The Student Bridge Cohort

Lehigh University Chinese Bridge Project - image of Shanghai

The importance of understanding China and Chinese culture is essential to the future of the United States and to the careers of young people today. One of the primary aims of the Luce Foundation funded grant for the Chinese Bridge Project was to attract a broader spectrum of students into Chinese studies than is traditionally the case. For this reason, the Lehigh Chinese Bridge Project engaged students in the study and design of a Chinese bridge for the Lehigh campus, a project that attracted students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), Art and Architecture, as well as other students more typically aware of the importance of Asia, such as students in Asian Studies and business.

Students had the option to take a series of courses that resulted in a 16 credit Asian Studies minor. These courses occurred on campus and in China during the Lehigh in Shanghai Internship Program/Bridge Workshop. For the two years of the bridge project, special workshops in Shanghai and a weeklong Beijing study program were added to the program. The workshop in China  also included travel to sites famous for bridges, gardens, and pavilions. Although the student bridge cohort was a specially selected group, the study abroad program and courses on campus were open to all students. 

While a regular Asian Studies required only 16 credits of any ASIA courses (possibly including 8 credits of Chinese or Japanese language), the Bridge Cohort was encouraged to engage in specific courses that not only introduce them to Chinese language and culture but also to the final project of designing a bridge, garden, and pavilion.

Asian Studies Minor Requirements (suggested for Bridge Students):

Recommended Chinese language study
Lehigh campus:

   Survival Chinese (2 credits) [every Spring]
   Beginning Spoken I (2 credits) [every Fall]
   Beginning Spoken II (2 credits) [every Spring]
        (and/or any other Chinese courses depending on the student’s language ability)
Chinese Language and Culture Abroad I, II, III, or IV (new) (3 credits) [every summer]  


Asian Studies Courses

Recommend Courses in English:
Lehigh campus:

   Digital Bridges (2) [Spring, Fall 2011]
   Explorations in the History of Chinese Science and Technology (4) [offered Spring 2012]
   Chinese Civilization course (4)                [offered Fall 2011]
   East-West Studies: Theory & Practice (6)   [offered Spring 2011]

   Chinese Culture in a Multinational Workplace (3 credits) [every 1st semester summer]
   Chinese Bridge Workshop (3 credits) [summers 2012, 2013]

Electives: ASIA courses given at Lehigh with a primary focus on China:
   Religions of China (4 credits)
   Social Issues in Contemporary China (4 credits)
   Understanding Modern China (4 credits)
   Film, Fiction, and Gender in Modern China (4 credits)
   Early Chinese Literature (4 credits)
   Chinese Fiction in English (2 credits)
   Immortal Images: Traditional Chinese Literature in Translation (4 credits)
   Love and Revolution in Shanghai (4 credits)
   Farewell to Revolution (4 credits)
   China in World Affairs (4 credits)