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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, December 1, 2006

IU stars in national television programs in China touting American education

Dec. 1, 2006

China Video

IU student Jing Zhang, right, prepares to begin her interview by Jason Riddell and Maggie Choy.

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Several Indiana University students and faculty have had starring roles in a nationally broadcast television program with a potential viewership of more than 180 million people in the world's most populous country--China.

Producers conducted interviews in Mandarin in late September with three IU students from China and a professor for two 24-minute programs and a series of three-minute segments which began airing last week across the People's Republic of China.

The purpose of the programs, which were developed as a joint initiative of the U.S. departments of Commerce, State and Education, are to inform Chinese students who are interested in studying abroad about the higher education opportunities available at American universities, including IU. In the video, Chinese students already in the United States discuss the process of applying to American colleges and describe student life here.

"This was a unique opportunity for us to reach outstanding potential students from China, and we were honored that we were included," said Patrick O'Meara, IU dean of international programs. "This was a great opportunity for us to showcase our teaching programs and to highlight the diversity and extracurricular activities on our beautiful campus."

Christopher Viers, associate dean and director of international services, worked closely with student leaders to select the Chinese students who were featured.

"As the third largest number of international students enrolled on the Bloomington campus, Chinese students contribute meaningful intellectual and cultural dimensions to the life of the campus and community," Viers said. "The students involved in the project represented Indiana University exceptionally well, and played an important role in helping to highlight the strengths of our campus and the system of U.S. higher education."

According to Viers, 387 Chinese students are enrolled on the Bloomington campus for the fall 2006 semester.

China Video

Videographer Jason Riddell helps finance major Yifan Xu with his microphone for an interview with Maggie Choy.

Print-Quality Photo

A delegation of top U.S. government and higher education officials, which included IU President Adam W. Herbert, was wrapping up a tour of China just as the programs began airing. The longer programs have aired several times in prime time on Beijing TV5, Guangdong TVS-2 and the Shanghai China Business Network. Shorter, three-minute segments from the two programs also are airing nationwide on Phoenix TV, a satellite-based network.

All of the shows direct viewers to a Web site -- -- where students, their parents and advisors will be able to view the programs again and get detailed information from all the universities featured, including IU. DVDs of the program also will be distributed through educational trade fairs and the 47 EducationUSA advisory centers throughout China.

In addition to talking about the classroom education they are receiving at IU, students Jing Zhang, Yifan Xu and Qiong You showed how they have become part of campus life. You took viewers to her dining hall job at Read Center, while Xu hit the basketball court at the recreation center and Zhang, an opera singer, practiced at the Jacobs School of Music.

"I told them I am very lucky to study at the IU Jacobs School of Music and have performed two major roles in the opera productions of La Boheme and Carmen," Zhang said. "Also I told them that IU has the best international student service; they care about you as their best friends and they have helped me a lot."

You, who expects to study in the Kelley School of Business, added, "It is a great challenge to go abroad to study. You feel and try all kinds of different things, the food, weather, people, language and surroundings, and it is worth doing this." Referring to her part-time job at Read, she added, "It is a chance to know the culture, make friends and to build self responsibility."

Other U.S. institutions that were selected to participate included Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota.