Frequently Asked Questions
Confucius Institutes are named after the ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, who lived more than 2,500 years ago. Confucius was born in 551 B.C.E. near Qufu in the present-day state of Shandong. Confucius’ teachings focus on promoting social harmony, justice, honesty, morality and proper social relationships. Many of his core philosophies are compiled in the Analects of Confucius. Confucius’ philosophy laid the groundwork for many of the cultural customs and belief systems that are still prevalent throughout Asia. Confucius Institutes play a key role in educating the world about Chinese culture and language and strive to operate in accordance with Confucius’ principles of peace, harmony, honesty and justice.
Confucius Institutes promote Chinese language and cultural learning at all levels, in addition to supporting the training of Chinese language teachers. Confucius Institutes facilitate academic, cultural and economic exchanges and serve as a bridge between China and rest of the world. Meaningful insights into modern and traditional Chinese life and language can be gained from the tailored courses, lectures and cultural activities made available through a Confucius Institute. Confucius Institutes are similar to other government supported cultural outreach programs like the British Council, France's Alliance Francaise, Germany's Goethe-Institute, or the American English Institutes. Like the Confucius Institute program, all of these programs promote the teaching and understanding of language and culture in an attempt to create goodwill and increased cultural awareness around the world. Individuals who take advantage of a Confucius Institute's resources may explore beyond the language into Chinese art, history, music, martial arts, science, dance, cinema, traditional medicine, or calligraphy to name but a few options.
All over the world! There are over 400 Confucius Institutes in 50 countries on five continents. Some of the world's top universities host Confucius Institutes. Confucius Institutes' work extends beyond university campuses to local businesses, public schools and other organizations which desire to engage with China and Chinese culture in meaningful ways.
All around the world Confucius Institutes serve as a bridge between academics, politicians, students, artists, businesses and people just like you wishing to engage with their counterparts in China. Because Confucius Institutes are not solely restricted to the realm of academia they are a valuable resource to those in Idaho business, education, arts, health, sports and government sectors who wish to understand and create mutually beneficial relationships in China. Confucius Institutes can custom tailor courses and lectures to the needs of the public sector in Idaho and specific expertise can be leveraged for those seeking immediate engagement with China. As China has risen to be a major economic and cultural superpower, a Confucius Institute in the state of Idaho becomes a critical resource for linking Idaho and its citizens to the many opportunities China has to offer.
All Confucius Institutes are approved and funded by Hanban, the Office of the Chinese Language Council International. Hanban is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education and is headquartered in Beijing. The University of Idaho entered a bid to set up its Confucius Institute in 2012. Hanban weighed U of I’s bid against the bids of other U.S. institutions who also petitioned to establish Confucius Institutes. The U of I Confucius Institute was officially approved and established in April 2013 by President Duane Nellis and Provost Doug Baker.
Hanban provided initial start-up funds for the establishment of the UICI. Hanban also provided Chinese language teaching materials, retrofitted the University of Idaho Department of Modern Language and Cultures' language labs with new computers and smart boards, and provided U of I with highly qualified Chinese language instructors. The University of Idaho and Hanban share all operational and program costs for providing language and culture programming to the people of Idaho.
Each Confucius Institute is paired with an academic or cultural organization in China who helps provide personnel and support for the development of CI programs. The University of Idaho’s partner institution is the South China University of Technology located in Guangzhou, China. The University of Idaho's partnership with the South China University of Technology provides a ready mechanism for the exchange of students and faculty between the U.S. and China to study at both campuses. The University of Idaho Confucius Institute will also enhance existing university relationships between other Chinese research institutions, educational institutions and businesses. Additionally, the Confucius Institute will facilitate opportunities for future U of I engagement with other academic programs and schools throughout China. The anticipated increase in student and faculty exchanges will not only benefit the university but the state of Idaho as well as we help develop a network of Chinese alumni and in a host of global organizations, institutions, industries and businesses.
The University of Idaho Confucius Institute can provide Idaho businesses with courses designed to match their needs across a variety of topics such as Chinese business etiquette, customs and practices or a basic Chinese for Business language program. The University of Idaho Confucius Institute can help Idaho businesses succeed in securing a foothold in Chinese markets, develop relationships with key contacts and assist marketing staff in obtaining necessary Chinese language skills for cultivating success in China.
The University of Idaho Confucius Institute has brought a diverse range of cultural activities to Idaho and will continue to promote an understanding and appreciation of Chinese arts and culture. The Confucius Institute regularly showcases Chinese cinema, opera, music, calligraphy, Taiji, Wushu, dance, literature and other special topics offered through guest lectures, concerts, demonstrations and other presentations. Arts, cultural, martial arts and sporting organizations in the state of Idaho are encouraged to contact the University of Idaho's Confucius Institute directors to begin developing dialogues with their counterparts in Guangzhou, China and beyond!