Invitation-only study program in China merges networking and learning for engineering student

                                         Samiha Rahman

Engineering student Samiha Rahman had always been interested in international travel but hadn’t had the opportunity to do it until she was invited to spend two weeks studying in China at Xidian University through the Inspiring ICT International Summer School program.

An institutional partner since 2010, Xidian University has a long history of collaboration with the College of Engineering, with the universities offering an undergraduate/graduate program and a dual master’s program.

Rahman was the only American participant and made numerous professional and personal connections.  

“I never traveled out of the country before by myself, so it was like a whole new experience,” says Rahman. “I went way out of my bubble. I met a lot of really smart people who are going to do great things with their lives and it’s great having that connection. This was my first time doing something international, and now I’m craving more.”

Students were paired with a Chinese translator who joined them during lectures on technology, robotics, and telecommunication. Most of the speakers were CEOs of Chinese companies and some also offered internship opportunities. Following the lectures, students were given free time to explore the city of Xi’an.

“It was totally independent,” says Rahman. “We would get out of class around 4 and then meet up and go out and explore. I definitely miss it.” She still communicates with her new friends via WhatsApp and Instagram and hopes to have professional connections with some of them in the future.

Rahman met students from England, Australia, Ireland, Poland, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Germany and Russia.

“I didn’t realize there would be people of so many different backgrounds,” she says. “It was cool being exposed to so many different cultures.”

Rahman was encouraged to apply for the program by Sondra Auerbach, assistant dean of student services in the College of Engineering

“Because of our ties with Xidian University, the College of Engineering is invited to participate in this opportunity at their school,” she says. “t has been well received by our students who attend.” 

Rahman encourages her fellow students to take advantage of university study opportunities. While this program is limited to engineering students, there are more than 40 study abroad opportunities available at WSU. For more information on programs, visit, or talk to your academic advisor about potential study opportunities within your department.

By Jacob Stocking, OIP communications associate

The Office of International Programs leads Wayne State’s global engagement by creating opportunities that foster international education and research, facilitate the exchange of individuals and ideas that promote global competencies and citizenship, and provide resources that support the expansion of the university’s global agenda. Follow us @WayneOIP.

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