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March 1, 2013

Spring break trip to provide MSU staff with global perspective

Michigan State University’s Department of Residence Education and Housing Services, which oversees on-campus housing operations, is sending a delegation to Beijing, China, over spring break, March 2-9, to explore higher education in China.

The group will include six full-time REHS team members, six resident assistants and one Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions aide. In addition, Denise Maybank, MSU interim vice president for student life, will participate in the trip.

“As the international student population at MSU continues to grow,” said Kathy Collins, director of REHS, “our department is committed to creating an environment that embraces and celebrates the global diversity of our student residents. One of the best ways to truly exemplify that commitment is to create opportunities like this for our team members to experience a different country and culture firsthand.”

Participants will develop an understanding of why it is critical for members of the MSU community to have a global, world grant perspective. The delegation will have conversations about Chinese culture and what it means to be immersed into a foreign environment as a student; something that many international students experience upon their arrival to MSU.

Participating students will chronicle their trip with photography. At the conclusion of the trip, the photos will be compiled into a collection called “The China Photo Project.” Images will be available on MSU Live On’s Instagram, as well as in other formats.

“We are excited to provide members of our team with this incredible opportunity to travel to Beijing,” said Collins, “to chronicle their experiences through print and visual media, and to bring back invaluable information and insight to share with the rest of our team.”

During the trip, students will visit Beijing Normal University and Beijing Forestry University. Students will be asked to identify similarities and differences between the higher education systems in China and MSU. Special attention will be paid to a comparison of the university housing systems.

The group also will visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall, Summer Palace and Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), among other locations.

Residence Education and Housing Services is a department of the Division of Residential and Hospitality Services at Michigan State University.

By: Tom Oswald