UWF Opens Chinese Language Program
The University of West Florida joins the ranks of universities in over 90 countries around the world in hosting a Confucius Institute, a language program affiliated with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The program is intended to support the study of Chinese language and culture at universities throughout the world. Kuiyuan Li is director of the UWF Confucius Institute.
“Basically, it offers Chinese language classes for locals, for our students and for local citizens,” Li said. “People think this is a hard language to learn. Actually, it’s not. There are 1.4 billion people speaking Chinese. So, how can it be so hard?”
Nearly 320 universities throughout the world participate in the program. Over 70 are in the United States. Chinese level I will be offered at UWF in the fall through the institute both online and on campus. High school and college students will also have the opportunity to study in China for two weeks through the Confucius Institute.
“We also cover their local expenses—tuition, room, board, medical insurance, local transportation. They can go there and visit three cities. All they need to pay is the international flight, from here to Beijing and Beijing to come back,” Li said.
The Confucius Institute will bring two instructors from China to teach the courses this fall.
“Those instructors will be supported by the Chinese Ministry of Education, so it will not cost us much,” Li said. “Their salary, their travel expenses, their room/board here, their local expenses, all covered by Chinese Ministry of Education.”
The opening ceremony for the UWF Confucius Institute will take place on May 2nd at the UWF Music Hall. 25 professors from Northwest Normal University will perform Chinese music and dance. Another performance will take place on Saturday, May 3rd at 11am at NAS Pensacola. The event is open to the public.
Katya Ivanov, WUWF News