Duke Kunshan welcomed about 120 visiting Duke students at a town hall meeting
By Duke/DKU staff writers
With global travel restrictions limiting Duke University students’ movement around the world, many were unable to make it to Durham, North Carolina, for the fall semester. However, more than 100 students already based in China have taken the opportunity to spend the fall semester on the Duke Kunshan campus.
About 120 Duke students – roughly 50 undergraduates and 70 graduate students – are enrolled at Duke Kunshan this fall. They will participate in at least one in-person class at Duke Kunshan, with the added option of remote courses offered at Duke.
University leaders including Chancellor Youmei Feng and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Scott MacEachern welcomed the visiting Duke students to campus at a town hall meeting on Saturday morning.
“Since Duke began arranging for some of its students to study at DKU this fall, our entire community has been looking forward to meeting you and has been working hard to prepare for your arrival,” Chancellor Feng said in her welcome remarks.
“University is a bridge that takes students from high school and being cared for by family to becoming independent members of society. This is a critical transition,” she added. “While I hope you will take responsibility for your own personal development and growth, be assured that I and the entire DKU community are here to guide and support you.”
Last week, about 30 Duke Kunshan students from the U.S. who are unable to travel to China also arrived in Durham to begin orientation for the fall semester. The group – a mixture of freshmen, sophomores and juniors – can enroll in in-person courses and online classes provided by Duke Kunshan faculty.
Chancellor Youmei Feng delivers her welcome remarks
“I’m definitely missing the DKU community, but I’m so grateful to be at Duke this semester, and I’m looking forward to my classes and meeting new people,” said Duke Kunshan sophomore Bailey Rose from Cape Code, Massachusetts.
Amanda Kelso, executive director of Duke’s Global Education Office, which is supporting Duke undergraduate students at Duke Kunshan, said one of the most obvious advantages to being on campus rather than staying home is community.
“They have the opportunity to form relationships with other students who are in the same situation, starting out their experience in a unique way,” she said. “We hope they can build what will be a long-lasting feeling of being in this together.”
Besides managing the logistics, Kelso’s team is also acting as academic advisors to the Duke students. “Students are telling us across the board that they feel lucky,” she added, “and that they’re grateful both Duke and DKU are providing this opportunity.”