Wednesday, April 29, 2015

HNC Says 再见 to Admissions Coordinator Sallie Ly

The HNC Admissions Team in Washington
It is with great reluctance that the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office announces that Admissions Coordinator Sallie Ly will be leaving her position this Friday, but we wish her well in her new job at George Mason University! Below is a message from Sallie to the applicants and students she has worked with over the past two years:

Friday is my last day as the HNC admissions coordinator as I leave for George Mason
University where I accepted a position as the Assistant Director of International Admissions. The last two years working for the Hopkins-Nanjing Center will be unforgettable – I traveled to China, visited over 80 universities and met with hundreds of prospective students. I have been repeatedly impressed with the quality of our applicants and our students. I will truly miss working with all of my colleagues and students! Please feel free to contact my colleague, Lauren Szymanski at if you have any questions regarding HNC admissions after Friday, May 1st.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Student Spotlight: Ryan Murray

"I chose SAIS over other international relations programs because of the Nanjing center, and I liked the fact that the campus there was integrated with the DC campus."
-Ryan Murray

Watch this short 2-minute video to learn more about why current student Ryan Murray chose the HNC Certificate/SAIS MA program:

If the video above does not display, click here to be directed to YouTube.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Faculty Spotlight: Professor David Arase

Dr. David Arase is a Resident Professor of International Politics at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, teaching classes this year such as East Asian Regionalism and Comparative Foreign Policy. His other activities at the HNC have included co-chairing the HNC faculty colloqium and serving as the faculty sponsor of the HNC Vegetarian Cooking Club.

In addition, this past fall he gave presentations at conferences in Hanoi and Beijing and this spring has published several papers including:
  • “Modernizing US defense cooperation in East Asia to peacefully manage strategic competition,” NIDS Visiting Scholar Paper Series, no. 2 (Tokyo: National Institute of Defense Studies, April 16, 2015). Click here to read.
  • “Explaining China’s 2+7 Initiative towards ASEAN,” ISEAS Trends, No. 4 (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, April 9, 2015). Click here to read
  • "China's Two Silk Roads and the Community of Common Destiny in Asia," ISEAS Perspective, No. 2 (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, January 22, 2015). Click here to read.
Before joining the Hopkins-Nanjing Center faculty in 2011, Dr. Arase was a professor of politics at Pomona College in Claremont, California, teaching international relations and East Asian affairs with a focus on Japanese politics and foreign policy. He is a graduate of Cornell University (B.A. liberal arts, 1977), the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (M.A., international relations, 1982), and the University of California at Berkeley (Ph.D., political science, 1989). He has had a Japan Foundation dissertation fellowship and an Abe Foundation research fellowship, and has been a US State Department-sponsored touring speaker in South Korea and China. For his complete CV, click here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Reminder: Deadline to Accept Your Offer of Admission is April 20!

This is a reminder to all admitted students that the deadline to accept or decline your offer of admission is Monday, April 20.  Visit the admitted student website for instructions on how to do so.
In early May, we will send all incoming students a detailed website with information on visas, healthcare, money matters, what to pack, and more! In addition, we will share a Facebook group created for incoming students so you can start getting to know your new classmates over the summer.

Welcome to the HNC community!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Student Interest Groups at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

Spring semester at the HNC is well underway, so current student Nanfei Yan sent us an update on some of the new student initiatives taking place in Nanjing:

Hello All,

Extracurricular activities such as sports teams and students clubs are a welcome addition to any university; the HNC is no different. Last semester, we talked about volunteer initiatives (MSLI), cultural celebrations (Halloween & Christmas parties), and the HNC basketball team. This semester, I’d like to start by introducing everyone to some of the student-run interest groups at the Center.

First up, the movies! Our international student body representative, M.A. student Lincoln Lin, has a passion for films. In an effort to bring the movies from China and abroad to our diverse student body, he organized a biweekly screening event. After polling the students for classics, Lincoln curated a list that includes “Some Like it Hot”, “大闹天宫”, “Pulp Fiction”, and “甲方乙方”. When asked about his motivation, Lincoln responded: “The things we discuss in class, the academics, that’s just part of learning about other countries. Watching their movies, that’s when you really start getting into the heart of the culture.”

Moving on to philosophy! Lovingly titled the “Philosophy Non-Club”, this group of students and professors meet on an irregular basis to discuss the controversies of life. Off the record, but this may be where the professors do their best teaching. 

HNC's Korea Interest Group
Next up, to Korea and Japan! New this semester, two cultural groups have been established at the Center. Responding to popular demand, Certificate student Dennis Hong has kicked off the Korea Interest Group with an inaugural dinner at the most authentic Korean restaurant in Nanjing. “The purpose of the group is to promote awareness of the Korean culture at the Center, strengthening US-Korea and China-Korea relations”, said Dennis. I have taken a more linguistic route in starting the Japanese Interest Group. Together with M.A. student Travis Dane, we teach Japanese to HNC students four times a week. Both Dennis and I have been delighted at the interest shown by HNC students. 

Japanese Language Group Lunchtime Session
Speaking of language, there are multiple initiatives aimed at improving the speaking skills of HNC students. Lucas Atkins has started both the Chinese-English speaking program as well as a public speaking practice group. Participants of the first program wear ‘中文’ and ‘English’ language pins on alternate days, restricting their conversations that day to the language. The public speaking group is a bilingual implementation of Toastmaster’s, where participants practice making short speeches about an assigned topic. In a bilingual environment like the HNC, students sometimes exhibit a tendency to speak or respond in the language they are the most comfortable in. Through his language programs, Lucas hopes to encourage more students to converse in their target language.

Lastly, the warming weather has invited the runners out of hibernation. M.A. student Emily Shea has organized weekly runs around campus and to the neighboring Xuanwu Lake. Right at the peak of cherry blossom season, runs around Nanjing are absolutely beautiful. I hope this inspires you all to go out jogging! 

Cherry Blossoms in Nanjing



Thursday, April 9, 2015

HNC Students Celebrate Passover in China

Although often far from home, the HNC community comes together to celebrate holiday traditions each year. HNC professor Roda Mushkat recently shared the following pictures from Passover in 2014 and 2015:

HNC students and professors during Passover 2014 in Nanjing

This year, HNC students and Professor Mushkat celebrated Passover in Shanghai

Passover Seder in Shanghai, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Daily Cost of Living in Nanjing

Curious about the daily cost of living in Nanjing? Current student Nanfei Yan walks us through a typical day, outlining her average expenses on food and other essentials. Please note that $1USD is about 6.2 RMB.

Hello All,

It’s a frequently asked question for prospective students: what is the cost of living at the HNC? To answer this question, let’s go through a typical day in the life.

8:00 AM – Breakfast is the more affordable meal at the HNC cafeteria. I selected a tea egg, youtiao, meat baozi, and soymilk, costing just 3 RMB. 

Breakfast at the HNC Cafeteria
11:30 AM – Lunch is the most popular meal at the HNC cafeteria. There’s at least a dozen side dishes to choose from, in addition to staples such as rice, sweet potato, and noodles. My lunches usually cost between 7-9 RMB. Doubling on the protein today, I came in at 9 RMB. 
Lunch at the HNC Cafeteria
12:50 PM – The HNC Coffee Shop is student-run and competitively priced. The caffeine needed for me to last through the afternoon cost 6 RMB for a small. 

6:15 PM – My classes ended pretty late today, so I opted to go out for dinner instead of going to the cafeteria. Less than 10 minutes away is a Japanese-style curry shop. The New Orleans Style Chicken & Curry Omurice cost 25 RMB. 

Dinner at a Japanese-style curry shop
7:15 PM – On the way back, I picked up some tangerines and bananas from the street vendor. Today’s selection will last for a few days and cost 8 RMB. 
Fruit from a Nanjing street vendor
Total = 51 RMB or about $8.30 USD

As you can see, eating at the Center is the most economic choice. That being said, eating out can be affordable as well. A breakfast bagel & coffee costs 15 RMB at the café across the street. Customizable sandwiches are between 20 and 30 RMB at the local bakery. American cereal is about 40 RMB at import stores. A decent burger or salad runs about 50 RMB on half-off nights. Eating out in malls costs 50-100 RMB depending on the establishment. 

HNC Cafeteria
In terms of other essentials such as shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper, domestic brands are usually cheaper than imported brands. For example, the above three items cost me 23 + 6 + 18 = 47 RMB for one semester. Transportation costs 2 RMB per bus ride, and 2-5 RMB takes me to most places I need to get to via subway. Taxis start at 9 RMB, and usually costs under 25 RMB to get to major locations around Nanjing.

I hope this gives you an idea of the cost of living at the Center. Contact us if you have any questions!



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Gaye Christoffersen

Professor Gaye Christoffersen
Ian Weissgerber, a current HNC Certificate/SAIS MA student and regular contributor to the SAIS Observer, recently sat down with Gaye Christoffersen, a leading scholar in Asian energy security and Resident Professor of International Politics at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.  Below is a partial transcript of their discussion on energy security and the future of renewable energy:

I am sure there are individuals who are unaware of the role energy security plays within modern day society, so I was wondering if you could just very briefly touch on that.
Very simply put, it is a reliable and stable supply of energy at a reasonable cost.

Why is energy security important in the world we live in today?
Industrialized countries require a lot of energy for their factories and transport sectors. In addition, there are also residential and commercial uses. However, there are many different forms of energy for each of these uses. For example, the transport sector is reliant upon oil. Coal and natural gas play a role in power generation.

What are the biggest challenges that China is facing in regards to energy security and renewable energy?
The biggest challenge for renewable energy in China, which is decades old, has been the policy differences between the oil and coal industries on one side and energy reformers on the other side, who are often found in the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Energy Research Institute (ERI) under the NDRC. The “oil faction” has had significant influence upon issues such as resisting higher emissions standards for gasoline. With regards to the coal industry, referred to as “King Coal” because of its power, it has been hard to limit the number of coal mines. Coal combustion is a primary contributor to China’s pollution. However, the NDRC has tried to promote alternative energy, reduce coal emissions, and increase utilization of natural gas, a cleaner fuel. Yet, there is a consistent struggle between the oil and coal factions and the energy reformers such as the NDRC. The anti-corruption campaign has targeted the oil and coal industries which may end up limiting their power.

In China in the coming years, what do you see emerging as a leading form of renewable energy?
Wind power is China’s success story, as it generates increasing amounts of their total energy. In 2012, wind power constituted 5% of China’s installed electricity capacity. In addition, China has been very successful at producing solar panels, but has had difficulties connecting both solar and wind to the grid. Chinese production of solar panels has been export-oriented, leading to trade disputes with the U.S. and the EU. However, in recent years China has been increasingly installing solar domestically. For example, if you travel to Shanghai, you are able to see households along the way which have solar panels on their roofs. This is commonly seen in major cities.

To read the rest of the interview on the SAIS Observer website, click here!