The Presenter’s Letter: Studying at CUC——the Chinese Dream of Confucius Institute Scholarship Students By Dr. Pang Zengyu

Author:     2019-03-01

Dr. Pang Zengyu: CUC professor and doctoral supervisor; director of the Management Office of Confucius Institute; director of the library at CUC.

Established especially by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), the Confucius Institute Scholarship is designed to support the development of Confucius Institutes, promote the international spread of Chinese language and culture, and train qualified Chinese teachers. 

The International College of Chinese Studies at Communication University of China was established in 2007. It was renamed College of International Chinese Education in 2012. In 2014, it then merged into the Faculty of Literature & Law, and was renamed Center of Chinese International Education. Since 2009. we have been recruiting students for the Masters of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (MTCSL) program. The first recipients of this degree were scholarship students of the Confucius Institute.

In 2009, the scholarship students of CUC attended the first and only opening ceremony held by the Confucius Institute Headquarters for scholarship students. Melanie, a US student, made an excellent speech on behalf of scholarship students from all over the world, conveying her own voice as a scholarship student from CUC on the stage of the Confucius Institute Headquarters. Also, People's Daily Overseas Edition made a special report of this activity. Since then, the recruitment and cultivation of our scholarship students has developed steadily, forming a three-level system by adding undergraduate education and visiting student education to the base of the MTCSL program. This system mainly includes one-year education, one-semester education, one year plus postgraduate education, and the postgraduate and undergraduate programs of international Chinese education. Nowadays, many graduates are already working overseas to promote Chinese language and culture.

Half a century ago, a well-known scholar Qian Zhongshu said in Tan Yi Lu that although there is a great diversity of territory, culture, language, social environment and customs between China and other countries, basic human thoughts, emotions and aesthetics remain the same. Of course, due to different cultures and living environments, there are indeed some differences among our commonalities. 

When the phrase Chinese Dream became a buzzword in China, carrying the dreams and expectations of the Chinese people, overseas students at CUC, who deeply love Chinese language and culture, also had a strong sense of recognition and unique feelings towards the Chinese Dream. So when we held the essay activity for the Chinese Dream topic, we received many positive responses from our students.

Wang Xiaotian is from Egypt and has a profound love for Chinese language. He said, “In China, I represent Egypt. But when I go back to Egypt, I represent China!” He plans to interview 100 Chinese people about their dreams and take them to Egypt, hoping that every Egyptian can have their own dream, too. Indian student Li Weishu came to China for his love of Chinese women’s volleyball. During his time at CUC, he was the backbone of the CUC men's volleyball team. His dream is to learn sports medicine so that he can one day become the team doctor for the Chinese women’s volleyball team. Zhang Yue from Thailand has been a big fan of Teresa Teng since childhood. She dreams of one day marrying a Chinese man and settling down in China. American student Shen Yiming use to be a university English teacher. His fascination with Chinese language and culture led him to pursue a master's in international Chinese education. In his eyes, the ability to speak fluent Chinese and read Chinese characters means a promising future. Finally, Ming Hao form Uzbekistan hopes to teach his fellow country mates Chinese language, as well as the 5,000 years of Chinese history. 

Therefore, we have established the column Studying at CUC on our university website, hoping to provide a platform for our overseas students, so that they can use Chinese and their native languages to express themselves on both the Chinese and English versions of the website. During the autumn semester of 2016, CUC recruited 45 scholarship students. They were all recommended by their local Confucius Institutes and after a series of strict examinations and selections. They included including visiting students, undergraduates and postgraduates from nearly 20 countries, including Italy, Canada, Egypt, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the Republic of Congo, Thailand, Korea, Serbia, Brazil, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Mongolia. 

The first topic of the Studying in CUC column is The Chinese Dreams of Confucius Institute Scholarship Students, and will focus on publishing Chinese Dream essays written by our scholarship students. We sincerely hope this essay activity will be like the first swallow in springtime, with others to follow, and that the column will become a place where overseas students can express their heartfelt feelings. Dear overseas friends, please remember that CUC is forever your home in such a big world, and that Studying at CUC can be your spiritual homeland!

Finally, scholarship student Shen Yiming wrote a song titled Studying at CUC. Let's sing it together:
We come from many different countries
We all study at Communication University of China
[List of different countries]
You are my neighbor
I am your brother
We are family
This song can remind every student 
While studying in China, you shouldn't feel lonely
You're not the only one on the road
If we encourage each other
We will never give up

Never give up!

   Edited By: Yang Jiawen