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16 posts from March 2011


Update on CIEE Programs in Africa and the Middle East

CIEE continues to monitor the situation in northern Africa and the Middle East closely. As of today, Friday, March 25, CIEE programs in the region, including Jordan, Morocco, the UAE, and Turkey are all operating on normal schedules, and all students are safe. Protests continue to occur occasionally in Jordan, but these have generally been small and non-violent. The situation in Jordan is quite different than the situations in other countries such as Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria, and protests have focused more on economic issues than on regime changes. The situations in Morocco, the UAE, and Turkey remain stable.

Students in Jordan are about to start their spring vacation. CIEE students are required to submit detailed travel plans for all independent travel. These plans are reviewed carefully by CIEE staff, and additional consultation and feedback is provided as necessary. Resident staff continue to provide students with up-to-date information about the fluid situation in the region and have cautioned students about travel to specific locations that are currently experiencing unrest such as Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain. Students are reminded that they should discuss their travel plans with their emergency contacts (parents) and home institution, particularly if their plans include travel to locations that are currently under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning or Alert.

Despite the problems and unrest in locations such as Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria, CIEE programs in Jordan, Morocco, the UAE, and Turkey continue to operate on their normal schedules. Although there haven't been any changes to the CIEE programs in the region, resident staff have increased their efforts to communicate with students about the potential dangers involved with independent travel across the region.


Chinese Language Flagship

Shanghai, China: China in a Global Context

Shanghai, China: Summer Accelerated Chinese Language

Two Chinese Language Flagship Programs have recently approved students to study abroad on the Summer Accelerated Chinese Language program at the CIEE Study Center in Shanghai. These include the University of Rhode Island Chinese Language Flagship Partner Program and the University of Oregon Chinese Flagship. The Language Flagship is an initiative of the National Security Education Program and is designed to support U.S. undergraduate students to achieve superior language proficiency in Mandarin Chinese, as defined by ACTFL standards, through an elite group of partner programs. Learn more about The Chinese Language Flagship here.

Shanghai, China: Summer Business, Language and Culture

In summer 2011, the elective course taught in English, Understanding China, will be taught by the Academic Director of the China in a Global Context program, John Tai. Mr. Tai is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at George Washington University, where he has researched and conducted extensive fieldwork on civil society, non-governmental organizations, public administration, and social welfare. He holds an M.A. degree in East Asian Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs from George Washington University and a B.A. degree in Political Science and History from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining the CIEE Study Center in fall 2009, he served as Visiting Scholar and later Associate Director of Academics for a study abroad program in Beijing. In addition to his academic experience, Tai has worked eight years for government in Washington, D.C. as a foreign policy analyst, focusing on relations with mainland China.

Habitat for Humanity

Shanghai, China: Advanced Chinese Studies

Shanghai, China: Business, Language and Culture

The Business, Language and Culture program at the CIEE Study Center in Shanghai will now offer a spring weeklong mid-semester fieldtrip to manufacturing centers in Sichuan Province or Chongqing Municipality, the world’s fastest growing urban center, where students will visit factories and business and learn directly from company executives working in this developing inland region. Prior to departure CIEE students will learn from business leaders in Shanghai about the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for multinational companies operating in China, building government relations and public image, and the importance of promoting socially and environmentally responsible business practices. In this context students will have the opportunity to learn about CSR in action and experience service learning in Yunnan Province, where CIEE has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to sponsor a build project in an impoverished ethnic minority village, allowing CIEE students to work together with locals to build new homes for its inhabitants.

Study Center at East China Normal University in Shanghai

Staffing Updates

The CIEE Study Center in Shangahi welcomes Dr. Steve Chao as the most recent addition to its leadership team . Beginning in Spring 2011, Dr. Chao will be transitioning into the role of Center Director. Justin O’Jack, current Center Director and Director, Great China will continue to work and reside in Shanghai, providing direct oversight and management to all CIEE Study Centers in China. Steve Chao earned his Doctor of Education from Saint Louis University, MBA from Lindenwood University, and BA from Columbia College. Dr. Chao has extensive experience in the field of international education working as an adjunct faculty and program administrator since 1985. Before joining CIEE in fall 2010, he was Director of International Programs at Worcester State University in Massachusetts, where he led university international initiatives, study abroad and international student services for six years. Prior to that he directed the International Affairs Center at Indiana State University and taught modern Chinese history on the faculty for four years. He began his career in international education at Columbia College, where he ended nine years of service as Director of International Programs. Dr. Chao has also taught courses on US higher education as a Visiting Fellow at Tongji University in Shanghai, and served as Chair of the Department of International Trade at Tainan University of Technology, a leading women’s higher education institution in Taiwan. He has served as a research advisor to the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission 211 Project and to the Ministry of Education in Taiwan on educational reform and curriculum. In addition to his academic career, Dr. Chao managed three joint ventures in China between 1994 and 1997, responsible for product importation, marketing, distribution, customer service and daily management in China. He established and was General Manager for two Sino-American joint ventures, importing and distributing Snapple fruit drinks and Molson alcoholic products to the Chinese consumer market, before founding a third joint venture manufacturing wireless a cable box product targeting the Chinese household market.

Housing Coordinator

The new Housing Coordinator for the CIEE Study Center in Shanghai is Liu Tianmei. Ms. Liu worked as the Supervisor’s Assistant and language instructor at the New Oriental School in Shanghai for three years, and prior to that served as an administrative staff in the Office of the Dean for her undergraduate alma mater, the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Foreign Language College.  Ms. Liu is in charge of coordinating the host family and Chinese roommate living options for CIEE students in Shanghai.

Study Center at East China Normal University in Shanghai

Accessible Residence Hall

In cooperation with the host university, the CIEE Campus Residence Hall at East China Normal University was remodeled for summer 2010 to accommodate students who use wheelchairs. The CIEE dormitory now has a fully accessible dorm room. Read more from Mobility International USA about the experience of CIEE student with a physical disability who studied abroad on a summer program in Shanghai here.

Chinese Language Assessment Project

Study Center at East China Normal University in Shanghai

Dr. Liao Jianling, Chinese Language Director at the CIEE Study Center in Shanghai, is leading the CIEE Chinese Language Assessment Project starting with programs in Shanghai. The goal of the project is to develop tests and protocols that assess the Chinese language proficiency gains made by all CIEE students at the beginning and end of their program. The purpose of such assessment is to provide meaningful data to our language instruction team to maintain instructional quality at all levels, and to communicate to our students and their schools. By providing objective information about individual proficiency gains made while studying abroad, sending schools can compare progress of individual students with their cohort as a whole and with their particular language level in particular. The pilot began one year ago and the project is now in its second phase of implementation. Starting this spring 2011 all students at the CIEE Study Center in Shanghai will take both written and oral entrance and exit tests designed to assess their individual language proficiency in the skills of reading, writing and speaking.The entrance tests will also be used for placement purposes.  For more information about the CIEE Chinese Language Assessment Project please contact Dr. Liao.

Dr. Liao Jianling joined CIEE in fall 2006. As the Chinese Language Director she is in charge of Chinese language instruction for all programs at the CIEE Study Center in Shanghai. Originally from Jiangxi, China, Dr. Liao holds a Ph.D. in the area of Second Language Acquisition from the University of Iowa. While studying abroad in the U.S. at the University of Iowa, she also received two M.A. degrees in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language and Instructional Design and Technology. In addition, she holds a third M.A. degree in Chinese Linguistics from Wuhan University. Her research interests include computer-assisted language learning and language pedagogy in study abroad contexts. Prior to joining CIEE, Dr. Liao taught for five years at the Middlebury College Summer Chinese School.

CIEE Student Shares Panel with Assistant Secretary of State to Promote Study Abroad in China

Beijing, China: Advanced Chinese Studies at Peking University

Beijing, China: Intensive Chinese Language at Peking University

CIEE alumni, Valery Lavigne, participated in a panel discussion with three other students who recently returned from study abroad in China, following remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama during the “100,000 Strong” China Study Abroad Initiative Event at Howard University. The discussion was moderated by Ann Stock, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, and was organized by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on January 19, 2011, on the day of the U.S.-China State Visit in Washington. In spring 2009 Valerie studied abroad as a Gilman Scholar at the CIEE Study Center at Peking University in Beijing on the Intensive Chinese Language program. Read the White House press release about the Howard University event here.

Beijing, China: Study Center at Peking University

Increased Peer Tutor Hours

CIEE students on the Advanced Chinese Studies program, Intensive Chinese Language program and Summer Intensive Chinese Language program at Peking University (PKU) are required to meet for a minimum of three hours per week for one-on-one sessions with their Chinese language tutor, and additional hours are available upon request by the student. The CIEE Peer Language Tutor program at PKU is a unique hallmark of these programs that help ensure our students’ linguistic and cultural fluency progresses throughout the program. These tutorials provide students extra conversation practice in Mandarin and guidance with homework assignments, while giving students an opportunity to befriend and be a part of the lives of their Chinese peers. Past students have stated that their peer tutors were one of the favorite aspects of the CIEE program.

Language Assessment in Study Abroad--Greater China

Students enrolled on programs at CIEE study centers at Peking University in Beijing, Nanjing University in Nanjing and East China Normal University in Shanghai may voluntarily participate for pay in a research project by the Confucius Institute at The University of Iowa that investigates language proficiency gains by students who study Chinese as a second language abroad in China compared to those who study in the U.S.  Two sets of tests are administered at the beginning and end of the program to assess language proficiency gains. These include the Chinese Proficiency Test (CPT) and Chinese Speaking Test (CST), which are designed by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and are commonly used in the U.S. by federal and state agencies to certify Chinese language ability of personnel.  Participants who willingly choose to participate will receive USD 100 and both sets of test results for free. Data collection for this landmark project has been ongoing since 1989, funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, and is directed by Dr. Chuanren Ke, Professor of Chinese and Second Language Acquisition in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature, Director of the Confucius Institute at The University of Iowa, and Chair of the CIEE Chinese Language Advisory Board. Participation in this study is entirely voluntarily and not related to placement or achievement tests administered onsite as part of the program.

Seoul, Korea: Arts and Sciences

Royal Asiatic Society – Korea Branch

Suzanne Han, Resident Director of the CIEE Study Center in Seoul, Korea, was recently elected Vice-President of the Royal Asiatic Society-Korea Branch (RASKB)  . The Royal Asiatic Society-Korea Branch (RASKB) makes getting acquainted with Korea an adventure. The purpose of this non-profit organization is to enhance understanding of the arts, customs, history, and literature of Korea.