Over break, Emporia State sent Robert Hart, theater instructor, to Zheijiang Normal University in Jinhua, China to teach drama and theater classes from Dec. 28, 2017 - Jan. 12, 2018.
“This was kind of a testing the waters, they wanted somebody to go over first and teach a few introductory classes and kind of network,” Hart said. “And see if there were students who were interested in coming over here in the fall.”
Robert Hart taught four different classes all relating to the theater. He taught Introduction to American Theatre, Professions in Western Theatre, American Musical Theatre and Introduction to Western Acting Techniques.
“We have a program started, we’re trying to get our first group of students for theater,” said Mark Daly, dean of international education. “And (Professor) Hart went over there, over Christmas break and taught an intensive class with them to try to get to know them a little better and give them a better idea of what ESU is like through being with him in a classroom.”
ESU is still waiting to receive feedback on student opinions and interest in these types of courses, as well as the potential of studying internationally at the theater department of ESU.
“The long-term goal is they would like to develop a two plus two program with this university in China,” Hart said. “Where they would send their students here for two years and then they’d spend two years there and end up with an international degree.”
ESU has already developed this type of program with Zheijiang Normal University involving the music program, however the work being done to involve students from the theatre department is still in the earlier stages, according to Daly.
“At Emporia State we see the possibility of bringing in more international students to be a big benefit,” said Jim Bartruff, director and theater professor. “For not only the number of students at the university but for providing our students from the United States, Kansas, and from the region, an opportunity to learn about other cultures.”