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Chinese delegation explores city, college
2010-4-9 9:43:58   readCount: 4599
January 21, 2010
By ERIKA CAPEK
The Brunswick News
 
A six-person delegation from Ganzhou, China, is in Brunswick through Friday to discuss the possibility of opening a Chinese language and culture center here.
The center, known as a Confucius Institute, would offer classes and present events and activities.
After spending Wednesday exploring Glynn County and visiting Brunswick High School's Chinese language class, the delegates met with administrators at the college and discussed an academic exchange between Jianxgi University of Science and Technology and the college.
Both parties are interested in establishing a Confucius Institute in Brunswick. College and Brunswick city officials see the institute as an opportunity to strengthen a relationship with the Chinese sister city Ganzhou.
"We would love to be able to offer Chinese language for every one of our students," said Valerie Hepburn, president of College of Coastal Georgia.
"Imagine your ability if you're a business major with Chinese language skills. The opportunities would be significant and another wonderful way to partner with the Confucius Institute."
Some students are receptive to the idea. They said the exchange and cultural opportunities would be a asset for them and the community.
"This is a very good thing and becoming more and more relevant," said Nick Reiter, a junior and business administration major.
That enthusiasm is echoed by others who recognize China's development as a major economic power.
Jessin Oueslati, also a junior and business administration major, is an eager supporter of the concept.
"I think it would be a great idea to further our relationship with them and be able to visit them in their country," Oueslati said.
Another strong proponent in developing strong ties between Brunswick and Ganzhou is Mayor Bryan Thompson. Thompson said the city would benefit tremendously from the partnership.
"Just immediately, it would bring a very in-depth and comprehensive opportunity for Brunswick and the region to understand more about Chinese history and culture," Thompson said. "Certainly when you have a base of Chinese residents and teachers and professors, it opens the door for other people from China to visit the community and allows opportunities for commerce."
Chinese delegates are to meet Thursday with education, community and government organizations, as well as with business and economic development leaders.
They also are to discuss the establishment of the institution, including location and funding, programs and tentative time lines. Whether Brunswick will get a Confucius Institute is a decision that will be made by higher authorities in China, officials said.
 

 
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