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
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!
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.
Going out with hometay sister.
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.
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.