August 25, 2010
The Office of International Student & Scholar Services recently hosted 16 students from China as a part of the Learn & Earn Program, an exchange program through the Hamilton Holt School, East China University for Science & Technology, and Walt Disney World's International College Program. The program participants spent their first 10 days at Rollins, completing an orientation program organized by the Office of International Student & Scholar Services.
Experiencing the Rollins College mission of “global citizenship and responsible leadership,” the program participants served as volunteers for the Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing, meals, and support for families of children undergoing treatment at local hospitals. The student volunteered as guest chefs, cooking up a traditional Chinese meal for the residents of Ronald McDonald House.
“They all expressed great interest in our efforts and incredible determination to make the best meal ever!” said Rebecca Gorchoff, a graduate assistant in the Office of Community Engagement. “As they finished preparing the meal, families began to stroll in to the kitchen, drawn in by the amazing smells of ginger, soy sauce and dumplings. They were truly blown away by the meal, some saying they had never had Chinese food before. We thanked the students for introducing us and the families to their culture, and they expressed gratitude for the opportunity to give back.”
“This year's community engagement project for the Learn & Earn Program orientation was an amazing experience for all,” said Direct of International Student & Scholar Services Jenifer Leon. “We exposed the students to the concept of community engagement from the U.S. perspective, provided a valuable service to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House, shared both U.S. culture with the students and provided a space for them to share their culture with us and the local community.”
The Learn & Earn Program participants will spend the remainder of the five-month program residing in Disney-provided housing, completing a full-time course schedule, and working internships at Disney theme parks and properties.