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.
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 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.