Katie Mitchell, instructor of English and director of the Writing Center, helps Zhuoran "Rita" Zhang, center, and Ruoyu "Lillian" Wang decide which classes to register for during their first semester at Brenau as English majors in Brenau's 2+2 program with Anhui Normal University. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Katie Mitchell, instructor of English and director of the Writing Center, helps Zhuoran "Rita" Zhang, center, and Ruoyu "Lillian" Wang decide which classes to register for during their first semester at Brenau as English majors in Brenau's 2+2 program with Anhui Normal University. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

44 New and Returning Chinese Students Arrive on Campus

Aug. 24, 2017
Kristen Oliver

Forty-four students from Anhui Normal University in the Anhui Province near Shanghai, China, have arrived in Gainesville for classes at Brenau University as part of the 2+2 partnerships between the universities.

The 2+2 partnership allows students who have completed the first two years of their degree program at Anhui Normal University to complete the final two years of their undergraduate educations at Brenau.

Of the 44, 18 are seniors majoring in early childhood education who started at Brenau last year. They are joined by 26 new students – among them nine education majors and 17 English majors – beginning their junior years.

All of the students pay a negotiated full tuition rate as well as room and board at the university. Those majoring in education take 15 credit hours for their major each semester and have the option of adding an elective, such as music, dance, language and physical education. The students majoring in English, meanwhile, have the option to add an 18-hour minor in another subject as well as a wide range of elective courses in other subjects.

“The students and teachers here are very helpful already with our daily life,” said Xuan “Yolanda” Guan, a new ANU student at Brenau majoring in early childhood education. “I had some questions in the dormitory, and they were very excited to help me.”

They all must have approved student visas, take all of their classes in English and meet Brenau’s stringent academic requirements for graduation.

“I am very excited about new life in America, because I can learn a lot about the different lifestyle from China,” said Guan’s classmate, Zihan “Michael” Shao. “And in class, I can learn more knowledge than I can learn just in China.”

The first cohort of students rose to the academic challenge presented to them. All 18 of last year’s early childhood education students demonstrated “dean’s list-caliber” performance in the classroom at Brenau.
Jordan Anderson, Brenau director of international students and programs​, credits the Chinese students for “putting themselves out there” as soon as they arrive on campus.

“They really get involved,” she said. “Several joined BUGS, the Brenau University Garden Society, and I would see several of them at the shows and performances on campus. They got out and about in the community, and it became very normal to see them involved in something on campus.”

Anderson said these 44 students represent the first three of many new cohorts expected over the next several years. Brenau also has an agreement with the Chinese university to bring design students to Gainesville. These students will be eligible to work toward an undergraduate degree in environmental design – an offshoot of Brenau’s long-standing interior design undergraduate and graduate programs – for students who do not require U.S. interior design professional certification in their careers. Anhui Normal University plans to begin enrolling students for the China portion of the program – the first two-year period – this fall.

ANU was the first of three institutions from Anhui Province in eastern China to become a Brenau “+2 Partner Institution.” Brenau also has a separate agreement with Anhui University of Chinese Medicine – based in Hefei – for an undergraduate nursing program that is expected to begin as early as next fall. Additionally, Brenau has a 3+2 agreement with Anhui Business College that enables Chinese students who have completed the three-year program at their home institution to transfer to Brenau as juniors and complete Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in two years. The first cohort is scheduled to arrive on the Gainesville campus as early as August 2018.

“Since all of these 2+2 programs must receive approval from the Chinese government, they are not all that easy to come by,” said Brenau University President Ed Schrader. “I think that it is a testament to the high-quality of education Brenau provides that they have approved several of these programs for the university.”

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100