Two Aggies off to China

Date: 8/4/2009

Two Texas A&M Students are traveling to China due to a scholarships provided by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Wei Liqing, Consul of Education for the Chinese Consulate notified Texas A&M students Thomas Kearney and Brianna Lervig of their successful application to the prestigious scholarship.

Kearney, a Master in International Affairs student at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, will be attending Capital Normal University in Beijing for the fall semester. Lervig is a junior majoring in International Studies and will be attending Xi’an Jiatong University in Xi’an during the spring. Both students expressed excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to study in China.

Kearney, who is currently spending his summer studying in Qingdao, China, said he is honored to receive the Chinese Government Scholarship.

“Studying and living in China is a once in a life time opportunity.” Kearney said. “Although I have studied China extensively during my time at the Bush School, there is only so much information one can learn in the classroom. To fully understand a country and its culture, it is necessary to experience the daily life and spend time with the people.”

For Lervig, this will be her first trip to China. When asked what she looked forward to the most during her semester in Xi’an, Lervig said that she most looks forward to studying history especially in Xi’an, one of the oldest cities in China with its origin stretching back 3,100 years. The city is the home to the Terracotta Warriors from the Mausoleum of the first Qin Emperor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“ Xi’an has thousands and thousands of years of history,” Lervig said, “I look forward to seeing the Terracotta Warriors, but there is so much more I want to explore.”

Capital Normal University and Xi’an Jiaotong University are part of a network of 118 Chinese universities that have been approved to host foreign students through the China Government Scholarship. Capital Normal is an urban public university located in Beijing with close to 28,000 students in attendance. Founded in 1954 the university is comprised of 17 colleges and departments and an enrollment of 1,263 foreign students. Xi’an Jiaotong is a public university located in the province of Shaanxi established in 1896 with approximately 32,000 students in attendance, 500 of whom are foreign students.

According to the annual report published by the China Scholarship Council there were 10,151 recipients of the China Government Scholarship with 954 students from the United States in 2007. Kearney and Levrig will help solidify A&M’s newest tradition of studying abroad by joining students from 168 different countries that are studying in China.

The China Government Scholarship was established by the Chinese Ministry of Education and is administered by the China Scholarship Council. Established in 1996, the Council is a non-profit organization tasked with the organization and management of Chinese citizens studying abroad and international students studying within China. The comprehensive China Government Scholarship covers all of the students’ academic expenses in China including tuition, accommodations, medical insurance, and a living allowance. The Ministry of Education will also cover the international and domestic travel expenses for Kearny and Lervig.

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