Experience Chinese culture by taking a class this summer

Contact: Mackenzie Adams
Photo of WMU students.

Practice makes perfect in the calligraphy class.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Confucius Institute at Western Michigan University is accepting registrations for nine summer Chinese culture courses that begin the week of Monday, May 8.

The multiweek, low-cost courses are open to members of the public of all ages. A half-price tuition discount is offered to those age 55 and older as well as WMU students, while tuition is free for WMU employees. Some courses charge all participants a fee for materials, and those with low enrollment may be canceled.

The Confucius Institute at WMU is a nonprofit organization designed to bring an authentic Chinese perspective to WMU and the Kalamazoo area. The institute offers culture classes during WMU's fall and spring semesters as well as the University's summer I session.

Summer 2017 offerings

Seven of the classes meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and all but one meets one day a week for six weeks.

  • Chinese ink painting, calligraphy and paper-cutting (no Chinese language knowledge needed)
  • Taichi (meets 11 times; no Chinese language knowledge needed)
  • Basic Chinese language I and II
  • Intermediate Chinese language I and II
  • Advanced Chinese language

All classes are held on WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo and taught for personal enrichment rather than academic credit. Registrations are due by Friday, May 5.

View class schedule and register

Diverse, enjoyable classes

Photo of WMU students.

Students learn the art of Chinese knotting.

The Confucius Institute has been offering Chinese culture classes since the institute's inception eight years ago, notes Meng Li, one of the culture class instructors. "We provide an authentic Chinese culture experience to the people of Western, and to the people of Kalamazoo," Li says. "Our classes are great for people who may have limited knowledge of China and would like to know more about the country."

Hedy Habra, a WMU instructor of Spanish, has attended several Confucius Institute classes over the past eight years.

"I greatly enjoyed these classes and had wonderful instructors," Habra says. "The variety of class offerings at the Confucius Institute is geared toward all sorts of people, whether they're interested in Chinese culture or in visiting China but can't attend formal courses."

She adds that the institute has been successful in teaching Chinese language and culture to her and other members of the campus and Kalamazoo communities.

"The Confucius Institute instruction has deepened my understanding and appreciation for Chinese culture," Habra says. "Chinese ink brush painting and taichi have become a regular part of my life, and I strive to improve my skills. I also plan to continue the language courses, and I am grateful to all the great instructors I have had so far."

For more information about the Confucius Institute and its classes, visit wmuconfucius.org.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.