Two Benedictine students awarded scholarships by Chinese government

Two Benedictine students awarded scholarships by Chinese government
July 27, 2010

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

7272010_holowickiwebjpgJoy Holowicki has never visited another country. She admits to a little apprehension at the prospect of travelling abroad.

“I am definitely excited and nervous,” the Benedictine University student said. “I will be visiting the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the markets in Beijing. This is really a great opportunity. I am very grateful for it.”

Holowicki is one of two Benedictine students who have been awarded full scholarships – covering tuition, lodging, medical insurance, living allowance and learning materials – by the Chinese Government to study Chinese language and culture at a prestigious Chinese university for a semester.

Holowicki, a Franklin Park native, will leave August 30 for four months at the University of Science and Technology in Beijing as a General Scholar at the Chinese Learning Center. Adam Baldocchi of Glen Ellyn will be studying at Xi’an Jiaotong University as a General Scholar at the School of International Education from March to July 2011.

The scholarships are the result of the growing relationship between Benedictine University and the people of China.

“Benedictine University has been incredibly generous to me,” Holowicki said. “I was awarded a scholarship to come to school here, and now I have been given another scholarship to go to China.”

Holowicki, the daughter of Anthony Holowicki of Franklin Park and Gayle Holowicki of Schiller Park and a 2006 graduate of East Leyden High School, is a Scholars Program student at Benedictine who is completing the degree requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology.

She became interested in China while rooming with an international student. She prepared for her trip by taking Mandarin language classes from a visiting Fulbright Scholar to fulfill her Scholars Program language requirement.

Baldocchi, the son of Peter and Val Baldocchi of Glen Ellyn and a graduate of Glenbard West High School, will study at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Xi’an Jiatong University, a public university with more than 30,000 students, was ranked No. 15 among the top 200 universities and colleges in the world by www.4icu.org.

“I have always been interested in ancient history and Asian culture, and when this opportunity arose I had to jump on it,” said Baldocchi, a junior at Benedictine majoring in Psychology. “I will be studying language and culture. It will be an immersion experience and I will try to learn as much as possible.”

Baldocchi is interested in public health and said he plans to join the Peace Corps following graduation. He is preparing for his trip by actively participating in events sponsored by the many Chinese and Asian-descended students who attend Benedictine in Lisle.

Benedictine officials hope that Holowicki and Baldocchi are the first of many Benedictine students who will be afforded the opportunity to live and study in China.

“We are extremely grateful to the Chinese Government and the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Chicago for their incredible support and generosity,” said Elsie Yuan, director of the Asia Institute at Benedictine University.


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.