UD-NSLIY Participants Moved into Homestay Families

It was 10 o’clock in the morning on July 20th. It was the time for the NSLI-Y participants to meet their homestay families! They’ll stay the next two weeks in the homestay families and experience authentic Chinese life styles! The homestay families were total strangers to them but they would be their closest “parents” or “siblings” while in China. What would they say to their Chinese families when they first met? The students were excited yet anxious.

Dr. Jianguo Chen, Director of the NSLI-Y program started to call the names of participants and their matching families to come up to the stage and introduced them to each other. After the first meeting, the students would go home with the homestay families.

Homestay families are anxiously waiting to pick up their American children.

Dr. Chen introduced the students to homestay families.

For the NSLI-Y participants, a free afternoon with the homestay families were much valued and well spent. The Chinese parents have prepared lunch for their hosted students and many kinds of activities. The participants enjoyed an afternoon playing ping-pong, practicing calligraphy, going shopping, or going out to local restaurants. They all had fun.

The chaperons of the NSLI-Y program have established a virtual network via WeChat to share information about the participants and their need on time. 30 families can ask questions or share photos easily with the chaperons and among all families. (Photos below are provided by the families).

Hanging out with homestay brothers in the city.


Playing Ping-Pong.

Going out with hometay sister.

Learning calligraphy.

UD-NSLIY Participants attended concert

The NSLIY staff and participants were invited to join a concert of the Xiamen University Faculty and Students Art Troupe in the evening on July 15th. The Concert was held in the Music Hall in the College of Arts. More than 200 people attended the event, including Mrs. Zhiping Hu, Deputy Director of Hanban, Mrs. Xinli Zhan, Vice President of Xiamen University and 40 Directors and Co-Directors of the Confucius Institutes around the world who are currently attending a Confucius Institute Conference on XMU campus.

All performances were wonderful. Performers included artists, faculty and students from the College of Arts of XMU and students from other colleges. This was the first time that the students watched authentic Chinese art performances. They were very impressed by the performances and all commented in Chinese:” I like the show very much!”

Chinese instruments performance “Walking on the Alley”.

Peking Opera with Pipa “The Drunken Beauty”.

Performances from artists and students of XMU.

Group picture with the performers.

UD-NSLIY Dumpling with the Directors

Thirty teenagers who probably have never cooked food before would make Chinese dumplings from scratch and eat them.

This may sound a little bit intimidating to parents but it is what really happened. It was the “Dumpling with the Directors” activity for the UD-NSLIY participants on July 13th.

Classes finished at 5:00pm. All students gathered together at the Dining Hall in Cai Qingjie Building. Staff at the Dining Hall have prepared dumpling doughs and the stuffings to make the dumplings.

To make a dumpling, first, one needs to use a rolling pin to flatten the dough. Second, make dumpling skin using the flatted dough. Third, put the stuffing into the skin and wrap around it. The last step is to boil the dumplings in hot water which will be done at the kitchen.

The most interesting part was, the students were going to eat what they made!

Lead Chaperon Mrs. Wang teaches students how to wrap the skin.

Students are learning how to make dumplings.

The steps sounded challenging but all students were very motivated to make the perfect dumplings for themselves. The dumplings turned out to be in various kinds of shapes but they were all REAL HANDMADE DUMPLINGS!

And most importantly, they tasted very good! Everyone got very excited to have eaten a piece of food that they made for themselves.

My dumplings taste better than anything else in the world!

Sharing the dumplings with Chinese students in the dining hall.

After the dinner, students helped clean up the tables. “They are all good kids”. The teachers and the chef commented.

Cleaning up the mess.

So proud and so happy.

UD-NSLIY Participants Visited Fujian Tulou

On July 12, the NSLIY group left the urbanized city of Xiamen in the early morning. After more than three hours of bus, the group arrived at Nanjing County of southeastern Fujian, where the famous World Heritage site, the Tulous are located.

A tulou is a unique residential architecture in Fujian, China. It is usually a large, enclosed and fortified earth building, most commonly rectangular or circular in configuration, with very thick load-bearing rammed earth walls between three and five stories high and housing up to 80 families. Each Tulou structure resembles a small fortified city.

Among many of the Tulou structures in southern Fujian, the NSLIY group visited the Hegui Lou, located in Nanjing County. It was built more than two hundred years ago in the Qing Dynasty in 1732. It spreads out to occupy 1,547 sq. meters (0.38 acre) of land. It is the tallest rectangular Tulou in Fujian with five storeys and was built on a swamp. After more than 200 years, it is still well preserved. Hegui Lou was inscribed in 2008 by UNESCO with many other Tulou buildings in Fujian as World Heritage Site, as “exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization [in a] harmonious relationship with their environment”. (Wikipedia)

The NSLIY group visited the Hegui Tulou.

The participants are about to enter the Hegui Tulou.

Inside the Tulou.

The group visited the Yun Shui Yao Villiage, named after a romantic movie “The Knot”, a 2006 Chinese film. The movie was filmed in the small village originally named Chang Jiao, later renamed because of the movie. It is a beautiful rural village in the mountains and among creeks. All participants had fun experiencing a beautiful relaxing afternoon in the village.

Yun Shui Yao Village

Yun Shui Yao

Yun Shui Yao village.

Group photo at Yun Shui Yao Village

Farmers from the USA. :)

Photos by Jianjun Huang, Kuangbin Fan.

UD-NSLIY Learning Through Playing

July 11th, 2014. Today the UD-NSLIY participants had another relaxing yet rewarding afternoon.

1:30-2:30 pm. The students learned one form of martial arts – the Long Fist, aka Chang Quan. Now they looked like real martial arts masters!

Learning Chang Quan, a form of martial arts.

2:35-3:30pm. The Interest Group activities today included Chinese origami and various Chinese chesses, such as Chinese War Chess, Hop Chess, the simplified Game of Go (Weiqi) and etc. Students might choose the activities of their interests. Some of the students even made vivid lotus out of regular paper!

Chinese Hop Chess

The Game of Go (Weiqi).

Chinese War Chess

Beautiful lotus flower made out of paper.

3:35-5:00pm. It’s time for the Chinese tutoring. Volunteers from Xiamen University helped the students review their lessons from the classes in the morning and work on their assignments. (In the following day, more students’ home assignments will be posted. I would say, their Chinese is very good!)

Student tutoring session with a Xiamen University volunteer.

5:05-6:00pm. It’s time for the “buddy activities” with another ten students from the Xiamen School of Information Technology. Today they brought two new games. The first one was called “Woodpeckers in Action”. The player puts a straw in his/her mouth and passes a rubber band with the straw to the next player. The group who can pass the most rubber bands within a given time period wins. Today the first place went to group six, the Thunder Duckys: Christine, Hannah, Anna, William and Jessica.

Woodpeckers in Action.

The second game was called “All As One”. A group of players hold their arms in the back and sit on the floor. As the game starts, the group has to support each other to stand up without letting go anyone’s arms. The fastest group wins. Today group two (Si, Rebecca, Olivia, Kevin, Bradley) and group five (Jake, Coly, Helen, Danielle and Karen) won.

All As One.