Area high school students attend China Day at U

The China Center held the annual event to share culture and language programs.

by Elizabeth Giorgi

China is getting closer to the University.

The University’s China Center hosted its annual China Day on Friday.

The China Day program, which was reinstated in 2001, brings area high school students to the University for a day to give them a glimpse of the Chinese classes and programs the University offers.

The program aims to motivate students to continue its Chinese studies and consider the University as a place to further their Chinese education.

The center wants students to be excited about studying China, said China Center Assistant Director Joan Brzezinski.

“The premise of China Day is to bring as many high school students to the program to inspire and enthuse them to continue their language studies,” she said. “It helps them connect why they are doing that.”

In addition to talking about why Chinese language skills are important, the program brings new speakers each year to discuss a different global issue.

Every year has been dramatically different from the previous, Brzezinski said, because teachers are bringing some of the same students two or three years in a row. Last year the group went to the science museum to discuss dinosaurs of China because China is one of the premier places to study paleontology, she said.

This year’s focus revolved around economic status and increased interest from businesses in the Chinese market, Brzezinski said.

Breck School ninth-grader Hilary Kenyon said she attended this year’s China Day because this is her first year studying the Chinese language in school.

Kenyon said one of the interesting things she learned was that China went from having “nothing to now having high-rises.”

Brzezinski said that when students hear the reasons businesses are going into China, it helps them to understand why the Chinese language is so important.

Global studies sophomore Krista Schneider was a studentvolunteer at Friday’s event.

Schneider said students who were in Chinese language courses were asked whether they would be willing to volunteer for the event.

“I took a semester in Tianjin and loved it – the language, the people, the culture and the food,” she said.

Because of her experience, she decided to take Chinese, Schneider said, adding that China Day helps students see why they should take Chinese.

Joseph Allen, University chairman of Asian languages and literature, presented at Friday’s event.

He said students should improve their language skills because it helps them find their place in the world.

“The most important border to push is to learn another language,” he said. “Once fluent you emerge as a new person.”