http://www.maritime.edu/l2.cfm?page=95&news_id=1575 For the second year, Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets and Shanghai Maritime University (SMU) cadets will travel to the reciprocal institution to enhance their educational experience through cultural immersion. In the spring of 2008 the Vice President of Shanghai Maritime University, Professor Jin Yongxing, paid a visit to all the U. S. maritime academies, while touring each school he invited their presidents to attend the grand opening of the new SMU campus in Shanghai. MMA President, Admiral Rick Gurnon, initially declined the invitation but during V. P. Jin's visit, they had extensive conversations on a possible cadet exchange program. Although formal exchange programs were proposed and investigated many times in the past with different countries (UK, Egypt, Turkey, etc) the complexities of MMA's unusual schedule and a winter sea term, coupled with the rigors of our academic calendar and the additional U. S. Coast Guard license requirements had always prevented any agreements from being executed, Gurnon recalled. During that day long visit, VP Jin and I were able to resolve every problem we discussed: language, cultural differences, cost differences, visas, timing and living accommodations, the Admiral continued. Leaving nothing to chance, Admiral Gurnon, Trustee Paul Kelly and MMA Professor Qi Chen (Shanghai native) did travel to SMU to attend the grand opening and check everything out first hand. They were all impressed with what they saw. SMU consists of twelve colleges, 16,000 full-time students and 110 professors. It has graduated over 50,000 students and has been honored as a cradle of international shipping specialists. So, in the spring of 2009, ten Chinese cadets arrived at the Academy for that academic semester. The ten MMA cadets that hosted the first Chinese contingent will now travel to SMU on March 3, 2010 and will return to the U.S. on June 10, 2010. The program is a true exchange with all cadets paying their normal tuition, room, board and fees to their own college, reported Lt. Rory Deegan, MMA's Foreign Exchange Officer. We look forward to our returning cadets having some fascinating stories to share come June!