Sunday, September 21, 2008

Horizon Cove

Horizon Cove is a gated community where many of the Faculty and Staff of UIC live. Our "flat" is on the 5th floor overlooking a park and a pond.

As you can see from the photos we have an indoor/outdoor pool as well as a wonderful fitness room and many walking paths surrounding the community.

Both Doug and I have been busy getting organized for the beginning of school. Classes officially start on Oct 6th. We have been working on setting up a fitness center for the UIC community and have been checking out possible equipment and prices. Hopefully we can get something up and running before we head back in January.

We are also organizing a "Fitness Challenge" between the faculty and staff at UIC and AUGSBURG. Everyone is excited about the upcoming challenge and the organization of a fitness program. Doug is working on a webpage and we are hoping to get many of the faculty and staff at UIC involved and working out. The AUGGIES are in trouble since the Chinese do not like to lose. I know Carol Enke (Augsburg's Faculty/Staff fitness coordinator) does not like to lose either so LET THE CHALLENGE BEGIN!

Many folks have been asking us about the food, so the next blog will cover what we are and are not eating.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

United International College

Doug and I have been in Zhuhai just over a week. We have been getting organized and trying to learn as much about UIC as we can since we are planning to spend the next four months here. I have already been assigned an office, had a computer installed and met many of the staff. Although classes do not begin until Oct 6th the first year students arrived last Monday for a month of English training before the official start of school.

The parents of the first year students attended several seminars the first few days which ended with the college hosting them at a "High Table Dinner" last Tuesday. I was invited as an honored guest and asked to sit at the head table. The program was entirely in Chinese since many of the parents do not speak English. As the MC was introducing the members of the head table, I knew it was my turn to stand when I heard the words MINNESOTA and AUGSBURG COLLEGE. The 8 people at the head table were all dressed in "academic garb" (which UIC provided) and we all had to go around the room giving toasts and having photos taken with the parents. It was a fun and exciting way to begin my final year of teaching.


UIC (United International College) is a 4 year liberal arts college founded jointly by Bejing Normal University and Hong Kong Baptist University. All classes are to taught in English. It is located in Zhuhai, China (just East of Hong Kong and North of Macau). The school is beginning it's 4th year (fall 2008) and will have approximately 3,300 students attending. This Fall 1,200 new first year students are expected and they will be graduating their first class of 270 students Spring of 2009. The plan is to keep enrollment at approximately 4,000 which they should reach next fall (2009).

At the present time the majority of students come from mainland China but the intention is to recruit more international students to realize a goal of about 50/50 (international/Chinese). The student body is approximately 60% female/40% male. Although UIC has 13 different majors, 50% of the students are majoring in Business.

Tuition at UIC is approximately 44,000 RMB or approximately $6,500 per year.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Our Apartment

Here are some photos of our apartment. From top to bottom you will see: the guest BR/Office, master BR, Dining Area/kitchen, Living Rm/deck,View from the master BR deck (yes we have 2). I am still experimenting with this blog stuff so the spacing is off a bit, but wait a few weeks and I'll have it down (thanks to instruction from Nathan Lind at Augsburg).

Yesterday was my birthday (and still is in MN), so I can't figure out if I have gained 2 years in one or lost a year. My friend Jane Helmke says it is like going from "yesterday into tomorrow." So I am celebrating the full 37 hours. We are 13 hrs ahead of MN time.

We toured the campus on Friday, but I did not bring my camera so I will do a campus update later. The new first year students arrive on Monday (about 1,200) for a month of English training before classes begin on the 6th of October. A number of the English teaching assistants are still waiting to get visas into the country, so this could be a real problem. The rules have become much more strict due to the Olympics so it is taking a lot of time to process the visas. We were lucky to get ours. They asked Doug if he would be willing to teach English. He said he would be happy to volunteer as a tutor or TA, but was not qualified to be a teacher. We will see what happens.

We took the Horizon Cove Shuttle to town yesterday and the public bus back. Thanks to Janet Moldstad's (a professor from Bethany Lutheran in MN who was here Spring semester)instructions we were able to find the right bus # to return since we just missed the shuttle. We decided never to go shopping again on a Saturday. It gives new meaning to the word CROWDED. Of course we have never been any other day so maybe it will be the same.

Stayed turned as we continue the adventure.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Greetings from Zhuhai!

Our trip to Zhuhai went without a hitch. All of our flights were on time and all of our luggage arrived with us. Our arranged driver met us in Hong Kong and took us to the right hotel where our ferry tickets for the following morning were awaiting us (thanks Patrick). We spent the night in Hong Kong and took the ferry the following morning to Zhuhai where a van from UIC (United International College) was waiting to meet us. We went directly to our "flat" where Sabrina, from the Human Resources Dept was waiting for us. We are located in a gated community called Horizon Cove. We have a very nice three bedroom/2 bath apartment located on the fifth floor of a 9 story building. We have been here less than 24 hrs, but wanted to check in and let everyone know we have arrived safe and sound.