Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Student Profile - Micky from Shanghai

My name is ZHIPING GU (Micky) from Shanghai, China. I chose Maryville College because the classes are small that I can get more attention from my professors. I am a freshman but I haven’t decided whether I will major in economics or psychology. I like the people here. They are very nice and friendly. They will smile to me when I am walking around the campus. I usually go on the college trip to Target or the mall twice a week for shopping. I like watching movies on the weekend to relax myself.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Liberal Arts Gaining Popularity in China

Prior to the 21st century, liberal arts education was virtually unknown in China. Even during my September China trip, I found that the average Chinese high school student and parent were unfamiliar. However, I found that education consultants were much more familiar with liberal arts education and are often advising families to consider it as a good option.

I recently learned about an important new book written by 3 recent Chinese graduates of American liberal arts colleges. One of them was recently profiled in Newsweek Magazine in 2010. This book is written in Chinese and pictured on the right.

To learn more about one of the book's authors I'm including an excerpt from Newsweek Magazine's February 10th 2010 edition:
"Like many top students in Chinese high schools, Chen Yongfang dreamed of attending college in the United States. But unlike many of his classmates at Shanghai's Foreign Languages High School, Chen did not set his sights on Harvard, Yale, or any of the other Ivy League schools or big research universities long coveted by the Chinese. Instead he applied to a small, private liberal arts college. Even before he graduated in 2010, Chen had co-authored a Chinese-language book on Liberal Arts Education."
The book, A True Liberal Arts Education, was first published in May 2009. It sold out its first printing of more than 8,000 copies, which were distributed throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, Maucau and Taiwan. Since then it has already sold out its second printing. It's listed on the Chinese version of Amazon as being out of print. I am hoping I'll be able to get a copy in the 3rd printing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Farewell to Exchange Students!

The end of the semester is bittersweet as we say farewell to 6 of our international exchange students. They have made great contributions to the college during their time at Maryville College. Amongst them they have been musicians in the pep band and the jazz ensemble, dancers with the dance ensemble, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and Sisters in Spirit, active in the Global Citizenship Club, promoted LGBT rights with the Gay-Straight Alliance, hiked the Smoky National Park, spent time with local friendship families and taken advantage of many more opportunities to learn about East Tennessee and the United States through cultural activities and events.  They have used breaks from the college to travel to New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.  They have bonded with and shared their cultures with students, faculty and staff, making Maryville College an even richer community. We will miss you, Saki, Minjoo, Maira, Simon, Eun and Mashal!
Minjoo from Korea
Mashal from Pakistan
Maira from Germany
Eun from Korea
Simon from Germany
Saki from Japan

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

International Student Spotlight: Maira from Germany!

This week CIE is excited to spotlight Maira from Lübeck, Germany. Maira spent a semester at Maryville College. We will all miss her tremendously when she returns to Germany in December! Read about Maira's experience in her own words: 

Autumn at the International House
     I have been at Maryville College for one semester now, and I can definitely say that I have enjoyed every single minute of it.  I wanted to study at a small university which provided personal attention and an individual atmosphere. I didn’t just want to be another number among others – which I feared would have been the case at my home institution. Moreover, I was looking for a College with a large international community which offered a variety of cultures to get to know. In addition to that I felt like it was important to go to a College which offered my major, Political Science, and a broad variety of other majors and minors. Moreover I looked at the activities, clubs, and organizations offered at MC.
     To be honest, if I were to list all the things I like about Maryville College I would probably still be writing this article by tomorrow. To start perhaps I would start with the classes I am taking. All my classes have been extremely enjoyable and I loved each of them. My professors were very knowledgeable, incredibly enthusiastic, always motivated, and easily approachable when someone asked for help or assistance with the course work.
     Moreover, I very much enjoyed the feeling of being part of the “MC family.” The community is like a big family which instantly made me feel comfortable and welcomed once I arrived. Seeing as I come from a foreign country and I was far away from home, this definitely helped me to adjust from being far away from home.
Homecoming Dance
     In addition to that, I love the different activities and events going on all throughout the semester at MC. There is always something going on and it for sure never gets boring. To only list a couple events that took place this semester: the Homecoming dance, the showing of “Bridesmaids” in the Clayton Center, MC sport games, or game nights hosted by the Residence Hall Organization (RHA). I went to several of the sports games; among them the football games, the soccer games, the volleyball tournaments, and the basketball championships.
      One other thing that I love about Maryville College, are my friends. I am so incredibly happy I found so many good friends that share the same interests and with whom I get along so incredibly well. They definitely became an important part of my life and they make MC even better.
      I am involved in several on-campus activities at Maryville College. One of the organizations I am a part of is the Copeland A.C.T. (Activity Coordination’s Team). We organized several events throughout the past semester, among them we planned door decorations contests, we chalked the path leading to Copeland, our residence hall, and we organized game nights.
Jazz Band Performance
     Furthermore I am a part of Sisters in Spirit. The group meets every other week and we talk, discuss, and reflect on today’s women’s issues. I remember, sometime in October, we had an international women’s panel, where women from all around the world shared their experiences and perceptions. It was incredibly interesting and spending time with other girls, drinking hot chocolate or apple cider, and talking has made my evenings really fascinating and remarkable.
      Besides that I am also part of MC’s Jazz Band. We meet twice a week and play jazz tunes. Among them, Watermelon Man, Summertime, Route 66, Equinox, and Maiden Voyage. Especially this past semester, I learned a great deal and my improvisation skills have become so much better. I haven’t enjoyed playing the saxophone that much in a while. The past semester, we had one gig and another concert. We all worked hard for it, but it was a lot of fun, and the group is great!
      The organization that I am probably most involved in, however, is the Global Citizenship Organization (GCO). As the secretary, I am part of the leadership team, and we organize and plan different events. This past semester we hosted a Halloween party, an International Dance Party, and also took part in the Maryville College Homecoming Parade. Helping out to plan different events, going shopping, decorating, and organizing parties is a lot of fun and it was really exciting to be able to be a part of it.
GCO International Dance Party

      Moreover, I participated in the Intramural Volleyball tournaments that took place at the very beginning of the semester. All throughout the semester there are numerous intramural activities hosted by the Student Involvement Office. It was so much fun, and the sand volleyball tournaments offered a great way to get to know new people.
      In addition to that I participated in several of the activities hosted by the Center of International Education (CIE). With CIE we went Bowling, got to go to the Christmas Parade in Knoxville, went ice-skating, and also celebrated a Christmas party.

      Being part of different campus activities really helps to get involved and moreover you learn to assume responsibility and adopt leadership abilities. MC offers so many ways to get involved, and to find something you are passionate about. Maryville College and its community truly offered me a home away from home. 
Best of luck to Maira! If you are interested in learning more about Maryville College and opportunities to be an international student enrolled in college or ESL courses, please contact Brian Todd at 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Top Ten Things Employers Look For in New Graduates

In an era where education is becoming more and more technical and specialized, a recent survey finds that while cutting edge technical skills, may help graduates of colleges and universities obtain a new job; that a liberal arts education give students the qualities they need to keep a job and get promotions. A few years ago, a study by the American Association of Colleges and Universities found that while many students focus on having the right major that other factors are important as well. Here are the top 10 thing employers look for in new college graduates:

1) The ability to work well in teams—especially with people different from yourself.
2) An understanding of science and technology and how these subjects are used in real-world settings.
3) The ability to write and speak well.
4) The ability to think clearly about complex problems.
5) The ability to analyze a problem to develop workable solutions.
6) An understanding of global context in which work is now done.
7) The ability to be creative and innovative in solving problems.
8) The ability to apply knowledge and skills in new settings.
9) The ability to understand numbers and statistics.
10) A strong sense of ethics and integrity.

So, if you are going to be in the job market soon, remember these qualities and emphasize them on your resume or cover letter.


Saturday, December 10, 2011


Pues, he estado acá en Chile por cinco meses en total. He viajado al norte de Chile y el sur de Chile, y también Argentina. Aprendí mucho acá de la cultura chilena y el idioma. Ha sido una experiencia útil y inolvidable. He hecho muchos amigos acá, incluso mi nueva familia chilena. Nunca voy a olvidar esta experiencia.
El punto de este blog es que mañana me voy. Me voy a mi casa, mi hogar. Voy a ver a mi familia, mis amigos, y mi pololo. Estoy emocionada tener mi vida de nuevo. Sin embargo, me voy a mañana. No sé si vaya a ver las personas que he conocido en Chile otra vez, como mi familia chilena y los amigos que conocí de alrededor del mundo acá en Viña del Mar y Valparaíso. Todos han hecho mi experiencia en Chile fantástico. Mientras estaba acá, he explorado Valparaíso, Viña, Chile, y un poco de Argentina. He aprendido mucha de la cultura distinta de Chile y la historia de no sólo Chile, sino América Latino en general. He expandido mi vocabulario inmensamente y he aprendido mucho más del idioma. Ahora tengo mucho más confianza en mí mismo y mis habilidades.
Me voy mañana... Es agridulce. Me alegro que me voy a mi casa y mis amigos y mi trabajo y mi auto, pero voy a extrañar a Chile y los que conocí acá. Sin embargo, no sé, un día quizás voy a regresar a Chile, ojalá con alguien para mostrarle todo que hice acá y las razones que me encanta tanto.
¿Cómo voy a pasar el tiempo que me queda? Pues, voy a la playa, ¡claropo! Voy a disfrutar el último día que tengo de verano antes de regresar a EE.UU. Voy a pasar tiempo con mi mejor amiga acá, Sophie, y voy a pasar tiempo con mi familia chilena. Además, voy de compras para las últimas cosas que necesito comprar, como una botella de vino bueno para mi familia durante la temporada de Navidad.
Me alegro que me voy mañana, sino tengo miedo de regresar también. Creo que vaya a tener 'anti-culture shock'. Tengo que trabajar y manejar y comprar cosas con dinero verde. Las cosas que usualmente son normales para mí ahora son raras. Vamos a ver, pero tengo un sentimiento que vaya a ser muy extraño para mí al principio con todo el cambio... ¡Voy a avisarles en algunos días!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

International Student Spotlight: Peizhen from China!

My name is Peizhen Sun from Zheng Zhou which is a big city and in the middle of China. I am studying Engineering at Maryville College. This is my second year at Maryville College and I love it here very much.

Before I came to America, I was struggling with choosing colleges. I wanted a college that had a high educational quality, but I was not confident with my English level, so I wanted the size of classes to be small. I felt that it would be easy for me to understand in class. So just randomly I choose Maryville College. I was not that mature to think about choosing colleges, because I should have researched the international education in the college, but I didn’t. However, after I came here I realized how lucky I was. International education at Maryville College is very good. This is what I like the most about Maryville College. There are many international students from all over the world. The International House always has a lot of activities for us. So we get a lot of chances to hang out. International students are all nice to each other. We are really like a big family. We talk a lot about different cultures. All of the cultures are very interesting, pretty, of course sometimes weird. In this way, it really helps me to build my own global perspectives and to have cultural understanding. I am very glad that I came here not only to learn native American culture but also to get to know all kinds of people from all over the world. I have been here for one year and a half. I really love to be here.

I took the ESL program last year summer for a month. Comparing to college study, ESL is a little bit easier. Honestly I miss the ESL program sometimes now. The ESL program not only helps International students to get used to real American study, but also helps international students to get used to real American life. For me, I am a student from Asia. In Asia, students don’t talk in class, don’t ask questions to teachers, and never do presentations. Asian students definitely have a need to learn how to present before entering college. I can’t image if I didn’t learn presentations in the ESL program, what my college life would be. Teachers teach us to be very attentive and I practice a lot. Most of the presentations are about different cultures, so they are also a lot of fun. The ESL program has some interesting holiday classes. They teach us how to make pie, how to carve pumpkins, and all other holiday things. I find this is very interesting and useful. It really helps international students to learn real American life. The ESL program is just a small part of the international education at Maryville College. There is also an exchange students program, study abroad program and so on. This satisfies some American students who are interested in other countries, and they like to talk with international students to know different cultures. Maryville College wants her students to have international experience, and she takes care of international students very well.

“Stretch your mind!” This is the slogan of Maryville College. I love it very much. All kinds of people, all kinds of culture, all kinds of classes, and all kinds of assignments work together on me, and they really work very well. My mind is stretched a lot while I am studying in Maryville College.

Please contact Brian at if you are interested in learning more about becoming an international student at Maryville College or in the Maryville College ESL program. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

CIE is in the Christmas Spirit!

The Center for International Education is excited to share Christmas traditions with our international students! ESL students recently decorated the International House with a Christmas tree, beautiful handmade wreaths, festive lights, and colorful paper chains. Let the celebrations begin!

Kadhem (Saudi Arabia), Estavao (Brazil), Leslie (Japan), and Peijue (China) decorate the International House.
On Friday, The Center for International Education took students to the Knoxville Christmas Parade and ice skating in the Market Square outdoor skating rink. Students loved learning to skate and practicing their moves!

Mashal, Pakistan's next Olympic speed skater!
Peizhen (China) catches a ride from Yuji (Japan).
Maira (Germany) and Yurim (Korea) help each other up.

We hope to see some new students on the ice skating rink next year!

La playa y el agua

Me encantan las playas acá en Chile. Son muy bonitas. Hoy fui a la playa con una amiga mía. Porque no tenemos clases o casi nada que tenemos que hacer nada más en Chile, vamos a la playa casi todos los días. La playa es muy rica ir. Ayer fuimos a la playa en Viña en la que hemos visitado mucho. Porque es el principio del verano, hay muchísma gente en la playa y está muy llena, especialmente en Viña. Sin embargo, hoy fuimos a la playa de Reñaca que es muy cerca también. Al principio del día, hubo mucho viento. Tanto viento que no pudimos estar en la playa hasta después del almuerzo porque hizo un poco frío. Después, el viento se fue y la playa estaba muy cómoda y relajante. Me encantó.
Cuando estoy en la playa, me gusta tomar mucho agua para estar hidratada. Sin embargo, en el tiempo acá, me he dado cuenta que los chilenos no toman mucho agua. Siempre tienen café, té, jugo o bebida, casi nunca agua. Además, si toman agua, es agua con gas. En los restaurantes se tiene que pedir específicamente para agua sin gas porque van a traerte agua con gas. Lo encuentro que tiene un sabor desfavorable. No me gusta para nada. Además, creo que es muy raro que los chilenos siempre beben agua con gas. A veces, especialmente en la playa, encuentro que el agua mineral es mucho más refrescante y hidratante. Por lo tanto, si se vaya a Chile y quiere beber agua mineral (sin gas) se necesitaría pedir agua sin gas en todos los lugares o se vaya a recibir algo que no se quiere.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mi cumple en Chile

¡Hoy es mi cumpleaños! Empecé celebrar anoche con unas amigas en un lugar que se llama la Piedra Feliz. Hay baile de salsa allí. Fuimos a un bar irlandés antes porque hay 'happy hour' y los tragos son más baratos. Después, fuimos a la Piedra Feliz, pero cada persona que preguntamos no dijo algo diferente del lugar y hora de salsa y por eso, no pudimos encontrarlo y no hicimos salsa. ¡Qué lata! Sin embargo, me divertí.
El día entero fue raro. Me parecía como todo se equivocaba todo el día. Por accidente pague demasiado por el metro que no usé porque cambié mi mente, pero aparentemente todavía tienes que pagar. También, muchos amigos míos ya se han ido y por eso, casi nadie podía ir conmigo. La micro que tomé al deparamento me dijo que pasaría por mi calle, pero no la pasó y me dejó muchos cuadros de mi calle en la mitad de la noche. A pesar de todas las cosas malas que pasaron, todavía me divertí con uno de mis mejores amigas, Sophie. Me alegra que ella vino conmigo. Hizo la noche mejor.
Hoy mi familia chilena va a tener una reunion de amigos para mí para celebrar mi cumple. Algunas amigas mías van a venir al departamento para once y tragos. Me alegra que voy a tener algo pequeño para celebrar. Me gustará. Además, esta mañana mi hermana, Coni, me regaló un par de aros muy bonitos que ella los hizo. ¡Me encantan! Me gustan tanto especialmente porque ella los hizo en especial para mí. Fue una buena manera empezar mi día. Después mi mama chilena me dio una caja bonita llena de alfajores. Ella sabe mi debilidad --> galletas llenas de manjar cubiertas en chocolate. Yummmmm.. Mi familia es tan amable. Voy a extrañarles tanto que me vaya.
En general, mi cumpleaños acá ha pasado muy bien hasta ahora. Quería ir a la playa para tomar sol en mi cumple porque usualmente no puedo porque en EE.UU. diciembre hace mucho frío, pero acá diciembre hace mucho calor. Sin embargo, hoy está muy nublado y no hace tanto calor. Ehh.. todavía voy a la playa para caminar. Voy a actuar como haga mucho sol. Jaja. Este año mi cumple es tan diferente, pero me gusta, especialmente porque puedo disfrutar una celebración en Chile y después en los EE.UU. también. ¡Qué emoción!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

International Student Spotlight: Chiaki from Japan!

Chiaki is a first-year Business student at Maryville College from Saitama, Japan. She first began her studies in the Maryville College ESL program where she spent a year improving her English skills in order to be academically successful at the college level.

Before she came to Maryville College, Chiaki’s sister studied abroad here and she loved it. When Chiaki was thinking about college, her sister advised her and introduced her to Maryville College. After looking at the information, she chose Maryville College because of the small classes, close student and professor relationships, and the location.

Chiaki likes Maryville College because the people are friendly and kind. She says that all the professors and staff are really nice, even the President. She also says that the location is awesome because we have great mountains, quiet, and in the summer night you can see fireflies in the forest at the college. Chiaki takes advantage of on-campus events such as bingo game night in the cafeteria, organized shopping trips once a week, international dance parties, and sports nights to watch games. Off-campus activities that Chiaki recommends are caving, climbing mountains and swimming in the river. She suggests volunteering for the recovery house and church activities.  “These are really great opportunities for everyone.”

We love having Chiaki as part of our international community at Maryville College. If you are considering joining the international family at Maryville College we would love to share information about our fantastic programs! Please contact Brian at if you are interested in learning more about becoming an international student at Maryville College or in the Maryville College ESL program.