Kun Shi and the Confucius Institute are bridging the gap between China and the United States.
The Confucius Institute at the University of South Florida is helping students learn Chinese while submersing themselves into the Chinese culture.
“The USF Confucius Institute has numerous projects each year,” said Shi. “All are focused on supporting the Chinese language programs and facilitating cross-cultural understanding.”
The Confucius Institute has a culture center that has helped students get acclimated to Chinese language and customs. Students speak and interact in a Chinese environment with books, games and movies in Mandarin for them to use.
“It’s beneficial to use class materials in a more real context,” student Nabil Smith said. “You get to practice your Chinese on a more social level.”
The Confucius Institute holds many events throughout the year, including martial arts exhibitions, bridge competitions and Chinese New Year festivities. There are also plenty of scholarship opportunities for students and chances to study abroad in China, with all expenses paid.
“We have some really great events here at USF, including Chinese opera and different kinds of music events,” student Fang Kairen said. “There is even a Chinese competition for Hacky Sack.”
USF was the first university to have a Confucius Institute in Florida and it remains one of the best Chinese programs in the country.