Below is an article written for the "International Agenda" magazine at Schoolcraft College. It introduces what a Confucius Institute is and provides information about the WSU Confucius Institute's extended programming at Schoolcraft College.


The Confucius Institute at Wayne State University has extended its programming to Schoolcraft College.

The what??? For many, the above sentence begs the following questions: “What is the Confucius Institute?”  “What kind of programming does it offer?” and, “What programming will be extended to Schoolcraft College?”
The Confucius Institute at Wayne State University is one of 500+ such institutes worldwide, of which approximately 100 are located in the U.S., with four in the state of Michigan (the other three can be found at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Western Michigan University). Confucius Institutes, similar to the British Council, the Goethe Institut, Alliance Fraincais, and Instituto Cervantes, offer native language and cultural programming to people outside their borders. Chances are that if you are interested in Chinese culture, learning the Chinese language, learning about China, or perhaps even traveling to China on a scholarship or subsidized program, the Confucius Institute has something for you!
Although all Confucius Institutes offer programs related to Chinese culture, individual missions vary. The Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan, for example, is dedicated to offering top-notch Chinese musical performances and art exhibitions. At Michigan State University, staff members provide Chinese teacher education and signature programs in distance and computer learning. The Confucius Institute at Wayne State University provides a variety of programming to K-12, university, and professional communities, including K-12 outreach programs, an annual quiz bowl and teacher conference, Chinese New Year celebrations, art contests, cooking contests, and a Youtube channel with more than 120 short videos spotlighting Chinese idioms (search for “Learn a Chinese Phrase” on Youtube).
But what programming will be available to the Schoolcraft community?
After a well-attended ribbon-cutting ceremony in October 2017—ten years after opening its doors on the Wayne State campus—the WSU Confucius Institute staff began offering a weekly Chinese lecture and luncheon series, known as the Confucius Café. Each Tuesday, from noon to 1 PM, in room 321 of the Jeffress Center, an invited speaker offers a presentation or discussion about China or Chinese culture. Chinese tea and food are provided for attendees. Topics thus far have included: the Chinese family, urban vs. rural life in China, color symbolism in China, Taiji and the I Ching, Chinese etiquette, and tips on learning a foreign language—a more general presentation for students of any language. During the 2018 Winter Semester, the Confucius Café lecture series will begin at 1:15 PM each Tuesday, also in room 321 in the Jeffress Center. Topics will be announced on the WSU Confucius Institute website ( and a Chinese buffet-style lunch will continue to be available to those who join.
Schoolcraft students and community members interested in joining the Summer Service Learning Program in Rural China should contact WSU Confucius Institute Director, Dr. John Brender, at or by phone at (313) 577-3035. Accompanied by Chinese university students, participants spend three weeks in China, teaching English at rural and sometimes remote sites. Discussions are currently underway regarding an academic component relevant to Schoolcraft students.
Thanks to a very enthusiastic and international-oriented faculty at Schoolcraft College, the WSU Confucius Institute will provide the following sponsored and co-sponsored events this Winter Semester on the Schoolcraft campus:
Tuesday, February 13: Chinese New Year Celebration. Join us for an authentic Chinese New Year celebration, complete with food and entertainment (details to be announced at
Tuesday, February 27: The Annual K-12 Chinese Zodiac Animal Art Contest at the Vista Tech Center from 3-6 PM: Check out posters, t-shirts, and 3-D art projects submitted by Greater Detroit area students, commemorating the Year of the Dog! Judges will award top entries to students in four different age categories: grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
Saturday, March 3: The 10th Annual Michigan China Quiz Bowl at the Liberal Arts Building and the Vista Tech Center: This annual quiz bowl provides a forum for non-native, non-heritage middle and high school students to test their knowledge of Chinese language and culture. Championship rounds, which are open to the public, will begin at 1 PM at the Vista Tech Center Auditorium. Teachers of Chinese may still register teams of three in various divisions. Information is available on the WSU Confucius Institute website.
Tuesday, April 3: Chinese Cooking Contest in VT500CD. Watch teams of cooking enthusiasts compete as they prepare top-rate Chinese dishes for a panel of discriminating judges. Sample the cuisine and judge for yourself!
WSU Confucius Institute staffers plan to make themselves available on the Schoolcraft campus, every Tuesday from 11 AM to 3 PM in room 331 of the Jeffress Center. Schoolcraft students and community members are welcome to make appointments to discuss relevant opportunities, programs, events, or an interest in volunteering. Depending on demand, Chinese language tutoring may be made available on Tuesdays from 2:30-3:30 PM.
“We are excited by the enthusiasm exhibited by the Schoolcraft community thus far,” commented John Brender, director of the Wayne State University Confucius Institute since 2008. “While our center’s mission is to provide an exposure to Chinese language and culture, my lifelong mission as an educator has been to help others see things from more than just a single perspective. I hope that our offerings will serve as a vehicle to enhance curiosity not just about China, but other cultures as well.”
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