Campus: Sonoma State University -- August 1, 2005

SSU Grads Head for Unique Teaching Adventure in China

A group of eight Sonoma State graduates are embarking on a unique teaching and learning adventure in Shanghai, China this month.

Sonoma State American Language Institute has partnered with Shanghai Sanda Institute to offer members of the University community the opportunity to teach English to college students for an academic year at the Sanda Institute, a technological university in Shanghai.

This first group of eight students leaves in August to teach Sanda Institute students English oral skills such as listening, speaking and pronunciation, while immersing themselves in a vibrant Asian culture.

As part of the agreement between Sanda Institute and Sonoma State University, the students are compensated for teaching 16 hours per week with a transportation allowance, housing, meals and stipend and given a tuition waiver to attend classes.

"I am very excited to experience the amazingly rich culture of China," says one of the China-bound teachers, Eileen O'Brien. "This will truly be a life-altering experience."

In order to prepare for their teaching assignments, the group completed an intensive three-week course in Teaching English as a Foreign Language which included observations, practice teaching, and instruction in the basics of Chinese culture and the Chinese language system.

The students will be able to learn more about Chinese culture by taking courses at Sanda Institute, studying subjects such as Chinese language, culture, economy and law.

Kristin Cozort says "I'm going to gain first hand experience of a culture that is rich in history and tradition. This is an experience that will certainly broaden my academic and professional prospects in the future." Beth Goodrich agrees that "This is a once in a lifetime experience that I just couldn't pass by. How many other college graduates will be able to say they taught English to college students in China?"

For more information about this program, contact Helen Kallenbach at Sonoma State American Language Institute at (707) 664-2742 or visit

Contact: Jean Wasp, Media Relations Coordinator, (707) 664-2057

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