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


By Casey Mook

I came here with goals of improving my mandarin Chinese, to learn a new culture, and to try something new. After being with these new people who I never met before this thrilling experience, I see now that there are tons of kids just like me with similar goals and dreams. The only difference is we came from all over the U.S to do something truly amazing with a generous program.  I have seen and learned so much already not just about Chinese but their people. Now that I will be making Chinese friends every time I have dinner, it makes me excited for the good times and relationships that will be created for the future. This program can be seen as more than bringing kids to China to learn Chinese, but also as bringing people together to encourage diversity. Every time I leave the U.S.A. bubble of English and American culture I see the new faces that are three feet away from me every time I go to the dining hall. This program is not about individual people learning Chinese but about a large group of people coming together from different places and cultures to learn Chinese and create an everlasting bond. That’s why this program is about the people which is why every day I am happy to grow closer to each person near me, even the ones I haven’t met yet.

Today I woke up and the sky was the clearest I have seen since arriving here. The first model school day was today and I think I and most others can say they don’t have jet lag, so hopefully people won’t be falling asleep at 7 like I did every night so far. Its 8:30 now so this is a new record for me. My favorite food here or at least the thing I have eaten the most is like a chocolatey muffin and today for the first time they didn’t have it for breakfast. Besides that we got to do our interest group for the first time and tai qi fan was quite painful and fun, I don’t know what the other groups did but I know what they are. The other two groups are shadow puppets and long-sleeve dance. Today we learned what our warm up will be every day this week and also some technique that is slightly painful for the inflexible and weak. In culture Class we learned a lot about China’s culture and I understand how important it is for us to learn their culture and learn it well. Seeing how it is 9 and I am really tired and I want to sleep I still must be jet lagged so hopefully tomorrow will be the day that I don’t feel jet lagged.

Successful Launching of the 2015 UD-NSLIY Summer Institute of the Chinese Language and Culture in  China 

Funded by a federal grant ($280,500) from the US State Department and American Councils, the 2015 UD-NSLIY Summer Institute of the Chinese Language and Culture in China was successfully launched on June 29, 2015! The Confucius  Institute at UD, the sponsor of the 2015 UD-NSLIY, organized a Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) for 25 talented American high school students who were recruited from a very competitive national selection process for the prestigious NSLIY Scholarship program. Coming over from the  states including California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, West  Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Washington, DC, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oregon, Missouri, Montana,   Massachusetts, and Alabama, the program participants, as well as some parents, received a carefully designed  Pre-Departure Orientation that provided information on various important aspects of the summer program  such as program overview and expectations, the structure of Chinese language immersion, tutoring sessions,  culture course and E-portfolio course, homestay, “Strive for Excellence” activities, Chinese language course placement test, discussion sessions on health, safety, security, sexual harassment,  cross-cultural communication culture shock, program textbook overview, Student Code of Conduct, as well as program Q & A Session.  One of the highlights of the PDO was a presentation by Dr. Carol Radomski of  the US Department of State, in  which she greeted the program participants on behalf of the State Department,  briefed them on the  history  of NSLIY, and discussed the significance of the NSLIY program, program goals,  citizen ambassador, people  to people diplomacy, cultural exchange programs,  cross-cultural  communication  and respect,  safety and  security  issues, etc. The two-day PDO activities, both informative and lively, and full of fun, familiarized  the students with the summer institute and prepared them well for the upcoming China trip. “I am excited about this program,” Leah Booher, one of the program participants, was quoted as saying. “And I am ready.”

For more photos of the PDO. Click here.

Chinese Corner and Chinese Movie Club at the CI

The Confucius Institute is proud to announce two programs to the general public for anyone who is interested in learning Chinese language through conversation or Chinese culture in movies : a weekly Chinese Corner and a bi-weekly Chinese Movie Club.

chinesecornerThe Chinese Corner program mainly focuses on conversations. It was first launched in January 2014 and just held its 35th session on the past Monday Feb. 23rd, 2015. The CI has decided to expand the program to more UD and community Chinese learners. Each session lasts about an hour and has either a topic, or a sentence structure, or a story-telling assignment for the participants to practice. Some examples of past topics include weather, directions, seasons, colors, geography, the word “了(le)”, “谁(who)”, “什么(what)”, “怎样(How)” and etc. We try to arrange individual Chinese native speakers as language partners for the participants. The current language partner and participant ratio is 1:2.

Chinese Corner program takes place on every MONDAY between 5:00 and 6:00 pm in the Confucius Institute Conference Room at 121 E Delaware Avenue. The next evetn day is Monday March 2. Space limit: 15 people.

screening-clipart-movie-clip-art-3The Chinese Movie Night program focuses on contemporary  Chinese culture through motion pictures (movies or documentaries).  Each session lasts about two hours with a brief background introduction at the beginning and a a discussion session after the movie. Example of choices of movies to be shown include many less popular in the western market but influential ones in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or the east Asia such as Ang Lee’s 1993 movie “The Wedding Banquet, Xiaogang Feng’s 2001 movie “Big Shot’s Funeral”。

Chinese Movie Club program takes place on every other WEDNESDAY from 5:00pm to 7:00pm in the Confucius Institute Conference Room at 121 E Delaware Avenue. The next event day is Wednesday Feb 25th. Space limit: 15 people.

Both programs are open FREE to the community. Since space is limited, registration at least two days prior to the event day is REQUIRED. Please direct all regitration to Mr. Ji Wu at wuji@udel.edu.

The US-China Student Forum

The US-China Student Forum is going on now on UD campus, with the participation of ten students from China, including five students from the East China Normal University and five from Xiamen University, and ten UD students.

The forum aims to advance cross-cultural cooperation, increase understanding and inclusiveness, and promote exchanges between students in both countries. The ultimate objective is to initiate dialogue across the Chinese and American cultures and deepen friendship between the two great countries.

Theme of the two-week program from April 28 to May 9 this year  is Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the Humanities. By studying a variety of topics of social and cultural significance, the forum discusses and debates the status of the humanities in the educational systems in China and the U.S., the importance of humanistic study in our increasingly technological workplaces, and the role of humanities education in an open society.

Participants will use hashtag #USChinaSF to post on Instagam.

This year’s Forum is sponsored by The Confucius InstituteCollege of Arts & SciencesInstitute for Global Studies, and Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures at the University of Delaware.

UDCI Kicks Off “China Forum” Series of Lectures This Week

The Confucius Institute at the University of Delaware is presenting its “China Forum” series of lectures on UD campus in coming weeks.


The inaugural lecture “Internet Development in China: Its Impact on Public Opinion” by Professor Yan Sanjiu, Dean of the College of Communication from East China Normal University will be held on Friday, Oct. 26 at 4:00-5:30 pm in Gore Hall 116.

第一讲将由华东师范大学传播学院院长严三九教授讲述“中国网络发展对公共决策的影响”。时间:本周五10月26日下午4点至5:30于UD Gore Hall 116进行。

The Third Annual University of Delaware-Peking University Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 5:00-6:30 pm in Sharp Lab 100. Professor An Pingqiu, General Director of the National Commission on Classics Editing & Research from Peking University will talk about “Wine Culture of China: An Important Aesthetic Tradition”.

第二讲将由北京大学中国古文献研究中心主任安平秋教授讲述“中国酒文化”。时间:下周二10月30日下午5点至6:30于UD Sharp Lab 100进行。

Both events are open to the public.