Perseverance Rewarded: International College Beijing Students Excel in 2022Jul 27, 2022
“Congratulations, Graduates! You had to courage to come here during the pandemic, and the courage to stay here and persevere,” said Runke (Jade) Li as she addressed her fellow graduates of International College Beijing (ICB) at the jubilant May celebration dinner held in their honor in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. Hosted by the Office of International Affairs, University of Colorado Denver, the event featured an evening of accolades, festivities, and warm conversations between students, friends and faculty.
Despite 2020-2022 travel restrictions and challenges that continued throughout the global pandemic, the Spring 2022 graduating ICB students were able to look back and applaud their remarkable successes. They had planned carefully and prepared well, arrived safely in Colorado, settled comfortably into their dormitory, delved into rigorous academic studies, and were now on the threshold of exciting new chapters in their lives.
“College life is a time when students should be constantly discovering more. It is very meaningful to be exploring something new and to be expanding my life,” said ICB graduate Yuna. “I really like the ICB program; you have plenty of choices of minors to add to your major.”
She added, “And I love Denver; most of my besties are graduating here in Denver with me.” Jade and Yuna also found employment as student assistant Global Ambassadors for the Office of International Affairs while they studied at CU Denver.
UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP - CU DENVER & CAU
For more than a quarter of a century, thousands of students have benefitted from the International College Beijing program, which is a unique collaboration in education between the University of Colorado Denver and China Agricultural University (CAU). As the first partnership of its kind, ICB offers classes to Chinese students in China and Colorado, and provides undergraduate degrees in economics, communication, or dual degrees from the University of Colorado Denver.
Engaging in a liberal arts curriculum in China and the U.S. empowers ICB students to hone their critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills. CU Denver and CAU collaborate together to spot future trends and design programs that include significant experiential learning opportunities. Graduates emerge well prepared for success in today’s rapidly evolving global business environments.
In an interview, Jade commented, “I am so into communication because the study of ‘comm’ provides me with a handful of methods in understanding the world and people, by which I can avoid bias and stereotypes when communicating with others. The reason I decided to minor in film and television production (FITV) was that I am a visual person who always enjoys turning thoughts into images and videos.”
In previous years, many parents traveled from China to Colorado to join in graduation celebrations with their children. This year, they expressed their best wishes and praise through a heartwarming video. Created by Jade, it was a surprise to the audience, and a definite high point of the Denver dinner event.
THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY - OUR HEARTS ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU
The students’ families – from grandparents to parents to siblings -- and friends in China gave uplifting messages: “Although you are thousands of miles away, our hearts are always with you. Work hard and follow your dream!”, “We are delighted to see your progress, growth, and success; and we thank the two universities. Explore the world!“ “You have been having a great experience on the other side of the ocean, and we will always be your best friends.”
Video congratulations were also shared by President Zhangliang Chan and Dean Li Daoling of China Agricultural University. “Thank you for taking good care of our students on the CU Denver campus,” said Dean Li Daoling. “Thank you to the parents. We keep hearing good things (about the ICB program) from you.”
ICB GRADUATION EVENTS - DENVER & BEIJING
For the July ICB graduation celebration event in Beijing, CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks, Pamela Jansma, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Alana Jones, Associate Vice Chancellor of International Affairs, shared video messages.
“Graduates, everything you have accomplished has strengthened our respective institutions and the international partnership we embrace. The International College Beijing program is a shining example of how forward-thinking institutions can work together to empower students and advance society,” said Chancellor Marks. “Now, you will go on to further define what this partnership means to the world by the impact you make. Regardless of where your journey takes you, I know you will excel as you become the leaders in all fields across our global workforce.”
“I’ve seen that, wherever the ICB students go, they not only excel in their academics, but also bring a spirit of community,” said Associate Vice Chancellor Jones. “CU Denver is a stronger and more vivid university for the community that ICB students help create.”
Enrollment numbers show that a new cohort of ICB students will soon be packing their suitcases for the Spring 2023 semester start at CU Denver.
When asked about her advice to other international students who were considering enrolling in CU Denver, Jade noted, “One piece of advice I would give to other international students who are considering studies at ICB and CU Denver is that please don't hesitate to join the program if you want to take an adventure and make friends all over the world. It will be the best experience of your life!” She added, “ I am grateful that I spent one year of my University here and I wish I could have done more.”
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Q & A - ICB GRADUATE RUNKE (JADE) LI
• What degree program did you study through the International College Beijing and University of Colorado Denver?
I am a communication major and FITV (film and television) minor. I am so into communication because the study of comm provides me with a handful of methods in understanding the world and people, by which I can avoid bias and stereotypes when communicating with others. The reason I decided to minor in FITV was that I am a visual person who always enjoys turning thoughts into images and videos. My study at FITV helped me master many practical skills that perfect my visual works.
• As an Office of International Affairs (OIA) Student Assistant, how have you helped the office and helped other international students?
My work as a student assistant is to play my role in planning and executing events. For helping other international students, my work is to inform them of the upcoming events and activities on campus so that they can make more friends and have better experiences at CU Denver.
• Did you feel welcome at CU Denver and in the city?
I enjoyed my life in Denver. All the people I met, including my peers, my professors, and my colleagues, are all friendly and amazing human beings. The city is perfect for living. I feel kind all the time and people always give me a helping hand when I need one. I am grateful that I spent one year of my University here and I wish I could have done more.
• During the challenges brought about by the 2020 global pandemic, how did the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and/or faculty/staff in other university departments help you?
From the beginning of my transfer to CU Denver, OIA provided a lot of information regarding to degree programs and immigration via Zoom meetings, which helped me plan my flight and my academic life in the future. After I moved to Denver, I attended my online activities organized by OIA, which greatly enrich my life.
• What advantages are you finding in receiving an education through an urban American institution? Why do you think it's important to have a global education and a better understanding of another country?
First of all, the biggest advantage in receiving an education through an urban American institution for me is that I can immerse myself in a profound academic atmosphere. Also, the facilities are advanced for students to have a healthy and colorful campus life. In addition, the resources shared with students are helpful for their careers in the future.
I think it is important to have a global education and a better understanding of another country because we can have clearer minds when get to know how people live in different places, which is exactly what we need in a world where misunderstandings and prejudices exist.
• What do your friends and family think about your studying at CU Denver— do you think they are proud of your accomplishments?
They are very proud of my accomplishments and very appreciate the great academic experiences provided by CU Denver.
• What are your plans, now that you have graduated?
I plan to travel around the US before I move to Scotland for my graduate life. My dream job is a filmmaker.
• What advice would you give to other international students who are considering studies at ICB and at CU Denver?
One piece of advice I would give to other international students who are considering studies at ICB and CU Denver is that please don't hesitate to join the program if you want to take an adventure and make friends all over the world. It will be the best experience of your life!