QU-FIU Spanish Language Partnership on the Move!
Our second stop in China, Qingdao, is known for its “mellow” Tsingtao beer and its beautiful seaside location. Indeed, the city had been a colony of both Germany and Japan, and its port is strategically located across the Yellow Sea from Japan and Korea.
What a pleasant surprise to return to Qingdao University (QU) and visit with our students in the cooperative bachelor’s dual degree program in Spanish. Nearly 300 FIU students crowded into a campus auditorium to welcome our small delegation, share PowerPoint presentations on community and university history, and outline their curriculum with us.
The program is making important strides in establishing itself at the national level in China. For instance, the Class of 2014 scored an 80 percent pass rate on the national test for Spanish Major Language Test Band 4 in June 2016. This pass rate far exceeds the national pass rate (60 percent) for China that year. Six of the top 10 student pass rates were from QU-FIU students. And Li Mengning, our student, had the highest pass rate in the country in Spanish!
I am so pleased that students in our program are at the top of their game in learning Spanish in China.
A special shoutout to our QU-FIU faculty – including Luan Xunye, Wang Xuemeng, Zhang Jinbai, Wang Fengjie, and Liu Yixuan. In addition, FIU teachers Jose Morcillo-Gemez and Juan Godoy have added immensely to the program’s energy, along with Spanish masters Vanessa and Jorge.
The success of our program in China reflects the commitment of our Department of Modern Languages and augurs well for graduating seniors in this program next year who will want to enter graduate programs in SIPA following their May 2018 graduation.
Our QU presence is buttressed by significant support in Qingdao at the highest level, where city and business leadership are pushing aggressively for our expansion with other institutions of higher education, including Qingdao Agricultural University (QAU) and the Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics (UIBE). (More on this later.)
So even while the most famous Qingdao export – the beer – is mellow, little else is so calm in this beautiful port city!