Thundering Herd creates a stir
A football and food-based launch brought the North American Marshall University student experience to life for counselors in Southern China.
You rarely see people in Kelly green jerseys catching American footballs and rushing frantically to score touchdowns in Yangshou, Guangxi Province.
So temperatures were raised when the Marshall University ‘Thundering Herd’ team – consisting of around 25 education counselors from across China and Hong Kong and eight members of the INTO recruitment team - made a symbolic appearance at an official Chinese INTO Marshall University launch event.
The event, held on 2 and 3 March, aimed to give participants a real feel of what both Marshall University and the town of Huntington, West Virginia are all about. An American football night with an impromptu friendly match and an American barbeque among other events, enabled the counselors to see for themselves the closeness, sense of community and high quality education that Marshall has to offer Chinese students.
Dr Clark Egnor, Marshall University’s Director of the Center for International Programs thought the two days went extremely well. “It was a great idea to hold the launch in beautiful Yangshuo – the West Virginia of China,” he said. “Education counselors experienced a Marshall tailgate party, ate real American hamburgers and learned to sing the Marshall fight song and Country Roads in Chinese.”
“The event was so much fun and was a memorable experience for everyone. I am confident the results of our hard work will pay off, based on the positive feedback we have already received from those counsellors who attended.”
After an in-depth training session from Dr Egnor, participants went rafting on Lijiang and ended the day with shopping, wine and a great dinner.
Gordon Lunan, INTO’s Recruitment Director for China, Hong Kong and Macau, said the launch was important to showcase INTO’s fourth and newest US partner to those who had been unable to attend the familiarisation trips to West Virginia in November 2012 and February 2013.
“Marshall brings something unique to INTO’s portfolio of US partners,” Gordon said. “As a smaller university, it has different strengths from the large state universities in our North American portfolio. Diversifying our options for offering students remarkable international experiences, outstanding outcomes and unrivaled support is important. Many students will thrive in a close-knit community with a high instructor to student ratio. Marshall has a lot to offer in China.”
Education counsellor Isabella Zhang, from Shanghai Junyi said the event helped her to better understand the experience and benefits of studying at Marshall. “It was an opportunity to become more knowledgeable and confident when promoting Marshall as a key destination for students wanting to study in North America,” she said.
“Guangxi is a very mountainous region in China which I’ve been told is very similar to West Virginia. I think these activities have helped us gain a better appreciation of what Marshall has to offer and will help us to attract more students to INTO’s Pathway programs there.”
INTO Marshall and Marshall University staff are busy preparing to welcome the Center’s first student cohort this coming August.
Marshall ‘first choice’ for counselors after Ho Chi Minh presentation and movie
“Inspirational,” and “impressive,” were just some of the adjectives used by Education Counsellors from all over Vietnam as they left Taj Masasago Cinema in Ho Chi Minh City last Saturday.
The source of their emotions was, in part, the We Are Marshall movie, a Hollywood movie starring Matthew McConaughey, based on the tragic events surrounding the University football team that they had just viewed.
The event was hosted and organised by the Vietnam Regional Office team, led by Ms Thu Nguyen and INTO's new North American representative in IndoChina Ms Que Vo. Special guest for the afternoon was Tim O'Brien, Director of INTO Knowledge who had brought a suitcase full of Marco the Bison mascots and university pennants for the guests.
Tim began by asking some questions of the audience and distributing small gifts from Marshall University. He then went on to present some extremely interesting facts and figures about education, before telling them what INTO could bring to students.
“An education is the single largest, most valuable investment many Vietnamese families will ever make,” he said. “As Education Counselors, your role in helping guide students to study overseas is vital. At INTO, our job is to support you by bringing you 17 of the world’s finest universities - offering remarkable international experiences, exceptional student outcomes and unrivalled support. We are particularly proud of our partnership with Marshall University - a wonderful institution that we hope to be home to many Vietnamese students.”
Chau Do, counsellor of Apollo Education and Training, one of Vietnam's largest overseas study organisations, was among those moved by the experience. “It was a truly inspirational, touching movie,” she said. “I was especially impressed by the sporting spirit at an American University. Most importantly, this movie gave me a picture of how Marshall University actually looks. If I have any students interested in studying in North America, Marshall would definitely be one of my top recommendations for them”.
Click here for a collection of images from the both visits.
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