Transcending Language and Cultural Differences With a Global Alliance

While the debate over globalization continues to rage on, it is clear that the world is far more connected than it was in the past. Berkeley College in White Plains is embracing this trend through their Global Alliance, which consists of several programs buoyed by a partnership with Guizhou University of Finance and Economics (GUFE) in China’s Guizhou Province.

Through the Global Alliance’s faculty program, Berkeley College faculty members travel to GUFE to teach for a semester. Beth M. Castiglia, PhD, Berkeley College Provost, explains that this program “instructs university professors to best prepare students to succeed in an environment that transcends language and cultural differences.” 

While Berkeley faculty members teach at GUFE, GUFE faculty members also travel to Berkeley College to train for a period of two months.  So far, 16 GUFE faculty members and nine Berkeley faculty members have participated in Global Alliance collaborative programs, with another three Berkeley faculty members teaching at GUFE this fall.

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GUFE students

Along with the faculty exchange, students from GUFE have the chance to earn their Associate’s Degree from GUFE and their bachelor’s degree from Berkeley College in White Plains. This program is expanding, as GUFE recently received permission from the Ministry of Education of China to enroll an additional 300 students for a total of 900 students annually. 

Castiglia believes White Plains is the ideal place for such a program, as it “offers easy access to the thriving local region, including small and large businesses, cultural diversity, as well as to New York City using public transportation.” Each GUFE student is paired with a Berkeley student, who will be his or her host ambassador. “Close friendships and future business relationships are fostered,” says Castiglia of the program. 

Castiglia sees Global Alliance as a valuable program because it prepares students for employment that requires a global perspective. Further, the program encourages the sharing of learning and teaching practices, which enhances student experience and success. Berkeley College is currently looking to expand Global Alliance by creating partnerships with universities across China, including with Sanya University in Hainan Province, China to offer a degree program in China. 


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