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Western Technical explores international exchange opportunities

Kaitlyn Riley

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Western Technical College welcomed the chance for an international exchange program with Harbin University in China.

Western Technical College is looking to go global.

Representatives from Harbin University in China toured the school last week.

Associate dean of Integrated Studies at Western Tech Mike Poellinger said they are looking to develop an exchange program.

The goal is to have Harbin students complete their bachelor’s degree in three years and come to Wisconsin to enroll in a technical program, Poellinger said.

After gaining technical skills, they would return to China to complete their Master’s degree. In return, Western Tech would like to have its students enjoy an international exchange.

“We live in a global economy,” Poellinger said. “Many of our current district and local employers have relationships with companies in Asia and especially China. Having our students have that opportunity to explore the world brings a much better connection into Wisconsin.”

Poellinger added that it could help with the college’s recruitment. There is no set timeline when the exchange would begin.

WTC is also working with Germany to develop an exploration program.

Two faculty members from Germany will travel to Wisconsin this October to determine what the schedule would look like. They expect up to 20 German students to arrive next spring.


Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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