Suzhou, China: how to “just GO”

Upon the start of a new year, people typically tend to reflect about their experiences from the previous year.  The months are perceived to have escaped immeasurably quickly, and by the time one no longer needs to cross out the date (particularly the second number of the year portion on the date) in their notes, it is time to celebrate a new year’s beginning.  As a college student, similar tendencies toward this nostalgia also apply.  From orientation, registering for the first semester of classes, the first Christmas in the Quad, until applying for graduate forms and requesting graduation forms, time spent in college flows very quickly.  Around and after graduation, in which students reflect on their experiences, it can be hoped that there are several positive moments which cumulatively create a fulfilled memory of one’s college experience.  One aspect of such an experience which Canisius students have the opportunity to employ is an immersive semester studying abroad.  Conveniently, the college’s study abroad program is accepting applications to spend a semester studying in Suzhou, China at the China Institute, a partnership between Canisius and the University of Dayton.

Located just a half-hour away from Shanghai by bullet train, the Institute sits within the Suzhou Industrial Park, a modern addition to a timeless city.  The campus itself features state-of-the-art construction with various labs, classrooms, and meeting spaces in a five-floor facility built with a system of keycard security similar to Canisius’ buildings and dorms.  Slightly larger than New York City, but without the penchant for Broadway musicals, Suzhou boasts representation of 25 other world universities and approximately a third of the world’s Fortune 500 companies.  

Networking opportunities will be available on-site, as well as the chance to embark on excursions to various tourist attractions throughout China such as, of course, the Great Wall itself.  In fact, the oldest sections of the Great Wall of China have stood in all their glory for millennia, as the structure stretches across thousands of miles, through diverse climbs.  It serves as a testament to the strength, endurance, and power of empires forever enshrined in history.

Among the most appealing aspects of the program, however, is its affordability.  For only one thousand dollars over the price of Canisius tuition, a prospective student is covered for the cost of a Chinese visa, roundtrip airfare, room and board with maid service, the aforementioned tourist excursions, and a meal card that applies to on and off campus dining.  To be eligible for the program, a student must hold a cumulative 2.5 GPA and enroll in four to six courses.  The deadline to apply for the coming fall semester is February 1st and the deadline for Spring of 2018 is March 1st.

Given the busy nature of the average college student’s schedule, it is understandable that an application process might be daunting to some.  Nonetheless, no matter what one anticipates will be in store for this new year, it takes a relatively insignificant amount of time dedicated to an application that will significantly change the course of the coming year, and will potentially foster the creation of a positive, fulfilled memorable college experience.


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