The Duke Kunshan Student Ambassador Council will host events this week—including information sessions, a lantern lighting ceremony and a yo-yo show—to promote awareness about opportunities at Duke Kunshan University.

Members of KSAC, a student group including students from Duke and DKU, will focus on providing insight and advice about the DKU student experience. Students will table in the Bryan Center to offer information on DKU and its study abroad program, and administrators from DKU will attend events to speak with potential applicants.

“I’d like to see people gaining some interest in DKU and potentially applying for the program,” said junior Justin Bryant, a member of the council. “We want to up the interest in the student body and community.”

DKU—which is a collaboration between Duke and Wuhan University— offers a semester-long visitor program to undergraduates in the Fall and Spring. Each semester is divided into two seven-week sessions, and students take two for-credit classes during each session.

Senior Tarela Osuobeni, co-chair of KSAC, said the division of the semester into two seven-week periods made classes easier because students were able to focus more intensely on the two classes they were enrolled in. DKU also does not have classes on Fridays, which allows classes with service learning components to travel off-campus.

DKU began accepting students in Aug. 2014, and Osuobeni was part of the first class of Duke students to attend.

“I thought this would be a time when a lot of attention was on us, and we as students would be able to have influence on what happens at DKU in terms of social life and academics,” Osuobeni said. “This was a great opportunity to have an impact on something.”

While at DKU, Osuobeni co-founded KSAC. She said that some of their first students’ impact included their advocacy for more student support resources. A nurse and doctor fluent in both Chinese and English were recently hired, as well as a Counseling and Psychological Services-style counselor, Osuobeni said. She said that student organizations are still developing.

Bryant said he organized an a cappella group called Shockwave during his semester at DKU. He noted that forming the group was a slow process. Everyone interested was accepted into the organization—and most of the new members could not read music or harmonize, he said.

“We started learning a lot about each other because we were communicating on a deeper level than just school work,” Bryant said. “We were all united in a common cause.”

Junior Ibanca Anand—who studied in DKU this fall—said the best part of her DKU experience was the unity in the student body and the diverse community.

The residential experience changed during DKU’s first few semesters. When Osuobeni attended DKU in its inaugural semester, students lived for half the semester in a hotel and half in single rooms in the campus’s conference center. Last semester, Anand lived in suites with three Chinese students.

Anand said the close quarters allowed American students to have a greater immersion in the culture instead of clustering with other students from Duke.

“China is one of those countries where if you go and don’t have that link to the culture, it’s very easy to put yourself on top of it,” Anand said. “Had I gone somewhere where it was all Duke students, I wouldn’t have actually gotten access to how they live their lives.”

The students noted that DKU has faced challenges during its expansion, but encouraged students to apply and get involved.

“It’s a project,” Bryant said. “It’s ongoing, but they’re very responsive as an administration. If you’re willing to put yourself out there and lead, there are opportunities for you.”