NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Several Stephen F. Austin State University students enrolled in the Department of Elementary Education and an international business student will study abroad for 18 days in Beijing and Nanjing, China, this May and June. Drs. Wynter Chauvin and Tingting Xu, SFA elementary education faculty members, are coordinating the trip and courses.

While overseas, the 12 participating students will observe and compare different systems of education at the elementary and middle school levels as well as visit the International School of Beijing. SFA students also will have the opportunity to develop their ESL skills by teaching English at the Nanjing University of Finance and Economics - something Chauvin said is unique to this trip.

In the morning, students will tutor university students in English, and in the afternoon, they will visit additional schools or participate in cultural events. Students will have a reflection and tutoring debriefing at NUFE in the evenings.

"We expect our students will be able to learn about different schools in China and accumulate some teaching experience, especially experience in teaching ESL students," Xu said. "This trip also provides our students with insights into Chinese culture and history."

Xu completed her undergraduate degree from NUFE, and her connection helped secure the university as a location for SFA students to practice their teaching. The university also will serve as the host school, and SFA students will live in dorms on campus.

"Living in the dorms and working with the NUFE students will help SFA students develop a better understanding of daily life in China," Chauvin said. "Students will have a unique opportunity to be a part of a local community instead of just visiting and observing."

The trip will include visits to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China, Ming tombs, Purple Mountain Park and more. To follow along, visit the class blog at

For more information, contact SFA's Department of Elementary Education at (936) 468-2904 or