IUP Student Selected for Fellowship to Study US-China Relations Abroad

Posted on 6/4/2018 3:24:46 PM

Dan Wethli, an IUP student majoring in Asian Studies and philosophy, has been selected from a nationwide pool to represent the United States in a three-week program this summer in China.

Daniel Wethli studying abroad in ChinaWethli, from Cranberry Township, was one of 30 American students picked to be a part of the 2018 China-US Student Leaders Academy with the Zhi-Xing China Fellowship.

“I am very excited about meeting like-minded Chinese and American students,” Wethli said. “I really enjoy learning the new perspectives and thoughts of people through conversation. This is  always especially interesting when traveling abroad.”

Wethli was selected for the fellowship following an application process. Some of the main criteria for selection are academic excellence and strong leadership skills, verbal and written skills, and some ability to speak the Chinese language.

Launched in 2017, the Zhi-Xing China Fellowship is a highlight of US-China People-to-People Exchange, sponsored by the US Secretary of State and its Chinese counterpart, with the goal of inspiring and building connections between the next generation of global leaders in the United States and China.

Sixty college students—30 from the United States and 30 from China—are selected for the program, which combines seminars and lectures with field visits. It culminates with the students presenting their findings on the trip.

“A big part of the fellowship is centered around the idea of increasing cooperation and mutual understanding between the United States and China,” Wethli said. “I hope to be participating in activities and projects that allow me to help create further cultural understanding and awareness.”

The fellowship will cover the costs of Wethli’s three-week trip, including round-trip international air fares, visa application fee, as well as transportation, lodging, and meals.

The trip, which will be from July 29 to August 18, will be Wethli’s third to China. Through other programs at IUP, he attended a summer program in 2016 at Sichuan University, and another in the fall 2017 semester at Nanjing University.

“I think the United States and China are very different in many ways, and we should appreciate these differences,” Wethli said. “We can learn a lot from Chinese culture, and I think many Americans do not realize that. I also would like to help Chinese students gain an increased understanding of US culture.

“I hope to gain an increased understanding of Chinese culture and further develop my leadership abilities. My goal is to come back with a more in-depth vision of how can use my experiences in a career in my future.”

Wethli has taken five Chinese language courses at IUP. He has been an active member of the Chinese Language and Culture Club, and was its president in 2016–17 and part of the 2017–18 school year.

IUP faculty member Shijuan Liu is the advisor of the Chinese Language and Culture Club.