Students take what they learned in classroom on the road to China

Students take what they learned in classroom on the road to China
October 6, 2009

Marcus Pass
(630) 829-6094

Twelve Benedictine University students participated in a two-week Study Abroad program August 13-28 that took them from the Yangtze River to the Great Wall of China. The trip was originally planned for last May, but swine flu outbreaks in China prevented the students from going. Before applying for the trip, students were required to take their choice of two courses: Global Interdependence or Global Economy. All 12 students paid approximately $3,000 out-of-pocket to participate in the program. “The purpose of the trip was to enhance what the students learned in their prerequisite courses,” said Marc Davidson, Education Abroad Coordinator. Before the students left for China, the International Programs Office worked with Midwest Travel Medicine to prepare the students for what they would encounter. The doctor strongly recommended that the students see their own physicians and get the proper medical care before leaving. The students visited such cities as Beijing, Xian, Wudang, Wuhan and Shanghai. They were accompanied by two Benedictine faculty members: Carol Swett, Director of International Programs, and Tim Goines, Ph.D., Associate Professor of International Business and Economics. This was not the first time Swett was in China, but she said this experience was a lot more exciting. “This time was more exciting because I got to see it through the eyes of our students,” Swett said. Swett and the International Programs Office wanted students to understand how people outside the United States live. “It is important to get out of our country, get a complete perspective of the real world and see who we are as Americans,” Swett said. “Once students get a chance to study abroad, they gain confidence, they want to come back and be on their own.” Brittany Hoornaert, a Spanish major and the daughter of Gary and Patricia Hoornaert of Mokena, thinks more students should take advantage of the opportunity to go abroad. “The trip to China was a great experience and has further excited my passions to learn about different cultures,” Hoornaert said. “I would recommend to anyone who wants to study and learn about a different country to explore different options of traveling.” Shan Hussain, the son of Amin and Hafiza Hussain of Glenview and a senior majoring in International Business and Economics, called the trip the experience of a lifetime. “We got to learn about China’s economy in the classroom and then we were able to actually go and see it first-hand,” Hussain said. “We interacted with the people that make the Chinese economy function on a day-to-day basis.” In addition to Hoornaert and Hussain, students who participated in the trip were: Paul Boatman, the son of Robert and Katherine Boatman of Rio Rancho, New Mexico and a junior Management and Organizational Behavior major; and Mirentxu Beruete, the daughter of Jesus and Hortensia Beruete of West Chicago and a senior majoring in International Business and Economics. Also, Eric Burnson, the son of Dwight and Eileen Burnson of Orland Park and a senior majoring in International Business and Economics; Ben Chen, the son of Jun and Marie Chen of Bartlett and a junior majoring in International Business and Economics; and Robert Esposito, the son of Robert and Teresa Esposito of Lisle and a junior majoring in International Business and Economics. Also, Richard Knipfer, the son of Richard and Sarah Knipfer of Woodridge and a senior majoring in Management and Organizational Behavior; Athinela Shkurti, the daughter of Vangjush and Natasha Shkurti of Addison and a senior majoring in sociology; and Jessica Swett, the daughter of Carol and Craig Swett of Naperville and a sophomore majoring in Business and Economics. Also, Vilma Tole, the daughter of Themi and Leonora Tole of Wheaton and a senior majoring in International Business and Economics; and George Woods, the son of George and Denise Woods of Glen Ellyn and a senior majoring in International Business and Economics.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.