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Sichuan students bound for New York colleges
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The State University of New York will enroll 150 undergraduates from southwest China's Sichuan Province this autumn as part of the school's effort to help the quake-hit province.

All of the students have obtained their visas and will fly to New York on August 15, SUNY program coordinator Lin Wei said on Wednesday.

Twenty-two campuses of SUNY's 64-campus system are opening their doors for the next year to the Sichuan Province undergraduates.

The majority of the students come from 40 counties around Wenchuan, the epicenter of the quake, Wei said.

The young people, primarily sophomores and juniors, will study for two semesters as full-time students at SUNY state-operated and community college campuses.

"When they return to China, these talented men and women from diverse Chinese ethnic groups will help rebuild the local economy and infrastructure in the region impacted by the earthquake," SUNY said in a press release.

"We are pleased to welcome these students to our state university system and to ensure that there is no interruption in their college studies despite the tragic natural disaster," said New York Governor David Paterson, in a press release.

"SUNY will provide these students with valuable leadership training, which will help prepare them to return to China to assist with rebuilding efforts and the aftermath of the earthquake," he added.

The State University of New York has a long and "mutually productive relationship" with a number of Chinese universities, particularly in Jiangsu Province, said Carl Hayden, chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees.

"This initiative further strengthens SUNY's ties to China even as it provides desperately needed humanitarian support for students from Sichuan Province displaced by the devastating earthquake of last May."

(Shanghai Daily August 8, 2008)

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