With strong encouragement from business and industry and grants
from the Texas Instruments Corporation, Sensata Technologies, and the Hasbro Corporation,
the program has now developed a Chinese IEP. Executive
Director John Grandin
traveled to China in 2005, 2006 and 2007 to establish a partnership
with Zhejiang University in Hangzhou as well as professional internships
with partner companies in several different Chinese cities.
IEP students were sent to China for intensive, six-week
Mandarin language and culture programs in the summers of 2006, 2007 and 2008, which
also included visits to several manufacturing and research institutes
in Hangzhou. (See Summer 2006 China Program.) During the summer of 2009, URI is offering an 8-week Chinese Immersion Program at URI and in Hangzhou.
Chinese IEP was given a considerable boost by the Chinese
government whose National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign
Language is supporting the program with a full-time faculty
member in Chinese, who will be at URI for the next three years. Professor Wen
XIONG will teach Chinese at URI and help with the further development
of the IEP through the year 2009, when URI will then hire a full-time
tenure-track faculty member. In 2007 URI was also selected as a site for a Chinese-funded Confucius Institute, which will be a center for Chinese language and culture at URI and in the greater Rhode Island community. Over
20 engineering students are now studying Chinese at URI and preparing
for both further language work and professional internships in China.
Through our partnership with Zhejiang University, one of China’s
top engineering schools, URI students are now able to attend that
university, whether for intensive language work or for engineering
study on an exchange basis. Two engineering students are spending the 2007-2008 academic year in China, first studying for one semester in Hangzhou and then completing six-month professional internships with partner companies.
URI does not yet offer a major in Chinese, students in
the program work toward a BS degree in any engineering discipline
and minors in both Chinese Language and Asian Studies (soon to become a full major). Chinese
IEP students complete Chinese language study at both URI and
Hangzhou and enroll in additional appropriate Asian Studies
courses in departments such as history and philosophy.
They are advised and guided in their choice of courses by the
IEP and the Asian Studies Program.
students interested in the Chinese IEP are encouraged to consult
with Professor Grandin (see Contact