Friday, May 30, 2014

Australia-China Youth Association BBQ

The HNC and the Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA) organized an end-of-semester barbecue last week!

The Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA) is a not-for-profit, apolitical youth organization that operates through a comprehensive online presence and university/regional chapters in Australia and China. ACYA is a vibrant community of young Australians and Chinese interested in promoting cross-cultural understanding and developing lasting friendships, academic and business partnerships, and professional and educational opportunities.

About a hundred  ACYA members attended the barbecue event. Activities included a tour of HNC, ping pong tournament, cup-water relay, music by MENenergy, a band formed of HNC students along with a selection of Australian music played by a DJ. The menu included pulled-pork sandwiches, sausages, potato salad and Belgian draft beer. Enjoy the pictures from the event!

Students serving up some delicious BBQ food!

ACYA students enjoying a tour of HNC

Cup-water relay

Ping pong competition

 Students enjoying the performance

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 MAIS Thesis Defense Topics

Last week at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, MAIS students defended their theses to their chosen thesis adviser, as well as other HNC faculty members. While at the Center, MAIS students must declare a concentration area from among the five different areas of study offered: Chinese Studies, International Politics; International Economics, International and Comparative Law, and Energy, Resources and Environment. At the end of their two years of study, international MAIS students are required to write and orally defend a thesis in Chinese which relates to their chosen concentration area, while Chinese MAIS students complete their thesis in English. To help prepare for the thesis writing process, international MAIS students choose a thesis adviser from among the Chinese faculty members. In addition, MAIS students participate in thesis prep courses to learn about different research techniques, and to discover how their thesis topic might relate to a wider range of Sino-global relations. Below are some examples of different thesis topics presented by MAIS '14 students:

  • The Role of the Maritime Militia: People's War at Sea
  • Reasons for overseas study - An empirical study of international students in America and American students studying abroad
  • Addressing the challenge of building a child protection system in China: A comparative analysis utilizing legal perspectives from the United States, Norway and the 'BRICS' countries
  • The Geopolitical Implications of Chinese Natural Gas Imports
  • On the implementation of General Education in Contemporary Chinese Universities: A Case Study of Sun Yat-sen University and Nanjing University
For more information regarding what it's like to write a thesis in Chinese, check out some sound words of advice from previous HNC MAIS alumni

Friday, May 23, 2014

SAIS Commencement Ceremony

The 2014 Johns Hopkins SAIS commencement was held at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall on Thursday, May 22nd. There were a number of HNC Certificate/SAIS MA students graduating! 

Here are some pictures from the Commencement ceremony and reception. You can find more pictures of the commencement here. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center commencement will be held on June 13th, 2014 in Nanjing with SAIS Dean Vali Nasr as one of the commencement speakers. Congratulations graduates!

Students getting ready for the processional.

HNC Certificate/SAIS MA students

2014 SAIS graduates!

Commencement ceremony

Reception at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium Hall

JHU SAIS cupcakes!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

HNC Admissions Office to be Closed Thursday through Monday

The DC campus of Johns Hopkins University SAIS will be closed May 22, May 23, and May 26 in observance of SAIS commencement and Memorial Day, so the Hopkins-Nanjing Center admissions office will not be open to visitors on those days.  The easiest way to reach an HNC admissions representative during that time is by emailing  Check back here on the blog on Friday for pictures from the ceremony!

Congratulations to all SAIS graduates and enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

HNC Pre-Departure Forms and JHU Email Access

It's an important week for incoming students!  Please read the sections below for more information on pre-departure forms and activating your JHU ID.

Pre-Departure Forms
This is a reminder that Pre-Departure Forms are due tomorrow, Friday May 16.  These include:
  • Form 1: JW202 Student Information 
  • Form 2: Visa Information and Arrival Plans
  • Form 3: Roommate Preference Form (for students living in double rooms)
It is crucial that these forms be submitted on time so that supporting documents for your Chinese visa application can be created in Nanjing.  These documents will then be mailed to you in late-June.  If you have any questions while filling out the pre-departure forms, please contact   

Johns Hopkins University ID and Email Access
All incoming students will be receiving an email later today containing instructions on how to activate your Johns Hopkins Enterprise Directory Login ID (JHED LID).  This ID is required to access your JHU email account, the ISIS Self-Service system for bills, and the student portal.  

Once you have set up your JHU email address, you should plan to check it regularly or set up forwarding rules so that JHU emails will be routed automatically to the personal email account you typically use.  DO NOT IGNORE THIS EMAIL ADDRESS.  The JHU email address is the one that JHU and SAIS offices will use to communicate with you about your student account, financial aid, etc.  You are responsible for information disseminated by JHU/SAIS using your JHU email address.

We look forward to welcoming you to Nanjing this fall!  Please contact if you have any questions at all as you prepare for your time at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Jacob Kurien

Hopkins-Nanjing Center faculty are an integral part of the HNC community.  In addition to their teaching and research interests, they are actively involved in campus life.  For example,  they can often be found joining students for lunch in the Center's cafeteria, cheering on the HNC basketball and dragonboat teams, and advising students in co-curricular activities like moot court.  We recently checked in with Professor Jacob Kurien about his research interests and academic pursuits over the last year.

Professor Kurien teaches "Development Economics"
Professor Jacob Kurien is a resident professor of International Economics at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. 
 To learn about other faculty members at the HNC, click here.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Guest Lecture by Zi Zhongyun at the HNC

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center holds frequent guest lectures in English and Chinese on a variety of topics.  This week alone the HNC hosted guest speakers Dr. Zhao Jianzhong, the Vice Inspector in the Counselors' Office of the Nanjing Municipal Government, and Karen Liu, the Managing Director of Social Venture Group.  We are also holding a conference on East Asian Regionalism over the next few days that is open to students.  HNC Five-Semester Option student Emily Walz sends an update about another recent guest lecture by Zi Zhongyun, senior fellow and former director of the American Studies Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). 

On April 14, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center hosted professor Zi Zhongyun 资中筠 for a Monday night lecture on “the current domestic and international situation.” Students flocked to the classroom where the talk was to be held as organizers rushed to add rows of chairs to the back of the room. The majority of the room was filled with Chinese students, many of whom were already familiar with Professor Zi. One of them, my roommate, had pointed out to me earlier in the day her copies of some of Professor Zi’s books, which enjoy a prime position on her overcrowded bookshelves. It seemed clear that Professor Zi’s reputation preceded her, attracting an impressive crowd for a mid-semester weeknight.

Blog post author Emily Walz introduces Professor Zi Zhongyun
Senior fellow and former director of the American Studies Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (and Chinese co-director of the Center’s Institute for International Research from 2000 to 2005), Zi Zhongyun is a gray-haired, quick-witted woman in her 80s. She sat at one of the front tables, facing students and announced at the opening that instead of giving a formal presentation, she would open the floor to questions, beginning a discussion about contemporary international affairs of interest to students. Students responded with queries about her opinions on a wide variety of topics, from Japan's foreign policy to conflicting claims in the South China Sea, Taiwan, and the Obama administration’s “Asia Pivot.”

Her manner was easy and open as she fielded students’ questions in an informal style, not shy about expressing her opinion or telling students that some questions don’t have easy answers. She was straightforward and funny, with jokes that elicited bursts of laughter.

As a scholar, her views were nuanced and informed by history. When speaking about the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Professor Zi noted that Western leaders, in particular the U.S., bore some responsibility for the current debacle. America in the post-Cold War era missed an opportunity to promote peace and help stabilize a stronger Russian democracy, she argued. While a Yeltsin-led Russia was looking for a closer relationship with the U.S., the U.S. chose instead to promote its own global strategic and military dominance rather than cutting military spending, a trajectory further cemented in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.

Regarding efforts like President Xi Jinping’s campaign to curb corruption in China, Professor Zi insisted that the rule of law is indispensable to reform, and that political reform is the most urgent task confronting the new leadership; while in international affairs, Professor Zi emphasized the importance of rational decision-making among countries’ leaders. She is herself a pacifist who maintains that contemporary foreign policy should endeavor to avoid war at all costs, as the consequences of modern warfare are beyond imagination.

Her impressive list of works features translations from English and French as well as original scholarship on U.S. studies, including her latest book, The Destiny of Wealth: An Analysis of American Philanthropic Foundations from a Chinese Perspective.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Write for the SAIS Observer from Nanjing!

The SAIS Observer is a weekly newspaper written, edited, and produced by the students of The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).  Students, faculty, and staff in Washington, Bologna, and Nanjing are encouraged to submit items for consideration.

Interested in joining the SAIS Observer editorial staff as an HNC student?  Click here for more information!

Check out some of the recent SAIS Observer articles written by HNC students below:

East Asian Regionalism Conference at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, by Maryan Escarfullett
For the first time in Hopkins-Nanjing Center history, the Center has organized a research conference focused on East Asian regionalism. Associate Editor at the HNC Maryan Escarfullett covers the highlights of the conference.

The Dragons are Coming! by Anne Meredith
Hopkins-Nanjing Center students will celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival by participating in the annual Dragon Boat race. Anne Meredith, staff writer at the HNC, speaks with dragon boat team members.

Inside Perspectives on Chinese Marine Issues, by Rui Zhong
On March 16th, students at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center were privy to the viewpoints of a Chinese Foreign Ministry official. Yang Li, an HNC ’94-’95 alumni and section chief of Ocean Affairs at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, currently works on China’s developing marine policy. He gave a lecture on “China’s Marine Policy and U.S.-China Relations” which contextualized territorial disputes and marine policies from his perspective. Rui Zhong reports from Nanjing.  

HNC Students Participate in Aid Endeavor in the Philippines Over Spring Break, by Nathan Fischler
Over spring break, five Hopkins-Nanjing Center students visited the Philippines to assist the residents of a small town affected by Typhoon Yolanda. The typhoon occurred six months ago, but significant damage is still adversely affecting communities throughout the country. Nathan Fischler, assistant editor at Hopkins-Nanjing Center, writes a coverage of the trip.

'Most Radical Form of Terrorism in China', by Anne Meredith
Dr. Cai Jiahe, the former Deputy Director for Academic Affairs at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center where he currently teaches a course on Islamic Fundamentalism, discussed with the Observer about the Islamic fundamentalism and the resulted terrorism in China. Anne Meredith reports.

Friday, May 2, 2014

HNC 2014-2015 Orientation Handbook

Attention incoming HNC students: This morning you received a very important email!  It contained the 2014-2015 Orientation Handbook, as well as pre-departure forms which will assist us in securing your visa documents and assigning roommates.  These forms are due by May 16.  The Orientation Handbook will be your resource throughout the summer and contains answers to essentially every question you may have regarding preparing for your time at the Center.  We encourage you to read it through thoroughly from cover to cover!  Should you have any questions after reviewing this document, please email