UD-NSLIY Xiamen Memories (Photo Video)

A short photo video highlighting the UD-NSLIY program while in Xiamen. Many of the pictures are shown for the first time on this blog. They learned. They laughed. They explored. And they’ll remember these wonderful five weeks and always be missed by their teachers, friends and homestay families in Xiamen.

Photo courtesy of the participants and chaperons.

UD-NSLIY Visited the Great Wall and the “Bird’s Nest” in Beijing

For thirty participants of the NSLIY program, riding a five-hour high speed train (average speed 185 miles per hour) from Shanghai to Beijing marked another eye-opening experience for them. They arrived at Beijing around 11 o’clock in the morning on August 10. The group will spend the last few days in Beijing before they come back to the United States.

In the afternoon, they visited the Wangfujing Streets, one of the capital’s most famous shopping streets.

In the morning on August 11, the group departed for the Great Wall. The participants all learned a famous poem by Chairman Mao Zedong: “One is not a true man until he or she gets to the Great Wall”. Upon arrival at the foot of the Great Wall, all participants got very excited and all climbed up to the top and hence claimed that they were all “true men”!

Juyongguan Pass of the Great Wall

The Great Wall

True Women! :)

In the afternoon, the group visited the “Bird’s Nest”, the Beijing National Stadium, home stadium of the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. They wrapped up the day trip with a shopping session in the most famous shopping district in Beijing, the Xiu Shui Street (Silk Street). Good prices and a variety of selections made the day for the participants.

The Bird’s Nest

Shopping in the Silk Market.

UD-NSLIY in Shanghai

On August 7th, the UD-NSLIY group visited several popular sites in Shanghai, including the Shanghai Museum of Sun Yat-Sen’s Former Residence, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center and the Yu Garden. They watched a show by the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe in the evening, which they enjoyed very much. Going through the modern sides and old-time places of the city of Shanghai, the participants now gained a much thorough understanding of the city and China.

The group in Yu Garden.

Underneath the Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong.

Inside of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

In the garden of the former residence of the Founding Father of China, Sun Yat-Sen.

Ready to enjoy the Acrobat Show.

UD-NSLIY Time to Say Goodbye

After spending 17 days and nights together, the students and their homestay families have established great friendship among each other. Love and caring are the key words to describe their time together. August 5th. It was the night before the NSLI-Y group left Xiamen for Shanghai. The UD-NSLIY program held a Farewell Party for all the participants and their homestay families.

The first part of the party was a buffet dinner. After dinner, more than 170 people, including families, friends and students, participated in the party to enjoy the performances from the participants.

The majority of the performances from the participants were in Chinese, including an adapted skit of “Snow White” and many other Chinese songs they learned. The participants were very talented and creative. Everyone enjoyed their performances very much.

More than 170 people joined the Farewell Party for the participants.


Delicious buffet dinner.


A Snow White story in Chinese.


A musical in Chinese.


Proud homestay parents and their children pose after the performances.

In the morning on August 6th, the Homestay families sent the participants to campus to depart for Shanghai. It was very hard to say goodbye. Tears, hugs and good wishes were in the air.

The group arrived at Shanghai at 3pm on the day, safe and sound.

Participants and their families say goodbye to each other.


Time to board the bus but we’ll keep in touch. Good Bye!

UD-NSLIY Participants Enjoy Time with their Homestay Families in Xiamen (Part 1)

For the the thirty participants of the NSLIY program, homestay is a brand new but exciting experience. The families that are hosting the participants work very hard to present authentic Chinese life styles to them. They treat their guests like a second son or daughter of their own. Here are some of the pictures shared from the families. Enjoy!

Bradley carefully plans out his next move in the card game he often plays with his host brother.

Si and Isaac prepare hand-made jiaozi (Chinese dumplings) with their host parents.

Angela visits a Confucian Temple near her host family’s hometown.

Emily and Anna show off their singing prowess at KTV, a kind of karaoke that has become extremely popular in China.

Si and Isaac stop for a quick photo with their host families in front of picturesque Xiamen.

Emily tries her hand at riding a tandem bike with her host sister in tow.

(From left to right) Cliff, Bradley, Kevin, and Angela pose with their host siblings during an evening stroll through the city.

Si and Isaac go for a few rounds of tennis with their host families at the court near their homes.

UD-NSLIY Participants Visited XMU’s Xiang’an Campus

In the early morning on July 31st, the UD-NSLIY group was invited by the President of Xiamen University Chongshi Zhu to visit the third campus of the University in Xiang An.

Xiang An campus is located in the Xiang An District of Xiamen City. Occupying an area of more than 600 acre with an investment of USD$600 million, the Xiang An campus nowadays is home to eight colleges, as well as the Southern Base of Confucius Institute Headquarters. Architecture style of the Xiang An campus resembles Xiamen University’s main campus. There are more than 5,000 enrolled students at Xiang An now and the number is expected to grow to 30,000 by the time that the university celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2021.

Group photo in fron of the Library on Xiang An campus.

Xiang An campus.

The NSLIY group visited the Library in the morning, had lunch in its students dining hall and went to the indoor swimming pool for a good afternoon of fun in the water. Even though Xiamen University is close to the beach, for safety and security concerns, students are not allowed to swim in the ocean by themselves. Therefore, the swimming session in the pool was a long expected treat to the students, especially in such a hot and humid summer afternoon in Xiamen.

In the Library lobby.

Checking out the library collections.

Students are waiting to retrieve lunch in the students’ dining hall.

Student Gym from the distance, where the indoor swimming pool is located.

Fun in the water

Fun in the water

Fun in the water

Fun in the water

UD-NSLIY Visits local Professional Training School in Xiamen

On July 28th, the UD-NSLIY participants visited Xiamen Industrial & Commercial Tourism School, a local professional training school equivalent to a high school.

Senior administrators of the school welcomed the NSLI-Y participants and staff. More than twenty students from the school joined the NSLIY group in the campus tour. They visited an experimental shopping center, student counselling center, calligraphy and painting art room and other places in the school. Participants watched demonstrations on how to make local appetizers and enjoyed tea ceremony performances. The NSLI-Y participants even showed off what they learned in the past weeks. They sang Chinese songs and performed dance together. Miss Coly even played an excerpt of the famous Chinese violin concerto “Butterfly Lovers”!

Participants and students in the school took photos in front of an aircraft model on campus before saying goodbye to each other at 5:00pm. It was a fun and engaging day!

Students are enjoying the traditional Chinese tea ceremony.

Learning the tricks of a tea ceremony.

Students learn to make dumpling skins in the kitchen.

Performances from the NSLI-Y students.

Coly plays the “Butterfly Lovers”. Beautiful violin!

Boys and girls!

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.

Medicure!

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.