The U.S.-China Fulbright Program is an official educational exchange between the People’s Republic of China and the United States “to provide opportunities for cooperation and exchange in educational fields based on equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.” We were honored to work with the Fulbright Program for the third time to organize the Fulbright Lecturer Program Conference and Fall Orientation in Beijing held from August 29, 2017 – September 2, 2017.
Connections to China
It’s a rare to have the opportunity to eat Peking duck with professors from all over the United States! The Fulbright Lecturer Program is a semester or year-long exchange for American university professors from across America. This year they are from Western Kentucky University, to Brigham Young University, to New York University and will teach in China at a Chinese university. All the professors are established in their respective fields back in the U.S., and they get to share that in-depth knowledge with Chinese students while learning about Chinese culture first-hand from their students and colleagues. This year, we had many professors who had experience in China, and we also had professors who were new to the country.
We were also joined by ten English Language Fellows from the U.S. Department of State’s English Language Programs. English Language Fellows are highly qualified U.S. educators in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages, or teaching English as a foreign language. Both Fulbright and the English Language Fellows are part of the US Government Educational and Cultural Affairs academic exchange programs that take place around the world. The China-based English Language Fellows will be serving 10-month long fellowships at different academic institutions across the country.
The wealth of experiences and knowledge that all the professors and educators are bringing to China is important in sharing the diversity of America with China. At the same time, these professors will be bringing back their China stories to share with their American students, family, and friends.
This year, we were able to share stories from different perspectives as a part of the conference. We invited two students from Beijing Foreign Studies University to share their student perspective and their stories with our lecturers. We also shared a piece of our own Leadership Training with the lecturers, where we asked them to think about telling their stories about China, and how to use these storytelling tools to create a lasting impact on their students’ lives.
Cultural Exploration in Beijing
We introduced our Fulbright lecturers and their families to the wonderful culture of Beijing. We ventured into the hutongs of Beijing to take a dumpling making class, took a hike along the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, and had the great honor of being hosted by U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad and his wife Christine at the Ambassador’s residence for a dinner reception.
We had a wonderful time getting to know each of the Fulbright lecturers and their lovely family members in the week we spent together. We wish all them the best of luck as they spend the next year exploring China, connecting with their new students, and creating new stories about their experiences abroad!
About Fulbright and the English Language Fellow Program
The EL Fellow Program promotes English language learning and enhances English teaching capacity abroad. Through projects sponsored by U.S. embassies, more than 1,000 EL Fellows have served in more than 80 different countries. Find out more information here about how you can apply for the EL Program.
The U.S.-China Fulbright Program is an official educational exchange between the People’s Republic of China and the United States “to provide opportunities for cooperation and exchange in educational fields based on equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit. Find out more information here about how you can apply for the Fulbright Program in China as a researcher or lecturer.