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.
“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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