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Buffalo Students Awarded Confucius Institute Scholarships

Two students nominated by the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI) have been awarded Confucius Institute Scholarships for the upcoming academic year. Jenny Simon, a 2019 graduate of the University at Buffalo (UB), and Hezekiah Thompson, a 2019 graduate of Cornell University, each received one-year scholarships to study at prestigious universities in China.

Confucius Institute Scholarship winner Jenny Simon

At UB, Simon was a double major in Linguistics and English Literature with minors in Asian Studies, Chinese and Education. She earned a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship in summer 2018 to study for eight weeks at the College of Humanities and Sciences of Northeast Normal University in Changchun, China, and also participated in a UB study abroad program at Capital Normal University in Beijing in 2016. After graduation, Simon received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach for a year in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

In conjunction with the Confucius Institute Scholarship, Simon was accepted as an international exchange student for 2020-2021 at East China Normal University in Shanghai.

Simon said, “I am so overjoyed to have been picked for a Confucius Institute Scholarship, which will allow me to continue studying Mandarin while immersing myself in Chinese society and culture.”

Confucius Institute Scholarship winner Hezekiah Thompson

In 2013, as a student at Williamsville North High School, Thompson participated in UBCI’s Chinese Bridge for High School Students summer exchange program in China, and later studied Chinese in UBCI’s community classes. After graduating from Williamsville North in 2014, Thompson attended Cornell University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering in 2019 while maintaining proficiency in Chinese and taking up the study of Japanese. Since graduation, he has been working as a user interface designer and gaming artist as part of an online gaming development team.

Along with the Confucius Institute scholarship, Thompson was accepted as an international exchange student at Nanjing University for the 2020-21 academic year.

Thompson said, “Though we are all enduring difficult, uncertain times during this pandemic, I want to thank Nanjing University and the scholarship sponsor, Hanban, for extending this opportunity to me and UB’s Confucius Institute for supporting me throughout my language learning experience.”

Both students are in touch with their host universities to discuss options for enrolling for the fall semester or deferring their scholarships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Confucius Institute Scholarship program is sponsored by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (better known by the Chinese abbreviation “Hanban”). The program offers scholarships to international students at Chinese universities for a wide range of degree and non-degree academic programs, including PhD, masters, and bachelor degrees in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages and academic year, semester, and four-week programs to study Chinese language and culture.

Applications are still being accepted for spring semester 2021. Information on scholarship programs for 2021-22 will be available in early 2021.

See additional information about Confucius Institute scholarships.