Brenau teaches courses at many locations, and it’s always exciting to meet colleagues from Norcross, Fairburn, Augusta or Jacksonville. But Brenau’s teachers in China are unlikely to be seen at faculty meetings on the historic campus. One of those far-away instructors is Mandy Bartell.
“I teach the 2+2 class that’s next in line to go to Gainesville,” Bartell said. “Studying at Anhui Normal University in Wuhu the first two years, and then completing the degree at Brenau, has generated an extraordinary level of excitement among the students.”
The class arriving in the fall of 2017 isn’t Bartell’s only one. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and counseling, a diploma in English as a second language instruction from St. Michael’s College in Vermont, and graduate study at Shanghai University in China, she has found teaching opportunities in multiple locations.
“I’ve done a lot of teaching at the Nanjing Foreign Language School of British Columbia Academy because that’s where my husband and I have lived for a few years,” she said. “But it’s a treat to make the short trip to Wuhu and work with the Anhui-Brenau class. This program opens an opportunity to them that my other students don’t have: an embedded stay in another country for a realistic period of time. Learning a language in the classroom is one thing, but following up by immersion in a country of native speakers makes the experience perfect.”
Bartell’s enthusiasm for language instruction is apparent immediately. Most recently, Rudi Kiefer visited her weekend course. The 2+2 students were already busy with Halloween costumes, which is not a Chinese tradition, and they performed a song together in English.
“They are eager to learn about American lifestyle and culture,” Bartell said, “but the upcoming stay at Brenau University is what most occupies their minds. The campus community can expect a very lively group when they come to Georgia next fall semester. We’re working on building the momentum for this, and the language base, right now here at Anhui Normal University.”