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Bridging Language and the Living City

While the fundamentals of language can be learned in a classroom, the complexities of a culture cannot. With the help of Fordham’s Institute of American Language and Culture, 11 students from China’s Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) got a crash course in America through its Winter Institute immersion program.

Each morning, the students took intensive English classes and kept daily diary entries (in English) chronicling their thoughts and impressions of their New York City experience. In the afternoon and evening they embarked on guided New York excursions related to the content discussed in their classes—from the Statue of Liberty to the United Nations to Times Square.

For example, their trip to the Metropolitan Museum, said associate director Amy Evans, sought to deepen their appreciation for art: how to look at works from different eras, how to consider the historical context in which the work was created, and how to simply embrace the way it made them feel. Students tracked down various pieces in a scavenger hunt, often chronicling their discoveries through photographs and descriptive observations.

“This is an example of what is meant by ‘experiential learning,'” Evans said.

NPU Students from China in front of Fordham Logo

The institute welcomed 11 students from China.


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