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OC, Chinese college seal deal for exchange

POULSBO — After a positive visit from a prominent Chinese arts college, it appears that Olympic College has a new friend — and indeed one far from Kitsap County.

The Performing Arts College of Sichuan Province, in southwestern China, culminated a visit to OC with the signing of an agreement between the two colleges to develop an exchange program.

The mutual pact, signed at Olympic’s Poulsbo campus Monday, creates a means not only for information exchange, but also study-abroad programs for OC faculty and students.

“We’d love to have some of your students come and study with us,” OC president David Mitchell said, addressing the Sichuan delegation and its president, Yubo Tang. “This is just the beginning of a long, fruitful relationship.”

The preliminary agreement will help strengthen Olympic’s international offerings, International student program director Cheryl Hanson said.

“It will provide for student and faculty arrangements (to go abroad),” Hanson commented. “It’s an understanding (between the colleges) and an exchange of information.”

The mutual agreement is nothing but positive for OC students, Hanson added, given an increasingly globally-minded world.

“The American way isn’t the only way,” Hanson commented. “Having that cross-cultural experience will enhance a student’s marketability.”

Lunch and a tour of the OC Poulsbo campus was also included at the agreement signing Monday. Both parties saw a mutual relationship between the colleges already beginning to develop.

“When we walked around your campus this morning it feels like we’re walking around our own campus,” Tang said, speaking through a Chinese government translator, Yangyang Peng.

Under the agreement, the two schools agreed to make “good faith efforts” in information exchange, staff and faculty exchange, teacher training and language programming.

Also on hand at the signing was Bremerton mayor Cary Bozeman, Bainbridge Island mayor Darlane Kordonowy and Bremerton Port Commissioner Cheryl Kincer, two of Olympic College’s trustees, Peter Crane and Naomi Pursel, along with International Director Hanson and OC Poulsbo Director Kelly Woodward.

Numerous delegates from the Chinese College were also in attendance, including Sichuan Vice President Jianxiang Xu and assistant president Yanjun He.

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