UD-NSLI-Y Highlights (the week of July 6-10, 2015)

A visit to Xiamen Foreign Languages High School

On July 9 the UD NSLI-Y students were invited to visit Xiamen Foreign Languages High School in Xiamen, China for a friendship Get-Together. They were warmly welcomed by the headmaster, the principle, and the students of this prestigious school in the area. A rich variety of cross-cultural activities were held including discussions on the importance of studying foreign languages, similarities and differences between US-China high school educational systems, and interactive buddies activities. The joyful gathering culminated in a joint performance at which students on both sides sang Chinese and American folk songs, danced Macarena and Cha-Cha, playing martial arts, giving piano solos, as well as a friendship basketball game.

Happy Get-together at Xiamen Foreign Languages School in Xiamen, China

Student Adrien Inman singing a Chinese song with his Chinese buddy

Let’s dance.

Program chaperon Kezhen Yang giving a Chinese folk dance demo

Friendship basketball game with students at Xiamen Foreign Languages School

“Green Drive” at Xiamen University in Xiamen, China

To help raise awareness for environmental protection, the NSLI-Y students organized a “Green Drive”, one of the three planned community service activities on the campus of Xiamen University on July 10. The students, in five groups, cleaned up the central campus around the beautiful Hibiscus Lake. The “Green Drive” was highly appraised by the campus community and became the focus of local attention.

Student Anna Williams was cleaning up the amphitheater by Hibicus Lake.

Student Isaac McCurdy was cleaning up a path around Hibicus Lake.

Student Stephan Pophristic was cleaning up a path around the lake.

“Green Drive” by the UD NSLI-Y students on Xiamen campus


By Samara Shuman

When I think of Chinese students, I think of hard-working, dedicated, and talented young people. After visiting the high school today, it is safe to say this statement is true, yet there is so much more.

Xiamen Foreign Languages High School is a school the size of an American town’s college, was so welcoming to all of us NSLI-Y students. From the beautiful Confucius statue greeting us and the local students lining up to say hello, we all immediately felt excited to be their guests. After a teacher’s translated speech, we had the opportunity to each introduce our home states, showing that we truly represent the U.S. as a whole. The Chinese students also went around and introduced themselves, along with the names of schools they have been accepted into, majors, club involvements, and grades. We were thoroughly impressed with all the talent in the room, ranging from students who were moving on to renowned colleges tovstudy Norsh (Norwegian), physics and other majors, to being “masters” of debate andvmodel UN clubs.

After the introduction, we had the opportunity to mingle with the students andvmeet our new “buddies”. I met Rachel, her preferred English name, and as we touredvaround together I got the chance to learn about Chinese high school and lifestyle.Due to the fact that Chinese students begin studying English when they are six years old, it is quite fair to say their English is far beyond our Chinese, or at least mine. Today I learned it is hard to practice Chinese with someone who wants to practice their English, and we ended up succumbing to demolishing the language barrier. As we walked around the campus, I learned the students have eight classes a day (each for forty minutes). They stay up until 12:30 am and awake at 7 every morning, and share one dorm between six students.

We ended the tour in the auditorium, where groups from NSLI-Y and the local students prepared some performances. Being apart of Group 5 (the best group), we started off the show. Originally I was to play my composition on the piano while my group members interpreted danced, but the dancing part didn’t end up happening. Oh, but don’t worry, we made sure that there would be plenty of dancing. I taught my group “The Wobble”, a well known dance that I learned from my brother, to go along with “The Cha-Cha” and “Macarena”, which the other groups chose as songs to dance to. It was a blast to get the whole student body to join, American and Chinese, to drop down some funky moves.

Official Opening of UD-NSLIY held in Xiamen University (XMU), China

On July 3,the official opening of the 2015 UD-NSLIY Summer Institute of the Chinese Language and Culture was held at Xiamen University (XMU), China. The ceremony was attended by the University’s senior administrators including Madam Zhan Xinli, Vice President of XMU; Mr. Mao Tongwen, Director of the Southern Base of Confucius Institute (CI) Headquarters and the Office of CI Affairs of XMU; Mr. Wang Binhua, Chairman of the College of Humanities Council; Prof. Li Xiaohong, Deputy Dean of College of Humanities; Dr. Jianguo Chen, UD-NSLIY Program Director and  Dr. Zhongmin Du, UD-NSLIY Program Co-Director from the University of Delaware.

College Council Chairman Wang who chaired the opening ceremony first extended a hearty welcome to the students who have travelled from afar.  VP Zhan delivered a welcome speech (in English). On behalf of University President Zhu Chongshi, she warmly welcomed the “Young American Ambassadors” and emphasized the important roles they could play in promoting US-China relations. VP Zhan pledged XMU’s full support for the UD-NSLIY program and wished the program a great success. Program director Dr. Chen introduced the background of the program and thanked Xiamen University for its generous hospitality. On behalf of the entire group, the NSLIY student representative Miss Leah Taylor gave thank-you remarks to Xiamen University and expressed deep appreciation for this great opportunity to get to know China first hand. After a publicity video of XMU, the students each greeted their Chinese teachers,  Chaperons and buddies, who in turn presented the students with gifts. The opening ceremony and the on-site orientation ended with group photo and ice-breaking sessions between the students and their Chinese buddies.

VP Zhan of XMU welcomed the UD-NSLIY students.

College Council Chairman Wang chaired the opening ceremony

In the afternoon following the opening ceremony, NSLIY students were treated to a stunning talent show put together by their Chinese buddies, including Peking opera, Chinese folk dances, paper-cutting, calligraphy, martial arts, riddles, and Chinese folk music instruments. The purpose of the show is to give the students a taste of Chinese culture and a better idea of what to pick for their interest group activity.

the opening ceremony of the 2015 UD NSLIY at Xiamen University, China

student representative Miss Leah Taylor giving thank-you remarks

student representative Isaac McCurdy greeting Chinese buddies

The afternoon’s excitement culminated during the Scavenger Hunt on campus, when students were divided into 5 groups and had to look for 6 venues that would be most relevant to their life and study during the six-week summer program at Xiamen University. Despite the heat of the summer, students were all enthusiastic and enjoyed the hunt tremendously.

XMU has been the host university for the UD-NSLIY since 2014. University President Zhu Chongshi has attached great importance to this prestigious NSLIY summer program. Last year he personally met with the NSLY students and invited them as his personal guests to visit XMU’s new Xiangan campus where the students were privileged to use its newly opened Olympic-style swimming pool. The 6-week summer program at XMU will embrace intensive Chinese language classes, lectures by Dr. Chen and other experts on China, visits to sites of historical and cultural interests, and a taste of Chinese culture through interest group activities.

Group photo in front of College of Humanities at Xiamen University