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UKCI Scholarships Aid Students’ Summer Education Abroad in Shanghai

The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute proudly awarded scholarships to14 students to support their participation in the UK sponsored summer education abroad program, Conversational Chinese at Shanghai University.

This 4-week Summer I course in China will take place May 12 to June 7. The students will learn Chinese in an immersion environment while living in the international student resident hall at Shanghai University’s Zhabei campus, located near the heart of the city.

“UKCI is delighted to be able to offer these students financial support and assist them in their preparation to travel to Shanghai,” said UKCI Director Dr. Huajing Maske. “The Institute is also very pleased with the number of students who applied for the scholarship and will be taking part in this great education abroad experience. It’s wonderful to see so many UK students interested in acquiring such an authentic Chinese experience.”

Students will receive six credits for this course, and will also participate in activities to deepen their understanding of Chinese Culture, which include calligraphy classes, partaking in Chinese tea ceremonies and exploring historic locations in and around Shanghai.

Freshman Jonathan Elliott says he believes that learning about other cultures is very important. In his pursuit of a degree in Economics coupled with his interest in China’s rich culture and language, Elliott sought an education abroad program that would meet his particular needs.

“I want to learn and experience in a setting where I can fully immerse myself in Chinese language, customs and thought; the Conversational Chinese course offered exactly that,” said Elliott. “UKCI has provided tremendous support to me, and without this scholarship, I’m not sure I would be able to take part in this educational experience. I also attend Friday supplemental Chinese sessions. The teachers have done a wonderful job of helping me to learn important phrases and dialogues that I haven't learned from my textbook.”

Hana Hafer – a freshman Biosystems Agricultural Engineering major – learned about this study abroad opportunity in her Modern Chinese and Culture Course.

“In Shanghai, I intend to work and study for six credit hours of Mandarin Chinese Language, which will count toward my Chinese Language and Literature minor,” said Hafer. “With my degrees, I plan to one day be an international business engineer. UKCI has made this dream and opportunity become a reality. Their and personal advice and this scholarship have enabled me to plan an incredible trip to China in a little over a month.”

Finance and Chinese Language major, John Burke says he decided to take part in the Conversational Chinese in Shanghai program to enhance his Chinese speaking and reading abilities. As a sophomore, Burke has utilized many of the resources UKCI provides, and has attended events that have helped him gain an appreciation for Chinese culture and the desire to learn more.

“I'm very impressed with how successful UKCI has been in comparison to other similar institutes around the country,” said Burke.

UKCI was able to offer these scholarships – totaling $15,400 – through the additional funding it received after being recognized as a Confucius Institute of the year for 2012. Students became eligible to receive this financial support upon registering and taking part in CI’s offering of the HSK test, which took place on March 14.

As tactic in support of the University’s goal to prepare students for leading roles in a global society, these monetary awards will provide the 14 recipients with a once in a lifetime educational opportunity in China. In addition, these scholarships greatly strengthens UKCI’s support of Chinese language programs at UK and is something the Institute hopes to offer for years to come.