DAHLONEGA - Two University of North Georgia (UNG) students each have received a $10,000 Chinese Government Scholarship to study in China for a year.
The scholarship, awarded by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), is given to only 10 students nationally from among the 400-plus AASCU member institutions.
Cody Bijeaux, a cadet, was happy to learn that fellow Chinese major Mark Stiles had received the award, but disappointed.
"Because they only offer 10 scholarships, my first reaction when I heard Mark got it was 'Man, that means I didn't get it,'" Bijeaux said. "I checked my email every day for notification and when I checked it a few hours after hearing about Mark, I saw 'Congratulations, you've been accepted' and I was ecstatic."
Bijeaux, a junior from Canton, and Stiles, a senior from Niceville, Fla., became interested in Chinese through UNG's immersive Summer Language Institute. Mark changed his major to Chinese from physics, and both students plan to continue their language studies in graduate school.
"At first my family was wondering why the sudden change and they were confused," Stiles said. "They're proud of me, especially when I told them about the scholarship and all the opportunities available to me. They understand what I can do with it."
Both previously studied in China through UNG's study abroad program, and are looking forward to spending an entire academic year at Zhejiang Normal University. Bijeaux also has a separate grant to study elsewhere in China this summer. Courses will be taught in Chinese and both hope to study another language