Locations in Changsha, hong kong, and xiuning
Teaching is the means through which Fellows gain a role in their host communities, providing a structure for engaging with the surrounding society on local terms. As teachers, Fellows give their time, energy, and enthusiasm to improving the English language abilities of more than 1,000 Chinese students each year and, collectively over many years, immeasurably enhance mutual understanding between Americans and Chinese. We strive to assist our Chinese partner schools in improving the English instruction they offer their students; to provide opportunities for Chinese people to get to know Yale graduates and to learn about the culture and people of the United States. All Yale-China Fellows receive intensive language instruction in Mandarin or Cantonese Chinese along with teacher training in the summer before their teaching assignments begin. Yale-China site placements are based on a two-year teamwork model, so all new Fellows join senior Fellows who have already been teaching at their sites for one year. In addition to the guidance junior Fellows receive from senior Fellows at their site, former Fellows at advanced stages of their careers are also connected to current Fellows in a mentoring relationship.
A new culture and language
A key part of the fellowship’s success is its two-year duration. The self-discovery and cross-cultural fluency that result from the two years of immersion have inspired many former Yale-China Fellows to become leaders in international or China-related fields. Unlike a traditional study abroad program or an overseas internship, two years of living in China allows Fellows to dig beneath the surface, develop friendships, see their home society and culture in better perspective, and learn Mandarin or Cantonese. The pace, range, and depth of changes to Chinese society make living in China both exciting and unsettling. Yale-China Fellows have an unparalleled opportunity not only to witness profound social transformation but to be transformed by it as well.
Service and activities
In addition to their classroom teaching assignments, all Yale-China Fellows are expected to find ways to engage with their host communities. Most activities undertaken by Yale-China Fellows outside the classroom involve their students, although some Fellows have volunteered at AIDS clinics, joined bands, and taken dance classes off-campus. Past Fellows with musical interests have participated in an orchestra, while those who wished to perform community service have organized activities such clothing drives and contests to design the best public service project in their classes. Fellows have many opportunities to implement extracurricular activities and service projects that are suited to both their own interests and their students’ development.
In Hong Kong, Yale-China Fellows broaden their contact with the community through individually designed community engagement or public service projects. Fellows devote considerable energy over the two years to a project designed to help them participate fully in Hong Kong’s civil society. Community engagement projects make the Yale-China Fellowship in Hong Kong an excellent opportunity for Yale graduates who want experience in international public service, and especially for those whose linguistic and cultural skills allow them to operate effectively in Hong Kong society.