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Stony Brook Institute at Anhui University Welcomes Its Inaugural Class

Sbiahu group
Sbiahu group
SBIAHU cohort at the airport waiting to depart for the United States.

The first cohort of students enrolled in the Stony Brook Institute at Anhui University (SBIAHU) recently arrived for their first semester at Stony Brook.

“I recently returned from my first visit to the Stony Brook Institute at Anhui University this summer, so it was particularly exciting to come back and meet our first cohort of students on our Stony Brook campus,” said Stony Brook University Provost and Executive Vice President Carl Lejuez. “This is an important partnership to expand our global reach and continue to build on our longstanding relationships in China. As New York’s flagship university, we are proud to be the first public university in New York to establish a joint institute in China.”

Students spend two to three years at Anhui University (AHU) before completing their degree programs at Stony Brook.
The program capitalizes on the universities’ shared strengths in research and STEM disciplines and mutual connection to Anhui native and Stony Brook Professor Emeritus C.N. Yang (Nobel Laureate 1957) to develop globally competent graduates. Yang, well-known and celebrated throughout Anhui and the namesake of the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics, is a supporter of the program and attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the SBIAHU launch.

Sbiahu students beach
SBIAHU students participating in the Global Summer Institute visit a local beach.

SBIAHU enrolled its inaugural class in 2020, providing students with a dynamic education that combines the teaching, curriculum and research strengths of both AHU and SBU. The joint curriculum offers three undergraduate majors: applied mathematics and statistics, physics and information systems. Upon successful completion of degree requirements, students receive a bachelor’s degree from both AHU and Stony Brook.

Forty-three students from the cohort arrived on Stony Brook’s campus for the first time to prepare for the fall semester. As part of their years enrolled at AHU, students received advising from Stony Brook staff to ensure that coursework will seamlessly transfer and attended workshops on topics such as understanding the U.S. education system and faculty expectations, bridging cultural differences, and how to successfully conduct class presentations.

In addition to the workshops, students completed online courses with Stony Brook faculty while in China and attended themed faculty asynchronous lectures to familiarize themselves with Stony Brook faculty and their teaching practices.

Students Xianglei Fang and Ziming Zhang noted that the online courses were useful preparation for the transition to Stony Brook.

“It was helpful for us to listen to professors who lectured in English and for us to use English to ask our questions to our professor, since before that time, we did not have much experience listening to or speaking English,” said Fang.

Both Fang and Zhang spent the summer on the Stony Brook campus as part of the Global Summer Institute, in which they enrolled in a writing course and took part in field trips to local areas and attractions.

Their favorite field trip, Zhang said, was a trip to Times Square and Central Park, areas that they heard a great deal about while growing up in China and were excited to see in person. While this is their first time in the U.S, Fang and Zhang hope to explore other areas of the country while studying at Stony Brook and to remain in the U.S. for graduate school.

SBIAHU is recognized as the first U.S.-China joint institute in Anhui Province.

— Beth Squire

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