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Our Services

The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute’s focus is threefold. It serves as a conduit for UK’s China initiatives; provides leadership and support for the Chinese language and culture programs in Kentucky’s K-12 classrooms; and functions as a hub for Chinese culture by providing authentic Chinese cultural programs that educate and enhance understanding of China for audiences all across the Commonwealth.

UK's Portal to Chinese Institutional Partnerships

The primary objective of the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute is to support the core mission of the University of Kentucky by serving as an instrument for programs that lead both students and faculty toward more informed global citizenship and heightened intercultural competency. Within this framework, the UKCI provides support for the University of Kentucky and its colleges to identify, cultivate, establish and sustain strategic partnerships with Chinese institutions. Through these partnerships, it creates teaching, researching, learning, and internship opportunities for faculty and students. In addition, it offers co-curricular and learning pathway programs on the UK campus to supplement learning, teaching, and research about China.

The Confucius Institute is dedicated to serving as the University of Kentucky’s portal to China, doing so through a multitude of programs, opportunities, and resources available to University of Kentucky students, faculty, and staff.

These services include, but are not limited to: 

Faculty Research and Teaching

  • UK Faculty Teach in China program
    • The primary objective of the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute is to support the core mission of the University of Kentucky by serving as an instrument for programs that lead both students and faculty toward more informed global citizenship and heightened intercultural competency. As such, the Confucius Institute has prioritized accessibility to teach in China for University of Kentucky faculty. Since 2013, over 90 faculty members have had the opportunity to teach in China. (Button: See more about Teach in China program). Additionally, the UKCI provides financial support for these programs through faculty grants. For more information on the UK Confucius Institute faculty grants, click here.
  • UK Faculty Collaborative Research Opportunities with Chinese Partner Institutions
    • The UKCI also looks to accomplish its goal to identify, cultivate, and sustain strategic partnerships with Chinese institutions through collaborative research opportunities. To date, 23 faculty grants have been awarded to faculty for research projects with Chinese partner institutions.
  • Curriculum Development and Study Abroad Grants for Faculty
    • The UKCI provides resources and financial support for faculty to further develop curricula both in Kentucky and abroad. The UK Confucius Institute China Education Abroad Seminar Grant works in collaboration with UK Education Abroad to provide annual funding to support the development and implementation of a summer UK faculty-directed education abroad program in China, while the China in Colleges Grant supports college-wide programs and activities focusing on China. Since 2016 alone the UKCI has awarded over $40,000 in travel grants for University of Kentucky faculty. (Button: UK Confucius Institute China Education Abroad Seminar Grant). (Button: China in Colleges Grant).
  • Support College’s China Initiatives
    • UK Confucius Institute continues to help colleges within the University of Kentucky integrate elements of Chinese culture into curriculum when applicable, as well as create partnerships between UK’s colleges and China-based institutions. The UKCI also offers culture demonstrations featuring Chinese traditional music, calligraphy, Chinese dance and martial arts.  UK faculty can schedule an in-class culture demonstration through UK Confucius Institute in order to enrich and support their teaching. (Button: More on China in the Classroom) (Button: Request a Culture Expert).

Student Success and Belonging

  • Study Abroad Opportunities in China
    • The UK Confucius Institute provides opportunities for students, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, to travel to China to further develop informed global citizenship and heightened intercultural competency. The UKCI also awards multiple scholarships and grants, with funding available for trips ranging from four weeks to multiple years for students, scholars, and non-native Chinese language teachers worldwide. Since 2016 alone the UKCI has awarded over $65,000 in travel grants for University of Kentucky students, with an impressive year-over-year growth. (Button: Study Abroad Opportunities) (Button: Student Scholarships) (Button: Student Travel Grants).
  • Students Night and International Education Week   
    • On campus, the UKCI provides programming to further promote Chinese language, arts, culture, and business through its Students Night and International Education Week programs. Students Night offers a student reception during which students gather to play Chinese games, share a meal, and then share experiences from travel abroad in China. The UKCI Student Night is one of the many programs during the University of Kentucky’s International Education Week, part of a national annual celebration promoted by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. (Button: International Education Week).
  • Chinese Tutoring Program
    • The UKCI provides an outlet to help further foster language growth and development through its Mandarin Office Hours program. In conjunction with Transformative Learning and the Gaines Center, the Confucius Institute began a pilot program for Chinese language tutoring in the fall of 2017. The service, free to undergraduate students, provided opportunities to practice speech with native speakers, and held over 150 total sessions in its initial semester. Of the participants, 80% attended multiple times, 65% attended four or more times, and feedback was extremely positive as the program received a 91 of 100% rating from those who participated.
  •  “A Bite of China”
    • The UKCI’s “A Bite of China” program offers a different path for students and faculty to participate in cultural immersion. The program, geared towards a love for food, aims to teach about traditional Chinese cuisine while offering a hands-on learning environment in which participants grow through culinary discovery. The “A Bite of China” program recurs on the last Wednesday of every month during the academic calendar.
  • “China in My Lens” Photo Contest
    • The “China in My Lens” contest invites faculty, undergraduate students and high school students who have traveled to China in the past year to submit their photos for competition. The committee then selects a series of photos for awards and an on-campus exhibition. The “China in My Lens” contest is an annual event, with submissions usually due in late October. (Button: More on “China in My Lens”).
  • Chinese Essay and Speech Contests

Academic Enrichment Co-curricula Programming with UK Colleges

  • Sponsoring of Symposia and Conferences on UK Campus
    • As a part of the UKCI’s role to offer co-curricular and learning pathway programs on the UK campus to supplement learning, teaching, and research about China, the Confucius Institute sponsors a plethora of symposia and conferences. Since 2010, the UKCI has sponsored 15 different programs and conferences as a part of the over $1.3 million so far in campus and community programming funds. Some examples of these events include: the annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, the Sino-US News Media Conference, the Contemporary Chinese Art and Society, the Lacqure Art from Taiwan Workshops, Living Landscapes, the Land, People and Livelihood of Kentucky, and Inner Mongolia. (Button: Upcoming Events).
  • Distinguished Speaker Series 
    • The Distinguished Speaker Series, hosted by the UK Confucius Institute, is designed to strengthen China studies at UK by inviting scholars from around North America to campus to address issues pertaining to research on China. Faculty are invited to propose speakers, primarily for engagements during the fall semester. In its first six years, the UKCI has brought 34 different speakers to campus to present. (Button: Distinguished Speaker Series).
  • College-wide China Programming
    • The UKCI has a widespread net of programming it hosts across UK’s campus for students and faculty, including the Chinese New Year Celebration, Confucius Institute Student Night, the “China in My Lens” photo competition and exhibition, and the China Day at the College of Communication and Information. (Button: Upcoming Events).
  • Academic Exchange Trips to China for UK Students and Faculty
  • Support UK’s China Studies
    • Similarly to its college-wide China programming, the UKCI supports UK’s China studies both financially and with personnel. The UKCI helps publicize UK China studies events and has the ability to present cultural demonstrations in classrooms upon request. (Button: More on China in the Classroom)
  • HSK Testing Site for Kentucky and States Nearby
    • The UKCI also serves as a testing site for the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) or Chinese Proficiency Test. As an authorized testing center for the standardized international exam, the Confucius Institute at the University of Kentucky has served over 100 students from Kentucky and surrounding states since 2012. The UKCI offers testing as well as tutoring courses. (Button: More on HSK Testing)
  • China Club

 Established as an arm of the UKCI in 2015, the Chinese Culture club looks to create a space for students, faculty and staff to explore Chinese culture on a monthly basis while promoting the UKCI’s cultural courses.

Statewide and Nationwide Leadership in Teacher Education

  • The UKCI assists in teacher education, serving as one of the leaders in Chinese teacher training in North America. The UKCI serves as just one of two Chinese teaching credentialed testing sites in North America, as well as one of two Chinese teacher training centers in the US hosting major teacher training conferences. The UKCI’s teacher training conferences have hosted teachers from 26 different states and continue to grow year-by-year, having been defined as the “international standard” for training conferences of its kind. 

Developing and Maintaining Partnerships with Chinese Institutions

  • Hosting and Facilitating Visits and Delegations from Chinese Universities
    • Serving as the conduit for UK’s China initiatives, the Confucius Institute serves as a primary contact for partner Chinese institutions and universities. As such, the UKCI aims to facilitate regular visits from partner institutions. Similarly, the Confucius Institute at the University of Kentucky leads UK delegations to visit China for meetings and trips with partner universities.
  • Develop and Evaluate China Strategic Programs with UK Colleges
    • As the University of Kentucky’s portal to China, the UKCI spends time creating and building Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s) for each college it works with. Outside of its goals university-wide, the UKCI understands that each college within the University of Kentucky has different needs regarding China education, so it works with each of them to craft meaningful programs and meet their specific needs. The UKCI currently serves 14 of the University of Kentucky’s 16 colleges (87.5%).
  • Host Cultural Orientations for Student and Faculty Groups Visiting China
    • In an effort to assure visiting students and faculty can complete successful trips to China, the UKCI handles both service-based and cultural needs before their departure. The Confucius Institute both helps students and faculty navigate the technical needs of the trip, such as visa application, as well as hosts cultural orientations in which parties learn about the societal and cultural norms of China in order to represent both the University of Kentucky and the United States in a positive light during their visit abroad.  

Statewide Leadership in K-12 Global Competency Programming

The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute’s K-12 Chinese Language, Culture Development and Enhancement Program is designed to help Kentucky schools support global readiness programs with a focus on Chinese language and culture.  The K-12 Chinese Language, Culture Development and Enhancement Program allows local school districts in Kentucky to host highly qualified, licensed, native Chinese speaking educators to provide instruction at the elementary, middle and high school level.

In addition to its work with the University of Kentucky, the Confucius Institute has identified, developed, established and sustained Chinese language programs in over 30 Kentucky K-12 classrooms and six more Confucius classrooms in K-12 schools and Universities.

UKCI’s services to the Commonwealth’s K-12 schools include, but are not limited to: 

Chinese Teacher Placement in Kentucky K-12 Schools

  • The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute is responsible in part for placing qualified native speakers to teach in Kentucky K-12 schools. The UKCI works with Haban, the international Confucius Institute headquarters, to find candidates with English proficiency, integrity, teaching ability, and the ability to effectively adapt in lifestyle to working the state of Kentucky. The Confucius Institute also plays a critical role in developing new Chinese language programs in schools across the state. (Button: Start a New Chinese Language Program). 

Professional Development Workshops for Chinese Teachers

  • As an ongoing part of its mission, the UKCI continues to run workshops and other professional development opportunities for Chinese teachers to further hone their teaching abilities and relaying best practices in language development courses. These year-round seminars typically last one day on the University of Kentucky’s campus. (Button: Learn more about Professional Development Opportunities).

Professional Development Workshops for Kentucky Social Studies Teachers

  • In addition to its professional development series for Chinese teachers, the UKCI offers additional workshops focusing on K-12 Social Studies teachers, finding more ways to integrate China studies into curriculum. These day-long seminars range from a wide variety of topics, including Chinese art, religion, philosophy, literature, modern history and language. (Button: Learn more about Professional Development Opportunities).

New Teacher Week-Long Professional Orientation Workshops

  • In line with its philosophy that “the teachers’ quality determines the programs’ quality,” the UKCI hosts a week-long orientation for all of its new Chinese language teachers. The five-day program ensures that the teachers’ teaching theories, pedagogies, and methods reflect that of the Confucius Institute’s standards and ensure a successful transition to teaching Chinese in Kentucky. 

School Administrators Bi-Annual Conference

  • The UKCI hosts conferences for its partner schools twice a year in an effort to continually grow and enhance the Chinese programs at the institutions. The conference serves as a forum for continual updates on methodology, troubleshooting the current programs and connecting educators from across the state to further advance language and cultural programs. 

Kentucky High School Students Study Trips to China

The UK Confucius Institute offers a 14-day study tour of China designed to help high school students expand their Chinese language and cultural experiences. Participants will receive a scholarship to cover all expenses within China including meals, accommodations, inter-city transportation by air or train, admission to cultural and historical sites, tuition for studying at Shanghai University, local transportation, and airport pick up. (Button: More information on Kentucky High School Student Trips).

Kentucky Educators Trips

  • Much like the Kentucky High School Students Study Trip, The UK Confucius Institute offers a 14-day study trip designed to help education decision-makers start and expand their Chinese language and culture programs. Participants will receive a fellowship which covers all expenses within China. (Button: Kentucky Educator’s China Trip). 

Chinese Culture & Language Camps

  • As a part of its K-12 initiatives, the UKCI hosts a pair of Chinese Culture & Language camps over the course of the year. The spring camp is in conjunction with Fayette County Schools Spring Break, while the summer camp usually takes place in early June. The camps look to immerse campers in Chinese culture through hands on activities and fun games. (Button: More on K-12 Camps)

Chinese Culture Showcases for Kentucky Schools

  • Among the services it provides, the UKIC also sends culture experts to area K-12 schools to increase students’ global awareness and exposure to Chinese culture. The demonstrations are can cover a wide variety of subjects, including calligraphy, Chinese music, martial arts, Tai Chi, and the Chinese Tea Ceremony. (Button: More on Cultural Demonstrations). 

Chinese Culture Contests for K-12 Students

Community Engagement

Finally, the UKCI strives to provide educational experiences and resources for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The UKCI not only provide classes in Chinese language and Chinese traditional arts to members of the community, but also bring authentic Chinese cultural programs and performances to locales around the state.  Since 2010, the Confucius Institute at the University of Kentucky has provided over 270 cultural demonstration courses and reached nearly 53,000 participants in annual community events, including Global Confucius Institute Day, art exhibitions, language classes and music courses.

UKCI’s services to the community include, but are not limited to: 

Chinese Language Courses for the Community

Chinese Music Classes

  • The UKCI also provides instructional courses on both the Erhu (or Chinese violin) and the Guzheng (or Zither). The Erhu is one of the most popular solo instruments in the Huqin family, while the Guzheng is known for its wonderful tones. Both courses teach students the basics knowledge of the instrument as well as songs for the instrument. (Button: More on Chinese Culture Courses) (Button: Register for Chinese Culture Courses).

Martial Arts Class

Chinese Calligraphy Class

Festival Celebrations

  • Among its main outreach, the Confucius Institute hosts a plethora of events for the community, with its flagship programs being festival celebrations. These include the Chinese New Year Festival, Moon Festival, and Global Confucius Institute Day. Since the Confucius Institute began in 2010, the UKCI’s community events have reached nearly 53,000 people. (Button: Upcoming Events)(Button: UK Confucius Institute Day)

Art Exhibitions & Performances

  • As a part of its mission to further develop and immerse campus and the Lexington community in Chinese culture, the UKCI looks to bring the art and history of China to the forefront through live performances, art exhibitions, and workshops. (Button: Upcoming Events