Getting to Know China: The International Understanding Certificate Program

Getting to Know China: The International Understanding Certificate Program

By Lilian Rogers 

Year of China: Awaken the Past, Discover the Future presents an exciting opportunity for the community at the University of Kentucky to learn about the dynamic culture and history of China. Students at the University of Kentucky can engage with these issues on a deeper lever by participating in the International Understanding Certificate Program.  

The International Understanding Certificate Program was created to give students an outlet to respond to the variety of Year of China events that will be offered throughout the year. These offerings include art exhibits, museum displays, cultural performances, lunches with invited speakers, and community activities, all of which relate to China in some way. Students enrolled in A&S 100 Passport to China: Global Issues, Local Understanding—the film/lecture series being offered both semesters this year— may be particularly interested in participating in the program, though the program is open to all UK students. 

To participate in the program, students must attend ten events and then create responses that illustrate their reaction to the events. The reactions are intended to critically engage the student in the event and can come in the form of writing (blog posts, review essay, research paper), an artistic response (photographic essay, short story, play, visual art project), or another kind of project, such as recruiting fellow students to attend events or volunteering at the events.  Students are then required to submit a portfolio by April 20th, 2012 that compiles the ten pieces of scholarly, artistic, and/or community engagement work. Finally, students must participate in at least one evening event per semester to socialize with other students and faculty members interested in China. 

Last year, during Kentucky and South Africa: Different Lands, Common Ground, many participants in the International Understanding Certificate Program wrote blogs detailing their reactions to the films and events regarding South Africa. These blogs showcased individual students’ reactions to a variety of Kentucky and South Africa events, including reflections on the film series offered, thoughts about guest speakers, and summaries of important points learned.   

The International Understanding Certificate Program is a great way to develop deeper connections to the issues highlighted by Year of China. Students will be able to demonstrate their interest in and knowledge of international themes all while meeting students from diverse backgrounds who share common interests.  Students will be able to interact with faculty members as well as attend events with special guests from China and throughout the United States. Participants in the program will also be eligible for a scholarship for Education Abroad trips to China. 

For information regarding the International Understanding Certificate Program contact Kari Burchfield at klburc2@uky.edu or 859-257-1994.

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