visited their counterparts in Beijing. Lee hopes some of the TLEP students from BGSU will have the opportunity to visit BUU next summer as well.