By Zak Zeinert, Student Reporter
A new study abroad program will provide students with a unique opportunity to travel to China and study business and culture. Based in both Abilene and Shanghai, Nihaoareyou (knee-HOW-areyou) was created by Jonathan Jenkins with a goal of helping both American and Chinese students better understand each other’s lives and customs. The program costs $4,985, and students must apply before spring break.
Mitchell Fu, an employee of Nihaoareyou, believes that through this program students can broaden their perspectives about the world and about life.
“We can actually create a dialogue and really understand people,” Fu said. “The people not the politics. A revolution of understanding.”
Although the program is still relatively new, it is making fast progress. The first session took place in the summer of 2007 and consisted of just 12 students. Fu said in the next session this summer there will be twice as many participants, and the students will receive college credit. It will also consist of both a cultural track and a business track.
According to the Nihaoareyou Web site, the cultural track is designed to give students an experience in intercultural communication, language, history and missions. The business track allows students to learn first-hand from an international business company. Each term, members of the business track will receive seed capital to launch new ventures with international companies all while earning credit for internships.
“The first session and this coming session are like the pilots,” Fu said. “If they go well, we will hopefully have fall and spring sessions.”
Chris Ferguson, sophomore Christian ministry major from Houston, has always dreamed of one day living in China and thinks that Nihaoareyou is an excellent program.
“I think that Americans have a bad perception of China,” Ferguson said. “They think it’s overly communist when in reality there’s plenty of capitalism. I think its important to understand all cultures, but Chinese in particular because its been closed off to the rest of the world for so long.”
For further information on Nihaoareyou, visit