Campus News

Scholarship Opens Door to Global Learning in China for UK Students, Faculty, Staff

Student Jacob Kasper talks about his experiences studying on a China Government Scholarship.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 7, 2019) —  University of Kentucky students, scholars, faculty and staff can now apply to the Chinese Government Scholarship (CGS) - Bilateral Program administered by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) and coordinated by the UK International Center’s Office of China Initiatives. For those who are looking to gain experience and skills essential for today’s global economy, this scholarship may be the perfect pathway to developing such proficiencies and to completing academic requirements at the same time. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 15, 2019.

The CGS - Bilateral Program is one of several scholarships administered by the CSC to support international students and scholars in their studies and research at one of 289 designated Chinese universities. The scholarship covers a full tuition waiver at most of the 289 universities, free housing in a university dormitory or a monthly accommodation subsidy and a monthly stipend.

Scholarship recipients may participate in academic programs in a range of fields such as agriculture, science, engineering, economics, management, education and literature, among others. Recipients may also study for a semester or longer in China and can participate in programs taught in English or Chinese.

Since spring 2017, three UK undergraduate students have received the CGS - Bilateral Program scholarship to attend Fudan University, Zhejiang University and East China Normal University. A UK graduate student received the scholarship to study at Beijing Normal University.

One of those students was Jacob Kasper, an undergraduate student who studied abroad at Fudan University in Shanghai and found his passion for Chinese education during his abroad experience.

“During my time under the Chinese Government Scholarship, I grew exponentially,” Kasper said. “I learned how to be independent, bold, to critically think, and be creative due to being in a foreign place.”

Through the CGS, Kasper said he was able to achieve his dream of studying in China at a top university without the financial burden.

“I was able to learn Chinese while also learning about Chinese culture and experience Chinese life firsthand,” Kasper said. “CGS gave me the opportunity to be independent while also being supported. When I look back at my time under CGS I remember it as the best time of my life, where I grew into myself and learned so much.”

Now a senior in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, Kasper majors in international studies with a minor in Chinese. He said he looks forward to continuing his studies of the Chinese language in China following his graduation from UK in May 2019.

“I would tell students that are interested in the scholarship to definitely apply and also start their application now,” Kasper said. Additionally, OCI Coordinator Kathryn T. Bliss assists UK applicants with questions that may arise during the application process.

For students interested in receiving UK academic credit or meeting UK program requirements from their studies in China through this scholarship, a UK Education Abroad & Exchanges (EA) advisor will meet with them to discuss the possibilities and to navigate the necessary procedures. Since most UK student applicants do seek credit from this experience, the OCI and EA staff work together as a “one-stop-shop” allowing students to learn about the scholarship and about the potential for academic gains. The UK Confucius Institute (UKCI) then provides guidance for scholarship recipients in the China visa application process.

“The CGS has created so many opportunities to grow not only as a Chinese language student, but also as a global citizen,” said Maggie Favier, who is majoring in Chinese in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and currently studying abroad at Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

“I have the opportunity to study in an international classroom with classmates from every corner of the world,” Favier said. “Together we learn Chinese and exchange cultural differences that make the classroom feel more like a community. My Chinese has improved immensely, taking me from an HSK [widely-used Chinese Proficiency Test] level 3 to a level of 5.”

The CGS - Bilateral Program is one of many opportunities that the OCI offers to connect UK students and scholars to China. For UK students, scholars, faculty and staff interested in applying for the CGS - Bilateral Program, please visit the OCI website. For questions, please contact Kathryn T. Bliss at k.todd@uky.edu.

photo of Jacob Kasper
Student Jacob Kasper said it only took him one week to fill out his China Government Scholarship for a fully-funded study experience.

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