JI winter study abroad programs revitalize with high attendance

International Affairs Division 2024-02-23 39

More than 280 students of the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) have joined the winter study abroad programs organized by the JI International Programs Office over the past two months.

The students, divided into 12 groups, embarked on study tours to 10 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Argentina. The study abroad programs are typically 3-5 weeks, covering courses in engineering, innovation, data science, language, business, artificial intelligence and others. Apart from taking courses, students are given the chance to immerse themselves in diverse cultures with the aim of building a groundwork for their future studies.

A team of JI students take a group photo at Shanghai Pudong International Airport  before leaving for Argentina.

Speaking of her winter program experience, JI sophomore student Fangjie Gao who took the program hosted by the University of Pecs based in the Hungarian city of Pecs in Europe, said it was truly an enriching tour. “The Pecs courses expanded my understanding of European painting, music, history, and many other fields. Although, over time, factual memories may gradually fade, rooted within me is a sense of familiarity with Pécs, Hungary, Europe, and the culture and arts there. Through the winter program, the concept of ‘universal harmony’ has gradually gained tangible meaning in my heart.”

Fangjie Gao (third from the left on the first row) takes a group photo with participants of the Pecs winter school program in Hungary.

The winter programs have been an annual tradition at JI since 2007 when a collaborative program with Technische Universität Berlin was initiated in February, offering a group of students the opportunity to stay in the German capital for a few weeks. In the past three years, JI faced significant challenges by the global COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the suspension of many overseas study programs from 2021 to 2023. The Winter Program has resumed normal operation in 2024 with record-high numbers of applicants and participants.

Founded in 2006, JI results from a strategic partnership between two top universities in the United States and China with the goal of building a world-class institute for nurturing future leaders with global visions.

“At the Joint Institute, we are committed to fostering a dynamic and innovative learning environment where students can develop the critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, spirit, and leadership skills necessary for success in the rapidly changing world. We aim to prepare students for challenging careers and becoming global leaders in their fields,” said Professor Chien-Pin Chen, dean of JI.

JI students visit Museum of Future Technology in Berlin.

JI students attend a class at King’s College London.

JI students listen to a lecture at the Santa Maria Church of the Spanish city of Pamplona.

JI students watch a Japanese dancer performance in Tokyo.

Editor on Duty: Chen Diwei

Responsible Editor: Jiang Qianqian, Li Xinyu