UWF students explore China

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go site Twelve UWF students visited China this summer for the first time in UWF history through a program funded by the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing, China. Students were afforded the opportunity to explore and go sightseeing in Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu and Shanghai, and attend Chinese language classes at Sichuan International Studies University (SISU) in Chongqing.

http://seekoffshore.com/?x=canadian-viagra-online-pharmacy All travel, boarding, meals, cultural trip expenses, classes and textbooks were covered by the scholarship from the Confucius Institute. Students were only responsible for round-trip airfare.

new drug like clomid for men On May 12, the students departed from the states and arrived the next day in Beijing, where they were escorted to their lodging at the China University of Geosciences International Hotel.

While in Beijing, students were accompanied by a guide who escorted them to the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Confucius Institute, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

During their last day in Beijing, students traveled to see the Summer Palace and the Great Wall. After three days in Beijing, students flew to Chongqing and spent 10 days there, making it the largest part of their two-week trip. While in Chongqing, students took Chinese language classes at SISU and visited historic sites, cities and museums such as Hongyadong, Ciqikou, and the ancient Buddhist rock carvings in Dazu.

“One of the most memorable parts of my experience in Chongqing was the culture shock,” Matthew Todd said, a senior majoring in International Studies. “Not just in the way they do things, but also because of their beliefs.”

For instance, at SISU, Todd says many of the students’ classmates were from different countries that look down on homosexuality, and in some cases it is illegal and punishable by death in their country.

“I felt like I was stepping back into the closet and hiding my sexual orientation after finally revealing myself to my friends and family at home,” Todd said. “I didn’t want my classmates to ignore me or outcast me while I was alone in a different country, so when they asked me questions like where my girlfriend was, I just played it off or changed the subject. That experience has made me happy to say I am from a country that is so accepting of people of different sexual orientations.”

During their stay in China, students also took the HSK, a Chinese language assessment test. All participants passed and received certification in the Chinese language.

“It’s a great resume builder because it puts them a step above all other applicants for any job they may apply for,” Roslyn Brown said, administrator for the Confucius Institute on campus. “It is also very helpful to the students in their careers because most of them that went on the trip are International Studies majors.”

Before departing from Chongqing, students boarded a bullet train to the city of Chengdu where they spent the night. While there, students had the opportunity to visit the Chengdu Panda Base, the world’s largest housing of pandas, before returning to Chongqing.

Back in Chongqing, students took a short flight to their final destination: Shanghai. Here, students were able to explore more of the modern side of China as well as more historical sites such as the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Bund area and Shanghai People’s Square Museum.

In order to qualify for this opportunity abroad, students must take and pass at least one semester of a Chinese language class at UWF. A maximum of 20 students may participate in this trip each summer.

CHI 1100 (Chinese I) is offered every semester from 4 – 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 11 – 11:50 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. CHI 1101 (Chinese II) is offered every semester from noon to 12:50 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“I want students to know about this program because so many of them choose to take Spanish or French, and then they get to travel to those countries but they have to pay thousands of dollars to go,” director of the Confucius Institute Dr. Kuiyuan Li said. “If they take Chinese language, not only will it give them leverage in an applicant pool for a job, but they get to explore another country almost completely for free.”

For more information on scholarship opportunities and/or classes please contact Dr. Li at (850) 474-2287 or kli@uwf.edu.