By Joseph Diaz
April 24 marked the Confucius Institute’s “Confucius Institute Day,” an event that anyone could attend to learn about scholarship and travel opportunities offered to those learning or interested in Chinese.
“We have been doing the Confucius Institute Day annually for a couple years now. We hope to let people know about all the opportunities offered to those who are interested in learning Chinese,” Yuhua Cui, Chinese teacher and event coordinator at the CI, said.
The HSK Chinese language proficiency test is one topic that was discussed at the Confucius Institute Day. The test has six different levels that can be taken. Students wishing to travel to China to study need to pass level 4.
“Passing the HSK will allow you to pick from any of 150 colleges in China. It also allows you to apply for scholarships from Hanban and other Chinese organizations,” Cui said.
Passing an HSK test with a score of over 180 at level 5 opens even more opportunities to students. Those who pass level 5 with a sufficient score are able to take and even complete their Ph.D. research at a Chinese university, with the opportunity of receiving their degree from both the Chinese university and their home university.
Summer trips to China were also talked about at the event. There is an annual two week trip to Beijing in the summer in which applicants get to learn Chinese and experience Chinese culture, with the option of traveling to Shanghai or Xi’an at the end of the trip. Anyone can apply for the summer camp, and everything aside from the airfare is free.
“The age limit is 18-26, but you don’t even need to know any Chinese to apply. They will put you in a class that matches your skill with Chinese. One of the best parts of the trip is getting to experience not only the language but the Culture of China,” Cui said.
The “Confucius Institute Scholarship” is offered to non-Chinese citizens who wish to go into a career teaching the Chinese language. Undergraduate students who wish to apply must be under the age of 25. Registration for the scholarships is now available at cis.chinese.cn.
The CI offers resources and tutoring to those who wish to learn more about the language or to prepare for the HSK test.
“Chinese may be hard at first, but once you get the methodology of it all down it gets easier. We are here to help anyone who wants to learn more,” Yuan Tian, CI teacher, said.
One way to prepare for the HSK is to take one of the CI’s non-accredited courses at UAA.
“We don’t provide too much pressure when teaching these courses. They are meant to help you learn a pace you are comfortable at,” Yangkexin Liu, CI teacher, said.
For more information regarding the HSK test, or to take a practice HSK test, visit www.chinesetest.cn or go visit the Confucius Institute at Rasmuson Hall, Room 115. For more information regarding scholarships, email firstname.lastname@example.org.