Confucius volunteers broaden horizons abroad

Li Yuan is one of 12 volunteers at the Confucius Institute at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary, writes Xu Lin for China Daily. “My life in the institute is like a cup of tea – bitter at first but with a soothing aftertaste,” says Li, armed with an English postgraduate certificate from Anhui University.

In 2004, the Chinese government established Confucius Institutes to promote Chinese language and culture abroad. The institutes are non-profit organisations attached to foreign academic institutions such as universities.

To meet the shortage of Chinese teachers overseas, the Confucius Institute headquarters, or Hanban (Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language), recruits volunteers among teachers, postgraduate students and fresh graduates. As of end-2010, Hanban had sent more than 10,000 volunteers to 89 countries in the world.
Full report on the China Daily site