Denison Student Makes History in China
Date of Event: July 16, 2009
Posted: November 10, 2009
Nate Hammond became part of the history of U.S.-Chinese relations on July 14, when he boarded a plane bound for China. The Denison University history and East Asian studies major was chosen to represent the United States as part of the 30/30 Program, a collaboration between the United States and Chinese governments that celebrates 30 years of formal diplomatic relations by exchanging 30 college and university students for three weeks.
The two groups of Chinese and American students will have a brief overlap in China so that they can get to know each other. Then each group will head out for three weeks of intense academic and cultural explorations, with the Chinese students flying to the United States, while Hammond and the 29 other American students delve into Chinese culture, traditions, politics, governance and finance at institutions such as Peking University in Beijing, Sichuan University and Tongji University in Shanghai. The group also will visit places like Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, Huanglongxi Ancient Village, and the City God Temple of Shanghai and they’ll have the opportunity to spend a weekend with a Chinese host family during their stay.
In order to chose the best American representatives for this journey, the U.S. State Department asked teachers in the Fulbright Foreign Language Program to each nominate one student to apply. Xidong Niu, who taught Mandarin at Denison last year, nominated Hammond, and his application was accepted.
Hammond is comfortable conversing in Mandarin—but he hopes the trip will help him to become fluent so that he can become more active in Chinese-American relations.
Exploring other countries helps Hammond to understand his own, he wrote in his application to the program. “Though seemingly contradictory, my fascination with foreign culture and language is a result of a deep rooted passion for America and what it means to be American, especially in an era where the world is becoming more and more globalized and interconnected.”
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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