Buffalo State Welcomes 17 Chinese Students Displaced by Earthquake

Buffalo State College will host 17 Chinese undergraduate students from the Sichuan Province of western China, the site of the massive May 12 earthquake, for the 2008–2009 academic year. The students are from diverse Chinese ethnic groups; the majority come from 40 counties around Wenchuan, the center of the quake.

Twenty-two SUNY campuses are hosting a total of 150 students, primarily sophomores and juniors, who will study for two semesters as full-time students at SUNY state-operated and community-college campuses beginning this fall. All students are competent in English and otherwise prepared for the two semesters of U.S.-based college education.

Students were assigned to various campuses based on their interests as well as the ability of campuses to accommodate additional students from abroad in currently available spaces. There is no impact to current student enrollment or fall applications. SUNY has undertaken a fundraising drive so this initiative should not result in any costs to New York State taxpayers.

The goal is to build a team of young leaders who will return to China to help rebuild the local economy and infrastructure in the earthquake-ravaged region. Each student has committed to return to China upon completion of the program in May/June 2009 and to a period of national service in Sichuan to help with the rebuilding effort.

The death toll from the 7.9-magnitude temblor stands at nearly 70,000. Reconstruction costs are estimated at $147 billion, according to China’s National Development and Reform Commission.

The full SUNY press release is available online.