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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI offers summer immersion programs in German, Chinese language and culture

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. – February 3, 2009 – For anyone with a New Year’s resolution to learn to speak a foreign language, the University of Rhode Island has the perfect opportunity. Its 29th annual German Summer School of the Atlantic is now accepting applications for its summer immersion programs, and a Chinese Summer Immersion Program will be held for the first time.

Participants live on campus in the Texas Instruments House during the six-week or three-week German programs and are totally immersed in the German language and culture. Participants are similarly immersed in the Chinese program, which includes four weeks living on campus at URI and four weeks in China. Both programs yield up to one year’s worth of URI language credit.

“It’s ideal for adult learners from all walks of life who are seeking proficiency in these languages, from high school students to senior citizens,” said Norbert Hedderich, a URI professor of German and director of the German Summer School. “Past participants include those who were preparing to study or work abroad, and language teachers here to strengthen their skills. All share an interest in international cultures.”

The German program offers opportunities for students of all levels – from beginners to graduate – and all core courses focus on listening, speaking, reading and writing. Intermediate and advanced German students have the option of taking the certification exams from the Goethe Institute, which promotes the study of German abroad and encourages international cultural exchange.

In addition to coursework, the program offers extracurricular programs to support the language learning process, including workshops on theater, music and current events. German films are regularly screened, and German news broadcasts are received daily via satellite. Participants and faculty live and eat together.

The German program is offered from June 21 to July 31 in cooperation with the Goethe Institute and the German government, with support from the Max Kade Foundation. For additional information, visit www.uri.edu/iep/dssa or contact Norbert Hedderich at 401-874-4710 or hedderich@uri.edu.

The Chinese program, which runs from May 19 to July 19, is open to beginners and those with up to one year of previous college-level Chinese language instruction. Participants will spend four hours each morning on language training, followed by tutoring sessions and cultural activities in the afternoon and evening while at URI.

In China, participants will be based at Zheijang University in Hangzhou, the capital of the Zheijang province, where they will continue with intensive immersion in the Chinese language and culture, including weekend trips to Shanghai and elsewhere in the area.

The Chinese Summer Immersion Program is offered through the URI Chinese Language Flagship Partner Program and the URI International Engineering Program. For additional information, visit www.uri.edu/iep/chinese/summer.html or contact Erin Papa at 401-874-5566 or epapa@uri.edu.