NEW ROCHELLE, NY — As seniors make plans to head to colleges across the country, New Rochelle High School’s Rachel Darius will be making her way nearly 7,500 miles away to a new college program in Kunshan, China.
Darius, who began learning Mandarin in seventh grade, has been accepted at Duke Kunshan University, a partnership of Duke University and Wuhan University that offers a range of academic programs and conferences for students from China and throughout the world. Duke Kunshan is located in Kunshan in Jiangsu province, about 735 miles from Beijing.
Darius is an Ignite mentor at NRHS. She is also a member of the National English Honor Society and the National Mandarin Honor Society.
“New Rochelle offered me many opportunities to explore, and that gave me the confidence to branch out into a nontraditional path,” said Darius. “In the many clubs and teams that I joined, I saw my fellow students exhibiting great leadership skills. That made me think I could be a leader, too.”
Darius made her first trip to China during spring break in ninth grade. She loved the experience so much that she wanted to return to study. The Duke Kunshan program seemed like a perfect fit when she began applying for college.
Darius will spend her freshman and sophomore year in Kunshan, will return to Duke for her junior year, and wrap up her final year in Kunshan. Darius plans to major in Media and Arts as a Creative Practice. She will receive a degree from both Duke and Duke Kunshan University.