International Relations

Confucius Institute | Questions & Answers

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What is the Confucius Institute?

The Confucius Institute is a non-profit education organization that promotes the teaching and understanding of Chinese language and culture by offering Chinese language courses and providing professional training to Chinese language teachers.

There will be over 120 Confucius Institutes inhabiting 50 countries worldwide. The University of Massachusetts Confucius Institute, located at UMass Boston, is the seventh Confucius Institute established in the United States and the first in New England.

Learn more about the Confucius Institute organization by visiting The Office of Chinese Language International Council's website (Hanban).

Why is the Confucius Institute important to the Commonwealth?

The state of Massachusetts has more Mandarin courses in its public and private schools (55) than any other state in the United States - nearly 20 percent of all K-12 Mandarin courses in the country. The Confucius Institute serves as a unique tool for Massachusetts teachers by focusing on language educator training. Collaborating with the Chinese Language Association of Secondary and Elementary Schools and the Massachusetts Department of Education, the University of Massachusetts Confucius Institute will offer a Mandarin teacher licensure program that incorporates best practices from China and the United States.

What are some examples of activities hosted by the Confucius Institute?

Below is a sample of the activities and events which have recently occurred.

  • Spring 2007- The University of Massachusetts Confucius Institute hosted Education Counselor Ai Fanglin and Counsel Wang Ying of the Chinese Consulate General in New York City and 18 high school students from across the country who competed in a Chinese language contest called the "Chinese Bridge." Talented high school students from across the country, including five from Massachusetts, participated in the speech contest. The annual contest, sponsored by the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (Hanban), was held at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. last year.

  • Summer 2007- In partnership with UMass Amherst, a group of 12 Massachusetts School Principals participated in a Hanban funded program to meet Chinese educators, visit schools, visit scenic sites in China and meet with regional and national leaders.
  • Summer 2007- 17 UMass Amherst graduate and undergraduate students traveled to China earlier this summer to visit business and industry sites in Beijing and Shanghai.
  • Summer 2007- UMass Boston had 15 students visited business and industry sites in Beijing this summer, facilitated by partner University Tsinghua.
  • Summer 2007- UMass Boston, undergraduates traveled to Renmin University as part of a summer program course.

View a full calender of events

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