On Thursday, July 6, 2012, Beijing Review ‘s Ms. Wei Huang, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the North American Bureau based in New York City, caught an early flight from NYC to Asheville North Carolina. Beijing Review is China’s national English news weekly; featuring, in English, world & China news on business, science, technology, health, etc.

Upon landing in Asheville, Ms. Huang toured through downtown Asheville most of Thursday afternoon, and continued checking off notable attractions the following day. Of course, many of the well-known, and heavily promoted tourist destinations were part of the plan, but there were also special efforts made to visit unique locales representing Asheville’s characteristic  Appalachia /culinary artisan ethos.

After a Salmon & Shrimp Molcajete lunch at Salsa‘s, reminding Ms. Huang of a Chinese hometown favorite dish of 火锅 (Huo Guo – Hot Pot) and a lavender honey liquid truffle dessert at French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Ms. Huang headed out to Warren Wilson College for a stroll through the river trails and around the campus with long time Media Relations Director Ben Anderson.

Anderson discussed the most celebrated aspects of the College, including the Triad (Work, Service, Academics), and the rich history of the unique education model which dates back to the late 1800s.Warren Wilson College’s political science and history professor, Dr. Dong Ping Han, also met with Ms. Huang to discuss some of the Chinese events, and China trips he coordinates at the College.

A particular point of interest was in better understanding how international Chinese students are doing with the College’s Work/Service learning requirements. (It is widely known that many large U.S. universities and colleges recruit international students, with China an especially fertile area for recruiters, who pay astounding amounts of tuition to attend American universities, only to spend years on campus all but forgotten about, and utterly homesick. )

At Warren Wilson College, Chinese students work and engage with the campus and greater community just like any other student. In fact, visitors will see the College’s international Chinese students working at such jobs as the mail room, and finance dept. Not only does the Work program (for those who don’t know, the students practically run the entire campus) instill in students a sense of confidence, but it readies them for an extremely competitive world where every skill, and ounce of character distinction makes a measurable difference. In fact, approximately one in five Warren Wilson students go on to become entrepreneurs.

For further reading in the mainstream media on Warren Wilson, we recommend checking out this recent NYTimes article.