VIENNA — Thirty-eight students from China recently learned about Dorchester County’s pre-historic Native People when they visited the Chicone Village at Handsell on Indiantown Road. Five members of the Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance Board greeted the students and their summer faculty professors as part of a summer program for foreign students.
Salisbury University’s Intensive Study Abroad Program (ISAP) is a four-week long, summer educational program that provides international university students with intensive English language instruction and immersion experiences that reflect American life, history, and culture. The program’s theme is the “good stewardship” of our shared resources, environments, and communities—on the Eastern Shore and throughout the country.
Students practice their language skills both through formal English classes and in real-life settings through educational excursions and social activities with American students and families. They also meet local community leaders and attend informal, discussion-style lectures and workshops delivered by resident professionals on various topics.
At the Handsell site they were treated to a full-dress presentation by Daniel Firehawk Abbott, an NHPA Board member and researcher and designer of the newly-finished Chicone Longhouse. This replica of a Native dwelling is the first of a series of functional structures that will help the NHPA interpret the story of the original Chicone Village once located on this site. This partnership with Salisbury University is an example of the types of educational programs which the NHPA is hoping to develop through the Chicone Village Project.
Through the ISAP Program, students will visit and experience many sites of cultural, historical, and ecological interest, including various museums, farms, rivers, parks, and nearby educational and recreational attractions such as Handsell. Other sites visited will include Assateague’s National Seashore, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the Ward Museum, and the Ocean City boardwalk. On the weekends, they will tour New York City, Washington, D.C., and Williamsburg, Va.
This year’s 38 ISAP students and five faculty representatives hail from three major Chinese institutions: Xinhua College of Sun Yat-sen University, Tianjin University of Education and Technology, and Anqing Normal University.