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GCU Global Education Travelers Explore China

Students with arms wide open

Georgian Court University global education students and faculty recently visited China where they sampled the country’s past and present, and even caught a glimpse of the future. The June 2-17 faculty-led study abroad program was organized by the Department of Integrative Health and Exercise Science and the Office of Global Education Programs.

“The trip was amazing!” says Jeff Donnelly, M.L.S., M.A., who serves as interim director of library services for GCU’s Sister Mary Joseph Cunningham Library. The group was intrigued by the authenticity of ancient provinces like Xi’an, Luoyang, and Wudangshan. They also observed bustling, cosmopolitan life in Beijing and Shanghai.

“It was truly packed with a lifetime worth of experiences!” says Mr. Donnelly. “Getting to see the combination of historical, holistic, sacred, and spiritual sites blended with the cultural experiences found throughout the country made for a trip that was extremely valuable.”

For Georgian Court MBA student Catharine Giotis, it was a learning experience in a different way.

Although she was out of the country, Catharine was still responsible for completing coursework for her summer classes. That was especially hard to do without access to outlawed tools like Google Docs, Gmail, and other Web resources she was accustomed to using. Catherine got creative, using WhatsApp and other ways to participate in her Lakewood classes.

Overall, it was a journey—geographical and spiritual—she wouldn’t trade for anything.

“To be surrounded by one of the oldest cultures in the world, breathtaking views, and a nation filled with some of the most kind and generous people I have ever met was unforgettable,” Catharine says. “There are parts of the world from which we have much to learn. The simplistic way of life and value of good moral character that much of the Chinese culture embraces are things that will resonate with me forever. It was a privilege to experience China’s beauty.”

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,200 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 14 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by Money.com and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at HazletGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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