PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Caterpillar Company, which makes tractors and other heavy equipment, is headquartered in Peoria, Illinois and students at the city’s community college, Illinois Central are getting training for work at Cat. Its site is Tianjin, China.

The Chronicle of Higher Education describes the students and the college as non-elite and the Midwestern city as ordinary. But, when Caterpillar contracted with the college to train dealers and distributors, it led to a permanent relationship with two Chinese colleges and opportunities for five students to go to China annually.

They travel, learn about the food and culture, live in dorms and instead of playing computer games on the bus, they take out their pens and notebooks and practice Chinese calligraphy while quizzing each other on vocabulary.

Most of the students are the first in their families to go to college and now, having learned Mandarin, have their eyes on the global economy. Study abroad programs are also offered at Community College of Philadelphia.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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