In 2006, the University of Northern Iowa and UNIBusiness partnered with Shanghai DianJi University (SDJU) in order to benefit students from both universities through an increased international presence.
Currently 18 students from SDJU are studying at UNIBusiness through the 2+2 partnership. This number is on the rise, as 17 students transferred to UNI during the two years prior, and between 20 to 30 additional students are expected to enroll next fall.
One participant in the 2+2 program is Leiping (Hilary) Xu, a senior from Shanghai majoring in marketing. Xu enrolled in the 2+2 program in order to receive a high quality education and to take advantage of all the unique opportunities the 2+2 program presents.
"I love all the opportunities that UNI offers," said Xu. "There are so many activities that I can take part in to make friends and improve myself as a student and a person. I love the people here a lot."
One of the opportunities she took advantage of was living on campus and becoming a resident assistant (RA). "Being an RA is one of the greatest experiences that I have had," said Xu. "Through this experience, I'm able to meet and interact with a lot of people and learn so many things from them. The RA position helps me socialize with residents and enables me to get involved more on campus. Also, it allows me to bring my ideas to make a difference."
Her advice to future DianJi 2+2 participants and all international students is simple: "Establishing a solid foundation of the English language is very important. At UNI, there is a lot of freedom and a lot of opportunities, so defining your goals and knowing what you want to do will be a big step in being successful."
Xu will graduate in May 2013. Her future plans are to gain work experience related to her major and continue her education with a high quality MBA.
For more information about the 2+2 program, visit www.uni.edu/2+2/.