UNC Center for International Understanding brings Chinese teachers to thousands across North Carolina
CIU Joins U.S. State Department at the American Embassy in Beijing
RALEIGH – North Carolina is one of only six states participating in an international conference on student exchange held in China this week. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to open the conference at a reception hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. The conference is called 3rd High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange and runs May 3-4. Its goal is to strengthen ties between the citizens of the United States and China in the areas of culture, education, sports, science and technology, and women’s issues.
Center for International Understanding (CIU) Executive Director Adam Hartzell and N.C. State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison will lead the N.C. delegation. They will highlight CIU’s Confucius Classroom Network, the first statewide network of Chinese language and culture programs in the country.
“North Carolina communities know that for us to succeed, education, policy and business leaders must be engaged in the world and our students and workers must have the skills necessary to thrive in the global economy,” Hartzell said. He noted that the invitation to attend the conference is recognition of North Carolina’s and CIU’s efforts to develop meaningful and effective exchanges with world partners.
Conference participants will discuss linkages between the U.S. and China to help prepare students to thrive in the global economy. The upcoming event builds on a March trip to China by a University of North Carolina delegation including President Tom Ross and members of the Board of Governors, led by Chair Hannah Gage. These efforts work in tandem to increase engagement with China, creating mutual exchanges of language and culture learning between North Carolina and China.
CONFUCIUS CLASSROOM NETWORK: Through CIU’s Confucius Classroom Network innovative school-to school partnerships operate between North Carolina and China. There are 27 CIU Confucius Classrooms throughout the state from Buncombe County in the west to Onslow County in the East. More than 2,500 North Carolina K-12 students are learning Chinese from 20 Chinese guest teachers. These guest teachers work in North Carolina schools and become a part of their host communities to foster an understanding of both U.S. and Chinese language and culture.
WHY CHINA: North Carolina has strong and important connections with China in business as well as
education. Here are some highlights:
· China is N.C.’s second largest export market
· 14% of N.C. agricultural exports go to China
· More than 9,600 N.C. college students studied abroad 2010; China was their most popular non-European destination
Joining Hartzell and Harrison at the conference will be two CIU staff members, Matt Friedrick, Director of K-12 Education Programs; and Brian White, China Programs Assistant. All travel costs for the North Carolina delegation are paid for by hosts in Beijing.
California, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont are the other five states participating in the event.
ABOUT: The Center for International Understanding promotes awareness, expands understanding and empowers action through global education. Its programs for business, policy and education leaders aim to make North Carolina the most globally engaged state in the nation. Founded in 1979, CIU is part of the University of North Carolina system.
For more information on the N.C. Confucius Classroom network, please visit our website:
(Raleigh News and Observer) The Confucius Classroom program, sponsored in part by the Chinese agency Hanban and managed by UNC's Center for International Understanding, has helped dramatically increase the number of North Carolina K-12 students learning Chinese. http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/09/10/3183879/chinese-guest-teacher-program.html