Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center International Admissions Office is closed due to Hurricane Sandy. We will get back to applicant questions as soon as we reopen. Thank you!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Global Reach of the HNC

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center Office of International Admissions based at SAIS in Washington is responsible for recruiting and admitting international students to the HNC while Nanjing University manages the enrollment of citizens of the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

HNC Cafeteria
What do we mean when we say our office admits "international" students?  These applicants are mostly American but about 15% of students each year come from countries other than the US and China.  This year we have students from Australia, the UK, Canada, Korea, Russia, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, and Italy.  While the official name of the HNC is the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies, the students there are truly international and activities at the Center reflect this diversity. For example, there have been Spanish and French language tables in the HNC cafeteria and the China-Latin America Roundtable Series at the Center also included a trip to the Brazilian Embassy in Beijing.  Post-graduation, 51% of international students move to the US, 33% remain in China, and 16% relocate to other countries (the top three include Singapore, the UK, and South Korea). 

HNC at Yonsei University
In an effort to increase the diversity of this global community, the HNC Office of International Admissions is expanding our international recruiting efforts.  For years we have been recruiting in Vancouver and Montreal but this year added Toronto to the schedule.  Last year we recruited in Korea for the first time and over the summer we visited Singapore and Vietnam.  In the coming weeks, admissions representatives will also be traveling to England, Italy, and Mexico.  

For our readers overseas, where should we go next year in our search for qualified applicants with advanced Chinese proficiency?  If you would like to speak with an admissions representative in your city or university, send us an email with location suggestions and we may consider adding them to our fall 2013 recruiting schedule!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

China and the US Presidential Election

Tonight at SAIS in Washington, there will be a China Policy Debate between Jeffrey Bader who will represent the Obama campaign and Aaron Friedberg who has replaced Lanhee Chen to represent the Romney campaign.  David Lampton, Director of SAIS China Studies, will moderate the debate.  For those of you not in DC, there will also be a live webcast of the event accessible at: http://bit.ly/ChinaDebateLIVE.

HNC students "vote" in the 2008 HNC mock election
Students in Nanjing are also gearing up for the American presidential election.  American students have requested their absentee ballots but historically HNC students have also held mock presidential elections that both Chinese and international students can choose to take part in.  Do you think the China policies discussed above will affect the mock election results at the HNC?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Moon cakes and Pomelos

 Current MAIS student Natalie Sammarco joins us again with an update about fall in Nanjing:

"Two weeks into the semester, we have a week long break for China’s National holiday (Oct 1-3). We have to make up some of the classes we miss during our week long break but the best part about having time off is that we get time to explore Nanjing! Some students choose to go elsewhere for break and many of the Chinese students return home to see their families, but I stayed here to acquaint myself with my new home. Here are some of the highlights from National Holiday break:

Moon cakes: The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated all over China. The best part about this festival is the food related to it. Moon cakes have a softer, butter shell on the outside and gooey yuminess in the center!  :-) They are filled with everything from fruit, to tea flavors, nuts, egg flavorings, and red bean paste. Be careful not to eat too many though, they are so addicting that after the holiday (when none can be found anywhere at all) you might suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Gujiming Temple: I was taken here by one of our Chinese classmates. It was a beautiful day and autumn had not yet settled into Nanjing. The small temple was decently crowded with people paying tribute and my Chinese classmate showed me proper ritual for giving thanks. The temple is beautiful and involves quite a few steep steps to get to the top. It has 3 layers of pagodas before we reached the top and then we could see the entirety of Xuanwu Lake spread out behind it speckled with paddle boats of those who were also enjoying the day. It was wonderful to explore the city and find such a peaceful place. Aside: the temple has an amazing vegetarian restaurant located just beside it!

The weather has turned colder now but it’s not terrible because we have pomelo season to look forward to. Pomelos (2x the size of your biggest grapefruit) are a citrus fruit that is not too sweet but serves as a great refreshing snack. They are just coming in season now and I’ve already bought a couple from my fruit guy up the street. Lots to look forward to as we head into chillier weather!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Financial Aid FAQs

HNC admissions representatives have been on the road visiting Chinese classes and holding information sessions on college campuses around the US and Canada.  To see if an admissions representative will be at a campus near you, check out our recruiting calendar.

Some of the most common questions we receive while traveling are regarding financial aid.  Below you can find the answers to many of these questions but please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any additional questions or concerns.

How do I qualify for financial aid?
To qualify for financial aid, please fill in the Financial Aid Application form included in the HNC application. American citizens must also submit the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The HNC uses the SAIS Title IV FAFSA code, which is E00474.

What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?
Applications received by the February 1st application deadline will be given first priority for all available funds.

Does the Hopkins-Nanjing Center provide fellowships?
The Hopkins-Nanjing Center has a financial aid budget to support students who have both financial need and academic merit. The goal is to make the Center affordable to students with the qualifications to contribute to and benefit from the academic programs in Nanjing. Partial scholarships are available to incoming students that cover differing levels of need such as tuition, housing, living or other expenses. In 2012-2013, all students who completed the FAFSA and HNC Application for Financial Assistance by the deadline received financial aid of some kind.

How much financial aid is available?

Fellowships range in amount, with the highest amounts covering about half of tuition. Most students finance their time at the Center with a combination of fellowships, loans, and their own resources.

Can I use federal loans at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center?
Federal direct loans are available to U.S. students who demonstrate need as calculated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Loans are handled through the Department of Education Direct Lending program in which loan money is dispersed directly to the university without banks or guaranteeing agencies. Loan amounts will show on the bill as a credit and refunds are processed by the SAIS D.C. billing office within a month of the beginning of classes, assuming all paperwork is complete.

Are there outside resources available?
There are many organizations that can provide funding for your studies. We encourage you to look for additional funding. You should, however, begin applying for these fellowships as soon as possible because many organizations require that you apply months in advance of attending graduate school. For a list of some of these organizations, please visit our website

How do I use Veteran’s Benefits at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center?  

All students who would like to use Veteran's Benefits need to contact John Bates in the SAIS registrar's office, even if they have used them in the past. For more detailed information, please contact the SAIS Registrar's Office.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Wait, all my classes are in Chinese?! Am I ready for that?”

Current MAIS student Natalie Sammarco shares her thoughts on taking graduate-level coursework in Chinese:

Natalie Sammarco, MAIS '14
"Welcome to my first thoughts about applying to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Intimidating, right?

Yet, isn’t life all about perception? For many people, the challenge posed by taking classes in a target language is what draws people to the Center. That’s what I find in my classmates here. What better place to learn about Chinese society than living in China, studying at a level that is intellectually and academically rigorous? Not one person here isn’t a little bit self conscious about his or her abilities to function in Chinese at the level the Center demands. These feelings are warranted, though. It’s a big step: moving from learning Chinese to using Chinese to learn, especially at the graduate level.

What makes me so excited, even just a couple weeks into the semester, is that the questions about whether my Chinese is good enough have faded into 'Wait, what was I so worried about?' The classes haven’t suddenly become easier, but my classmates are supportive and understanding when topics are difficult. It’s really nice to be able to offer my own support when someone else needs it, too. It’s fascinating that people who attend the Center each year come from such different backgrounds. They can provide an outlook on the material and issues that otherwise would not have come to light if the international students were completely homogeneous. We have musicians, theater majors, recent college graduates, lawyers, writers, those who are looking for a career change and more in the student body. Everyone brings something new to the table.

So, worrying about whether my Chinese was good enough to be here seems to be irrelevant. My professors, classmates, and the certain amount of self confidence that drove me to apply for the program in the first place got me through insecurities. I find what I should have spent more time on was packing more practical clothes. I could use one more pair of comfortable sneakers, but I could always send for them from home."