Florida International University Tianjin Center
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The Florida International University Tianjin Center is a campus of Miami, Florida-based Florida International University (FIU) located in Tianjin, in the People's Republic of China, from which a branch of the FIU School of Hospitality & Tourism Management operates. The center was constructed as a cooperative venture with the local municipal government and the Tianjin University of Commerce ("TUC"). The venture was entered into in October 2003, and the institution was opened in the Summer of 2006.
In 2002, the Tianjin Municipal Government invited Florida International University to establish a partnership with Tianjin University of Commerce. The mission was to prepare Chinese students to successfully manage in the global Hospitality and Tourism industry. In May 2003, both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Miami, Florida. In May 2004, the official Signing Ceremony took place in Tianjin, PRC. Within the same month, the Ground Breaking Ceremony was marked by representatives from both Universities shoveling sand on the Foundation Stone. Construction was completed in 2006 and the FIU/TUC Ribbon Cutting Ceremony took place in September of that year.
The full-time, Tianjin based FIU faculty who teach in the Tianjin Center were Chinese business professors who began attending FIU in Miami in 2004. They spent 18 months with the Miami faculty and received a master's degree in Hospitality Management from FIU in 2006. In addition, each semester members of the Miami faculty teach at the Tianjin Center.
The centerpiece of the campus is a 20-story housing facility which rises from the center of a long, crescent-shaped wing of a four-story academic complex, which combines with other wings to form a closed oblong structure. Housing is sufficient to accommodate the center's student population of 1,000, faculty apartments and U.S. student dorms. The 45,000 square meter structure sits on 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land. The structure features a 500-seat auditorium, teaching kitchen, wine cellar, two 100 seat computer laboratories, a wine laboritory, eight case study rooms, and a dining facility.
Students who graduate from the Tianjin Center program receive two degrees, one from FIU and the other from TUC. All courses are taught in English. The school is open to FIU (Miami) students desiring to expand their educational experience to China.
The first class of 28 students graduated in April 2008, and all were offered employment by major local and international hospitality companies. 10 of those graduating students were accepted by leading graduate programs in the United States and Asia to further their hospitality education. 161 students were scheduled to graduate in April 2009, with 300 more students to be admitted as first year students to begin classes in August 2008. All of the students in the 2008 class were offered positions to support the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.