Transferring from college to college is stressful enough for any student to handle, but imagine moving from a college to one in another country! This is what our new friends from Anhui Normal University in Wuhu, China are going through. Having to navigate a new environment would be extremely difficult, but these brave students are traveling halfway around the world to study in our neck of the woods.
Wuhu, China is a city located in the southern region of China, near Shanghai. There are many crowded places here but there are also many different park areas with plenty of grassy areas for recreational use. Wuhu has some of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. Anhui Normal University is one of China’s oldest universities and is the only one in Wuhu that accepts foreign students.
I was blessed with opportunity to travel with Brenau University to meet our incoming exchange students this past May. We were only there for around six days, and it honestly was not long enough. I personally have been to 17 countries in my 20 years of life, and I never had really thought about traveling to China before. Wuhu is one of the most charming cities I’ve ever been to. The people were so friendly there, especially the students. The moment we entered the classroom, they were immediately thrilled for us to be there and to learn as much about Brenau as they could. When the time came for them to travel across the world to us here at Brenau, I was there to meet them at the airport and to see their worry replaced with joy to see someone they recognized. We are so ecstatic to see them succeed here at Brenau. They have already become an important part of our Brenau family.
One of these students is Sally, an English major and one of my mentees this year. She is honestly such a delight to know and one of my dearest friends. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met. When I first met her, her and her classmates got on our bus as we traveled to the old campus of Anhui. She would wave at the boys that we passed, claiming that she would not get to when she finally traveled to America since Brenau had a women’s college. She constantly made me laugh throughout the entire day we were together. After we parted ways until August, we continued to message each other the rest of the summer. When we saw each other again in august, she was more than overjoyed to run and hug me to death.
It’s wonderful friendships like these that make it all worth wild. Brenau made a very smart and wonderful decision to invite Anhui students to study here at Brenau. Through this program, we are given the ability to see how another half of the world live and to become fast friends with the students who come. If you see one of our new or old friends, stop and say hello to them. They are so happy to be here at Brenau and honestly, what more do you need?
Pictures credits to Kaleigh McIntyre and Sommer Stockton