Confucius Institute Update June 2012 Edition

This year has seen the CI continue to deliver on its promise to offer a comprehensive range of educational and cross-cultural experiences for students and staff here at UQ, as well as the community. Here are some more highlights from the first half of 2012.

25 UQ students are heading off to Tianjin University

25 students from the faculties of Arts, Science, Engineering and IT at UQ are to embark on the 3rd Research Internship study tour this July.

During the tour the UQ students will be attending classes in Chinese language and culture offered by TU, engaging in lab internships under the supervision of TU professors, and participating in other cultural activities. They will have opportunities to visit the Great Wall, Tianjin Planning Exhibition Hall, the Eco City, Tianjin Museum, and Binhai New Area. It is hoped that these activities will help give them a better understanding of the history, culture, and economic development of Tianjin, as well as China.

"Chinese Bridge" Language Proficiency Competition a success for UQ! Next stop: Changsha!

On 5 May UQ held the Queensland Preliminary Final of the "Chinese Bridge" Language Proficiency Competition. Representatives from UQ, QUT, Bond and Griffith competed in a diverse and exciting 7 hour competition. Representatives from the media and the Consulate General of China were present. The finalist, Christopher Kamp, and runner-up, Sophia Mansbridge, both from UQ, gave incredible performances much to the delight of the audience present. These two students will now be on their way to Changsha in July to compete in the world finals of the Chinese Bridge Competition. We wish them the best of luck and the hope of bringing a win for the University of Queensland.

Local high school students get a taste for China

Around 60 High school students from Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Queensland Academy of Science, Maths and Technology, Somerville House, St Paul's School, St Andrew's Anglican College, The Lakes College and Villanova College participated in the annual Taste of China visit to UQ.

Both the Confucius Institute together with the School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies held a number of activities on Friday 18 May which engaged and encouraged students to learn Mandarin Chinese. CI held special classes on Chinese tea and traditional paper cutting and students and teachers alike enjoyed the day immensely.

Confucius Institute sponsors first public lecture on Chinese history

The Confucius Institute was proud to have sponsored the first public lecture on Chinese History by eminent scholar and University of Washington Professor, Mr Gary Hamilton on May 25.

Professor Hamilton's topic was "Dressing up in China: Markets, Consumption and the process of self-representation". The lecture was very well attended by both domestic and international academics as well as the general public as part of an International conference on the History of Everyday life in Late Imperial and Modern China. A lively question time concluded the lecture. Gary Hamilton, in addition to being a Professor in the Department of Sociology and at the Jackson School of International Studies, is also Director of UW's Confucius Institute.

CI Welcomes two new teachers from Tianjin China

The Confucius Institute welcomes 2 new additions to its family here at UQ. Senior Deputy Director Professor Geoff Chen and Mr Zhang Wen Zhen both from Tianjin China joined UQ Confucius Institute in January and June respectively. Prior to working as Senior Deputy Director of Confucius Institute at UQ, he had been working as an associate professor at Tianjin University. His principal research interests are in the fields of micro/nano machining and metrology.

Mr Zhang Wen Zhen is the Chinese tutor at the Confucius Institute. Zhang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English for Science and Technology in 1987. He had translated the campus news from Chinese into English and performed in telecasts for Tianjin University CATV for five years before he studied a master program in Media, Development and Democracy at the University of Oslo. Prior to his current position at CI, he has worked as an Associate Professor and head of the English department at Tianjin University.

HSK Test held at UQ by the Confucius Institute

The HSK Chinese Proficiency Test examinations were held by the UQ Confucius Institute on St Lucia Campus on 19 May. Candidates from Brisbane and as far away as Western Australia sat for Level 3 to Level 6 tests respectively and spoken exams were also held.

The HSK test is universally recognised as the only standardized exam against which the Chinese language proficiency of all non-native speakers can be evaluated. It is the most commonly used test for selecting potential employees and students who have successfully demonstrated sufficient levels of language skills to work and study in China.

The UQ Confucius Institute will organise another HSK test for September 8 2012. Students interested are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Eager students participate in the Youth Chinese Test

The Confucius Institute held the Youth Chinese Test (YCT) for the second time at UQ on Saturday 26 May. Approximately twelve students from Brisbane's primary and secondary schools participated in four levels of the YCT. The students were both diligent and happy with their performance on the day.

Once again it has been an honour to offer the YCT this year and we we will be holding another YCT Test on Saturday August 28. Students are again encouraged to apply for this worthwhile exam.

Indooroopilly High School sends students on culture tour to China

We are delighted to have arranged a culture and language tour for students at Indooroopilly State School who along with their teachers will enjoy a 14 day trip to Tianjin, Beijing, and Xian this September. This tour will encompass intensive language training, lessons in history and culture as well as fascinating tours of the Forbidden City, Great Wall as well as a 2 day visit to the ancient city of Xian, home of the Terracotta Warriors.

This will be UQ Confucius Institute's first schools tour of China and we wish the group of senior high school students and teachers from Indooroopilly State High School our very best wishes and every success.

CI Receives Several Delegations from China

The first half of 2012 has been a busy period for visits to the UQ's Confucius Institute. In April this year CI had a delegation from Ningbo University headed by Vice President Wang Wen Bin. Ningbo University is seeking ways in which to build active student exchanges and collaborations between these two Universities.

We also had delegations from Beijing International Studies University, The International Confucian Association and visitors from Tianjin University who are have research collaborations here at UQ.

The Confucius Institute was also fortunate to have a special visit from the new Minister Counsellor for Education to the Australian Embassy in Beijing, China, Ms Cathryn Hlavka. Ms Hlavka is the former Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of New South Wales.

No Longer Lost in Translation—Tianjin Students enjoy course and experience life at UQ

In late January, the Confucius Institute welcomed 15 students from Tianjin University. The students were invited to visit UQ as part of the Intensive English and Translation and Interpreting Study tour jointly run by the ICTE-UQ and Confucius Institute at UQ. The students came from a variety of academic specialisations and spent a month at UQ.

During this time the students participated in intensive language and translation courses together with cultural and history lessons about Australia. There was ample opportunity to visit the many tourist regions of Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sydney. We were incredibly fortunate to have these students also participate in a number of Confucius Institute sponsored events for Chinese New Year. Feedback from this study tour has been very positive.