Published: June 5, 2015

"An international affairs and Asian studies major, Dong recently launched the Global Student Initiative (GSI) in an effort to expand cross-cultural collaboration and leadership skills to students of all backgrounds at CU-Boulder and in China. The student-led organization helps foster communication and interaction between students from different places of the world, particularly China.

"Dong surprised even herself by managing to set up GSI’s pilot program at CU-Boulder in just two months. Working as an instructor and advisor to both teams, she has been able to take advantage of support from CU-Boulder departments and programs that have helped her take a vision and turn it into a campus program. In particular, the Center for Asian Studies, the Newton Chair in Leadership, Study Abroad and International Affairs were instrumental in helping her establish the initiative when she returned from studying abroad.

"'I came back with a huge idea that I wanted to implement,' Dong said. 'Everything was already set up in China, it was funded and students were recruited. But I had nothing at CU. All of these departments did everything they could to help me find the right direction and place for this program.'

"GSI’s exchange program is composed of two teams -- one from China and one from CU-Boulder -- which work together to create a 14-day exchange program. Each team gets to host the other students in their country for seven days and have the opportunity to participate in academic lectures, business visits and sightseeing.

"The theme for this year’s teams is 21st Century Challenges and Globalization where students will learn about economic, environmental and health care issues. This summer, Chinese students will come to Boulder where they plan to do local business visits while CU-Boulder students will visit migrant schools in Beijing, China. The program is open to all undergraduate students, regardless of their major or prior experience and currently.

"Eleven CU-Boulder students are participating -- including students from physics, business and journalism -- and 11 students from China."

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