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Chinese students wrap up cultural exchange visit a...

Chinese students wrap up cultural exchange visit at Student Union

A group of 30-plus Chinese children visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange wrapped up their visit July 14 with closing ceremonies in the Student Union Ballroom.

In town since July 10, the visitors from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University also included Chinese educators and parents.

Confucius Institute logoTheir five-day visit marked the fourth year of a reciprocal exchange program organized by the university.

Rutherford students visited China in 2012 and 2014, and Dongcheng students first came to the Murfreesboro campus in 2013. The delegation’s visit ended July 15.

The Confucius Institute, named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010. The two partners recently extended their pact for an additional five years.

MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee, right, chats with a student from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University in China during closing ceremonies Tuesday night in the Student Union Ballroom to wrap up their visit to Murfreesboro. The visit, which included elementary and middle schoolers as well as educators from China, was facilitated by the MTSU Confucius Institute, which works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee, right, chats with a student from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University in China during closing ceremonies July 14 in the Student Union Ballroom to wrap up their visit to Murfreesboro. The visit, which included elementary and middle schoolers as well as educators from China, was facilitated by the MTSU Confucius Institute, which works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Elementary and middle school children from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University in China perform during closing ceremonies Tuesday night in the Student Union Ballroom to wrap up their visit to Murfreesboro. The visit was facilitated by the MTSU Confucius Institute, which works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Elementary and middle school students from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University in China perform during closing ceremonies July 14  in the Student Union Ballroom to wrap up their visit to Murfreesboro. The visit was facilitated by the MTSU Confucius Institute, which works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States.

 


 

Games, fun for Chinese students at MTSU President’s picnic [+VIDEO]

July 13, 2015

The lawn of the MTSU President’s Residence turned into a picnic ground July 13 for the 30-plus Chinese school children visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by the university.

Cheerleaders from Blackman High School and MTSU welcome a delegation of visiting Chinese youngsters from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University to MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee’s official residence Monday. At center is MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Cheerleaders from Blackman High School and MTSU welcome a delegation of visiting Chinese youngsters from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University to MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee’s official residence July 13. At center is MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The visitors from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University started the day at Overall Creek Elementary School, where retired Murfreesboro City Schools educator Elizabeth McPhee, the first lady of the university, arranged for them to explore American-style classrooms and meet with local teachers.

They returned to campus by midday for a picnic at the President’s Residence that resembled a pep rally with cheerleaders from Blackman High School and MTSU welcoming the group.

Blackman cheerleaders did face-painting for the Chinese children as well, and a watermelon-eating contest followed lunch.

The head coaches from MTSU’s volleyball and soccer teams, Matt Peck and Aston Rhoden, as well as players from both teams, also led the visitors in demonstrations of both sports. The lawn featured soccer goals and a volleyball net for the occasion.

The children, ranging from middle- to high-school ages, clearly were thrilled by all of the activities, as was MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.

“What a beautiful day for a picnic,” President McPhee said. “It’s another great experience for our Chinese guests to treasure about their visit to our campus and our country.”

Watch a video from the picnic:

The group, led by former HNU President and Dongcheng Chairman Lin Zhengfan, left the picnic for a tour of the MTSU campus, then viewed science projects by Scales Elementary School students on display in the lobby of MTSU’s Science Building.

MTSU’s mascot, Lightning, gets to know Chinese children visiting from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University on the grounds of the MTSU President’s Residence Monday. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU’s mascot, Lightning, gets to know Chinese children visiting from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University on the grounds of the MTSU President’s Residence July 13. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

They spent the evening socializing with the families of Rutherford County students who visited Hangzhou last year as part of the annual reciprocal visits organized by MTSU’s Confucius Institute.

Teachers and administrators from both countries will huddle July 14 to exchange ideas and swap classroom experiences, a feature that President McPhee said is the centerpiece of the visit. The delegation’s five-day trip to the United States ends July 15.

The Confucius Institute, named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010. The two partners recently extended their pact for an additional five years.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, fifth row, center, poses Monday with the delegation from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University, MTSU cheerleaders and cheerleaders from Blackman High School in front of the President’s Residence. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, fifth row, center, poses July 13 with the delegation from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University, MTSU cheerleaders and cheerleaders from Blackman High School in front of the President’s Residence. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Visiting youngsters from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University experience what an American classroom is like Monday at Overall Creek Elementary School in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Visiting youngsters from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University experience what an American classroom is like at Overall Creek Elementary School in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

A youngster from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University enjoys watermelon at a picnic Monday on the grounds of the MTSU President’s Residence. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

A youngster from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University enjoys watermelon at a July 13 picnic on the grounds of the MTSU President’s Residence. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)


 

MTSU brings 30-plus Chinese children to East Tennessee

July 12, 2015

MARYVILLE, Tennessee — More than 30 elementary and middle school students from Hangzhou, China, came to east Tennessee July 12 as part of a five-day education and cultural exchange program organized by Middle Tennessee State University.

The 30-plus Chinese youngsters, accompanied by parents, teachers and administrators, came from Murfreesboro to Maryville by bus for a picnic lunch on the farm of Keith and Peggy McCord, then traveled to The Lost Sea Adventure, part of the Craighead Caverns near Sweetwater.

A delegation of Chinese school children, sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University, pose with Keith and Peggy McCord on Sunday after a picnic on the McCordsÕ Maryville, Tennessee, farm. (MTSU photo)

A delegation of Chinese school children, sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University, pose with Keith and Peggy McCord July 12 after a picnic on the McCords’ Maryville, Tennessee, farm. (MTSU photo)

McCord, a former member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, and his family helped MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and his wife, Elizabeth, plan the excursion to east Tennessee. Chinese students were treated to a barbecue at the McCords’ farm, played games and explored a nearby pond.

“We deeply appreciate the kindness and generosity of the McCords in hosting our Chinese visitors,” said McPhee. “It was an opportunity to showcase this beautiful part of Tennessee and provide them experiences they will not forget.”MTSU Wordmark

The visit is the fourth of the reciprocal exchanges between MTSU and the Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University. Rutherford County students visited China in 2012 and 2014, and Dongcheng students first came to the Murfreesboro campus in 2013.

The delegation will tour an elementary school, view science projects by Rutherford students on display in the lobby of MTSU’s Science Building and learn about MTSU’s partnerships with universities in China.

Teachers and administrators from both countries, meanwhile, will participate in educational workshops. McPhee said what makes this exchange unique is the opportunity for teachers and administrators from both counties to collaborate and share ideas.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and Yiping Cui, associate director of MTSU's Confucius Institute listen to Keith McCord's welcome to a delegation Chinese school children visiting his Maryville, Tenn., farm on Sunday. (MTSU Photo)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and Yiping Cui, associate director of MTSU’s Confucius Institute listen to Keith McCord’s welcome to a delegation Chinese school children visiting his Maryville, Tenn., farm July 12. (MTSU Photo)

The exchange is coordinated by MTSU’s Confucius Institute. Named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, the institute is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010 and recently extended the partnership for an additional five years.

Under the leadership of Director Guanping Zheng and Associate Director Yiping Cui, MTSU’s institute has helped teach Chinese language and culture to more than 2,000 students in seven Tennessee counties. It also offers long-distance language training via satellite TV and the Internet.

MTSU also announced plans in March to build a Chinese Music and Cultural Center, which will be funded from a $1 million grant from Hanban, the headquarters operation of the Confucius Institutes.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)


 

Chinese youngsters introduced to Murfreesboro, MTSU

July 11, 2015

The 30-plus Chinese youngsters visiting Murfreesboro July 11 as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU started with a heavy dose of Tennessee history and local geography.

But it’s safe to say that the Discovery Center at Murfree Springs was the high point for the middle and high school students visiting Middle Tennessee, along with many parents, teachers and administrators, as part of an reciprocal exchange facilitated by MTSU’s Confucius Institute.

A guide at the Discovery Center at Murfree Springs on Saturday shows a reptile to Chinese school children visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU. (MTSU Photo)

A guide at the Discovery Center at Murfree Springs shows a reptile to Chinese school children visiting Murfreesboro July 11 as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU.

Day One for the visitors from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University started at the Embassy Suites, where retired Murfreesboro City Schools educator Elizabeth McPhee, the first lady of the university, mapped out a morning for cultural orientation.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee web

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Guests moved from table to table, where Rutherford County students who visited Hangzhou last year described different elements of the local community.A first visit to the MTSU Student Union Building for lunch followed, then the delegation was treated to a special day at Discovery Center, hosted by the center’s CEO Tara McDougall.

Chinese students, joined by their American counterparts, clearly enjoyed the center’s interactive exhibits, including the large, two-story twisting tube slide. They also got to see and touch animals and reptiles in the center’s collection.

“We want this to be a life-changing experience,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee told the delegation at the start of the five-day visit. “You will discover that we live in a beautiful state with a rich history and culture.

“The program that we have put together for you over the next few days will show you the many treasures of Tennessee.”

The university held formal welcoming ceremonies for the delegation July 11 at an evening event at the Student Union Building that featured country-western music, dancing and activities.

They will travel to east Tennessee July 12, where the delegation will visit The Lost Sea attraction, part of the Craighead Caverns near Sweetwater.

On July 13, the delegation will tour Overall Creek Elementary School, view science projects by Scales Elementary School students on display in the lobby of MTSU’s Science Building and learn about MTSU’s partnerships with universities in China.

Chinese school children visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU learned about the Middle Tennessee area from local elementary and high school students during Saturday's opening session at the Embassy Suites Hotel. (MTSU photo)

Chinese youngsters visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU learned about the Middle Tennessee area from local elementary and high school students during a July 11 opening session at the Embassy Suites Hotel. (MTSU photo)

Teachers and administrators from both countries also will huddle that day to exchange ideas and swap classroom experiences, a feature that President McPhee said is the centerpiece of the annual reciprocal visits.

The Confucius Institute, named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

Under the leadership of Director Guanping Zheng and Associate Director Yiping Cui, MTSU’s institute has helped teach Chinese language and culture to more than 2,000 students in seven Tennessee counties. It also offers long-distance language training via satellite TV and the Internet.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010. The two partners recently extended their pact for an additional five years.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)


 

MTSU to welcome 30+ Chinese children for cultural exchange

July 10, 2015

MTSU will welcome elementary and middle school children Friday, July 10, from Hangzhou, China, for a five-day visit, marking the fourth year of an education and cultural exchange program organized by the university.

MTSU cheerleaders welcome a delegation of elementary and middle school children and educators from Hangzhou, China, during the group's inaugural visit to campus in July 2013. More youngsters, their parents and teachers will be at MTSU beginning July 10 to develop student exchanges and cultural ties with Tennessee schools. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU cheerleaders welcome a delegation of elementary and middle school children and educators from Hangzhou, China, during the group’s inaugural visit to campus in July 2013. More youngsters, their parents and teachers will be at MTSU beginning July 10 to develop student exchanges and cultural ties with Tennessee schools. (MTSU file photos by J. Intintoli)

The 30-plus Chinese children, accompanied by parents, teachers and administrators, have a busy first full day planned for Saturday, July 11 — a visit to the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring that afternoon and a formal welcoming ceremony at the Student Union Building that evening.

They will be paired throughout the visit with Rutherford County students who visited Hangzhou in July 2014, a trip that also was facilitated by MTSU’s Confucius Institute. The Confucius Institute works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States.

Hangzhou Normal logoThe visit will be the fourth of the reciprocal exchanges between MTSU and the Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University. Rutherford students visited China in 2012 and 2014, and Dongcheng students first came to the Murfreesboro campus in 2013.

“The university is proud of the continuation of this valuable educational and cultural exchange,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. “It is a bridge that allows students and educators from both countries to learn from each other.”

The delegation will tour Overall Creek Elementary School, view science projects by Scales Elementary School students on display in the lobby of MTSU’s Science Building and learn about MTSU’s partnerships with universities in China.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center right, jokes with Liu Jinbin, center left, of the Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University as children and educators from Hangzhou, China, snap photos of a special welcoming cake before enjoying a picnic in July 2013.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center right, jokes with Liu Jinbin, center left, of the Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University as children and educators from Hangzhou, China, snap photos of a special welcoming cake before enjoying a picnic in July 2013.

McPhee said what makes this exchange unique is the opportunity for teachers and administrators from both counties to collaborate and share ideas.

“This interaction creates opportunities that extend far beyond the visit,” he said.

Chinese students also will visit the homes of local students, tour a farm and participate in educational workshops. They will travel to east Tennessee, where the delegation will visit The Lost Sea attraction, part of the Craighead Caverns near Sweetwater.

The Confucius Institute, named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010.

Under the leadership of Director Guanping Zheng and Associate Director Yiping Cui, MTSU’s institute has helped teach Chinese language and culture to more than 2,000 students in seven Tennessee counties. It also offers long-distance language training via satellite TV and the Internet.

MTSU and Hangzhou Normal recently extended their partnership for an additional five years.

MTSU also announced plans in March to build a Chinese Music and Cultural Center, which will be funded from a $1 million grant from Hanban, the headquarters operation of the Confucius Institutes.

You can watch a video from the Dongcheng Education Group’s first visit to MTSU and Tennessee below.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)


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