Question
4 Sep 2018

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Question about English (US)

Q1:
What does "much less so far from home in the Gopher State" mean?
(I know Gopher State is Minnesota)

Q2:
What does "the American residency of the doctorate program?
I am confused about "residency of the program"..


Context>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
With a $7.3 billion fortune and business operations spanning the globe, Richard Liu could’ve spent the last days of August anywhere in the world. The JD.com Inc. founder chose to spend his time taking classes in Minneapolis as a student at the University of Minnesota.

Why was one of China’s most successful and recognizable business figures hitting the books at all, much less so far from home in the Gopher State? That is part of the mystery surrounding Liu’s days in Minnesota, where he was arrested for alleged criminal sexual conduct as the long Labor Day weekend got underway.

Liu, 45, is a student in the university’s Carlson School of Management and was in Minneapolis to complete the American residency of a U.S.-China business administration doctorate program. The course takes place mainly in Beijing with a singular cohort of students: the average age is 50, and many are captains of industry. Co-led by Tsinghua University -- the alma mater of Chinese leaders including Xi Jinping -- its graduates include the executive manager of storied spirits-maker Kweichow Moutai and the head of fintech titan Ant Financial.

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