Boston student Madeline Farquharson looked excited and ready to begin her China adventure at New York University Shanghai, the first Sino-US joint university, yesterday at the school’s move-in day.
The school’s first 295 students, including 145 international students from 36 countries, will have three weeks of orientation. It includes classes and activities aiming to help them understand the university’s teaching mode, regulations and cultural differences.
“The Chinese students will take some English classes to help them adjust to a full-English teaching environment while the international students will learn Mandarin so they can quickly adapt to life in Shanghai,” said Yu Lizhong, chancellor of NYU Shanghai.
Yu said NYU Shanghai will focus on cultivating writing and mathematics skills. All students will receive a two-year liberal arts education before they choose a major.
“Students can discover their interests through a liberal arts education before choosing a major blindly or out of a utilitarian goal,” Yu said.
Farquharson said she applied to NYU Shanghai because she loves traveling and wants an adventure.
“Studying in NYU Shanghai will be a good way to see China,” Farquharson said.
“I expect the education to be rigorous and I hope to learn from all the different people I will meet,” she added.
Other international students chose NYU Shanghai because they see China playing an increasingly important role in world business. They also believe the Chinese government will give strong support to the school.
“China is an upcoming country. I think this is the perfect place to do international business,” said Alex Brickhaus, a student from Missouri.
Since NYU Shanghai is new, there are some worries about the future of graduates and if the education will be worth it. But others are not worried.
“We can tell that the Chinese government, the city of Shanghai, NYU itself and the students seem to be very focused on wanting NYU Shanghai to be a successful university,” said Lisa Brickhaus, Alex’s mother.
For many students, the biggest worries are cultural differences and language barriers.
Chinese and international students will be mixed together in dorms to help them adapt to cultural differences. They will stay at the East China Normal University campus before moving to NYU Shanghai’s new campus in Pudong next year.
Like all Chinese universities, Chinese students at NYU Shanghai will attend military training next year as required by the law. International students are exempt from this training.
NYU Shanghai accepts applications from students in all provinces and regions of China. International student applications will be handled by NYU in the United States.