Tuesday, December 29, 2015

HNC Talent Show

Hey Everyone!

Last Friday we had a talent show at Nanjing University’s Xianling Campus to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. In addition to the academic component, I love that at the center students share their non-academic talents as well, which makes the center a fun place to be. This talent show was a perfect place to highlight everyone’s gifts.

Andrew, Chelsea, Leowil

My group was one of the first up. We performed a global dance medley to Christmas music designed by Andrew and Adrienne, our ‘resident dance instructors’! It was really fun learning the dance. Who knew you could rumba to Last Christmas? We also had a foxtrot, a little bit of swing and some group dances.

There were other acts Chinese and American students created together and performed from comedy, to singing, to dancing. Take a look at some of the other acts below!

School work will take a lot of work so this was a nice reprieve. I’m going to keep this post short because we’re actually coming up to finals soon. Keep an eye out though because I’ll have some posts coming up on my recent research trip to the countryside and our Christmas festivities!

Happy Holidays!


Written by Chelsea Toczauer, MAIS Student

Thursday, December 24, 2015

HNC Washington Office Holiday Hours

节日快乐! Happy holidays from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office! The HNC Washington Office will be closed on the following days over the next two weeks:
  • Thursday, December 24th 
  • Friday, December 25th 
  • Thursday, December 31st 
  • Friday, January 1st
Admissions representatives will be still be available to answer admissions questions via email at nanjing@jhu.edu.

Snowball fight at the HNC

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Faculty Interview: Professor of International Law Roda Mushkat

This week, our student blogger, Andrew Retallick, sat down with HNC International Law Professor Roda Mushkat. Professor Mushkat also advises the HNC student Moot Court team, who recently placed second in the China-wide Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot Competition-a great accomplishment considering the HNC is small institution with no law school. The Moot Court Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute before the International Criminal Court. The HNC regularly competes in Moot Court Competitions. Read our past blog posts to learn more. 

Professor Roda Mushkat is my professor for International Humanitarian & Armed Conflict Law. The class is one of, if not my favorite class here at HNC and it really is in no small part due to Professor Mushkat’s teaching. The class is taught in English, moves at a reasonable pace, has clear instruction and always has one or two examples of how the regulations/laws are applicable in the real world. To give readers and anyone interested a better understanding of the class and HNC Academics, I decided to sit down and ask professor Mushkat some questions. 

Q&A with Professor Roda Mushkat

Please tell me a little about your background, individual research, and how you came to HNC?
I was born in Israel, obtained my first law degree [LL.B] there, continued my studies at a more advanced level (encompassing a Postgraduate Certificate in International Law, LL.M & Doctor of Laws) in various parts of the world, practiced family law briefly, and have subsequently taught international law and related subjects for over three decades in Hong Kong, the UK, and, as of 2011, at HNC, Nanjing/China. I have also served as a visiting professor at a number of leading law schools in Canada and the US. My longest association, extending over 26 years, including as the Head of the Law Department, has been with the University of Hong Kong where I continue to serve as a visiting and honorary professor.  My academic research has been in the areas of public international law, law & international relations, international environmental law, international humanitarian law, international refugee law, constitutional law, comparative law, law & society, and law & economics. I have published a large number of books, book chapters and journal articles in these fields.

What classes do you teach?
Legal Foundations of International Relations
International Humanitarian Law/Law of Armed Conflict
International Environmental Law & Policy
International Dispute Resolution

How long have you been teaching at HNC?
This is my fifth year.

Can you describe the pedagogical techniques used at HNC?
I can only speak for myself. I place a heavy emphasis on a systematic approach to law, with a strong theoretical and methodological orientation, coupled with careful reliance on primary and secondary sources, as well as an interdisciplinary focus, incorporating elements of social science and philosophy.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest benefit to studying at HNC?
Bicultural, bilingual, and multidisciplinary setting, infused with a sense of community; a well-organized small institution not suffering from diseconomies of scale (“small is beautiful” phenomenon).

What, in your opinion, is the biggest benefit to studying in Nanjing?
An exposure to Chinese culture and politico-economic realities in a city that is maintaining its Chinese characteristics and modernizing at a moderate rather than fast pace; a convenient location in central China.

What, in your opinion, do students often struggle with at HNC? Does it differ for International and Chinese students?

Sense of distance from home and isolation; the struggle of becoming accustomed to using Chinese or English language at the graduate level; challenges of transition from undergraduate to graduate level; challenges of transition from Chinese to American/Western modes of learning and vice versa.  The adaptation and coping mechanisms may assume different forms on the Chinese and international sides, but the underlying issues are similar.

Have you kept in touch with previous students (Western and Chinese)? Where do most of them go (industry, govt., continued study) after HNC? 
Yes, selectively; my students tend to pursue careers in law or related fields; ERE is a new area of opportunity.

Do you have any recommendations for incoming students to prepare for HNC?
To be open-minded, to be positive, and to work hard and productively, without overlooking one’s personal development.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
The HNC is a unique institution capable of playing a highly beneficial role in the expansion of students’ intellectual, cultural, and personal horizons; every effort should be made to take full advantage of the opportunities it provides.

Many thanks to professor Mushkat for taking the time to answer my questions. Look for my upcoming post on an interview I had with one of the Chinese faculty members.

Written by Andrew Retallick, HNC Certificate/SAIS MA Student 

Monday, December 14, 2015

HNC and Project Pengyou host "Building China into Your Career" Alumni Event

On December 3, 2015, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center co-hosted an event with Project Pengyou called “Building China into your Career: Experts’ Perspectives from the Classroom to the Workplace” at the Project Pengyou courtyard in central Beijing. The four panelists – all of whom were HNC alumni – spoke to over 60 attendees about how they developed their careers in China. Keynote speaker, Anthony Kuhn and Jim Heller were actually HNC classmates, graduating in 1992, while Ashleigh Au and Abe Sorock graduated in the 2000s. This was a nice contrast as each speaker was in a different field and at a different point in his or her career. After the keynote address, HNC Career Services Counselor Robbie Shields moderated a discussion with the panelists and then facilitated a Q&A session with the audience, both of which were lively and interesting.

Panelists (From Left) Abraham Sorock, Anthony Kuhn, Ashleigh Au and Jim Heller with moderator and HNC Career Services Counselor Robbie Shields  

Anthony Kuhn, Beijing NPR Correspondent gave the keynote address, sharing his path from his youth to today, and how China played into that. He also shared some photos and recordings of pieces that he was working on that covered topics not only in China, but also in other parts of East and Southeast Asia. Mr. Kuhn said that in most of his work, 70% of it was professional skills, while the other 30% of it was his China skills. One notable thing that he attributed to being successful was his ability to simply pack up and go. Fluent in Chinese, he is able to conduct interviews on his own without the help of a translator.

Keynote speaker Anthony Kuhn

Jim Heller from the US Embassy spoke on the importance of China and its prominence going forward. One interesting point he brought up was that the US State Department has begun scheduling its Foreign Service Officers to become specialists on the BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Foreign Service officers focus on bilateral relations between the other BRICS countries and China, and given China’s prominence, Chinese language skills and an understanding of China are important in US embassies and consulates in the other BRICS nations. When asked he said the single most effective skill that a person should have to be a Foreign Service Officer was strong communication: the ability to convey a message clearly and concisely.

Ashleigh Au from SOHO China brought interesting perspectives from the corporate sphere and was the only panelist working at a Chinese company. For attendees wanting to find employment in China, she emphasized the importance of being in China because conducting a job search from the US is not feasible. Even given her career success in China, she said that she is always looking career advice. From the perspective of this writer, this exemplifies the correct attitude one needs to take in their career approach. Always be curious, and always be eager to learn about what is out there.

Abe Sorock, CEO and Founder of ATLAS-China challenged attendees to be excellent at what they do, and spoke of the how the label of being a China person was no longer applicable. People view you now as a China-person who specializes in x and y and to not view specialization as something that can pigeon-hole you, but as something that adds value. Additionally, he said that successful candidates in today’s job market have to be able to teach themselves skills on the Internet using Google or YouTube, whether it is excel, or general analysis, etc. This really fit in nicely with Abe’s theme of specialization in something in addition to Chinese.

Interestingly, all of the panelists spoke of the circuitous route they took to get where they are today. Anthony Kuhn, for example, never had formal journalistic training, but said he was obsessed with making and tweaking sound and telling stories that interest him. Jim Heller chose a Foreign Service career because his wife was already a Foreign Service officer and it seemed to be one of the only careers that could realistically complement hers. Ashleigh Au originally wanted to become a lawyer, but when the opportunity at SOHO China came up, she went with it and realized she liked public relations, and has carved out a niche for herself at SOHO China. When Abe Sorock himself attended HNC, there were no career services available to students, so he started his own boutique head-hunting firm to fill this niche. It’s clear that each panelist got to where they were by being excellent, and also, by having specialized skills in addition to stellar Chinese linguistic and cultural skills. So, when thinking about your career, identify and cultivate skills and interests that will bring value!

If you are interested in learning more about the event, you can view the complete video footage of the event or visit the Project Pengyou blog for more photos and coverage.

Join on ProjectPengyou.org to connect with thousands of other U.S.-China bridge-builders and get updates on the latest China-related news, jobs and events.

Written by John Urban,  HNC American Academic Coordinator

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Financial Aid and Fellowships

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center strives to make the costs of graduate study affordable to all applicants and offers fellowships based on financial need and academic merit. We hope that this post guides you through the financial aid process. If you have any questions about fellowships or applying for financial aid, please contact admissions at nanjing@jhu.edu.   

HNC Fellowships
The Hopkins-Nanjing Center is continuing to award fellowships to 100% of all applicants who submit a financial aid application by the February 1st deadline.  Fellowships range in size and are based on academic merit, financial need and availability. The HNC also offers a limited number of Dean’s Fellowships, full tuition fellowships awarded for one-year of study, to students who demonstrate academic excellence, outstanding leadership ability and service to their communities.

We are pleased to be offering Future Leader Fellowships to all students accepted into the 2-year MA in International Studies (MAIS) program. This fellowship guarantees $10,000 per each year of study to all MAIS students who apply for financial aid. MAIS students are also considered for additional fellowship funding.   

Federal Funding
As the Hopkins-Nanjing Center is a U.S. accredited program, U.S. applicants can apply for federal funding in the form of loans and work study. Federal loans can cover up to the full cost of attendance including the cost of living. To apply for federal loans, students need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 1st at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The HNC uses the SAIS Title IV FAFSA code, which is E00474. For more information on applying for federal loans, visit the tuition and financial aid section on this blog.   

Applying for Financial Aid
Applying for financial aid is simple and should only take about 10 minutes. To be considered for HNC Fellowships, Future Leader Fellowships and Dean’s Fellowships, submit your financial aid application by February 1st. The application is a short, two-page form that can be found in the downloadable forms section on the online application. There is no additional essay required. Fellowships are awarded based on applicants’ admissions application. There is also an additional comment section where students can make any extenuating financial circumstances aware to the Financial Aid Committee. 

External Fellowship Opportunities
We encourage students to research and apply for external fellowships. Pay attention to fellowship deadlines as they are often before the HNC admissions deadline of February 1st. It may seem counterintuitive, but you can apply for the fellowship before you receive an admissions notification from the HNC.  Fellowships that are targeted specifically to students in graduate international relations programs are:

We encourage students to look for additional external funding opportunities. The following resources may be helpful with your search:

Chinese Government Scholarships
The Chinese government awards scholarships to international students completing graduate study in China. However, since HNC tuition, housing and insurance are paid to Johns Hopkins University, this scholarship will not cover these costs. This scholarship can provide a modest monthly living stipend. Please note that if you are considering a career in government that security clearances often ask if you have previously accepted money from a foreign government.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HNC Fall Break

HNC students have several breaks throughout the academic year. Many students take this time to explore other parts of China and Asia. Our student blogger, Andrew Retallick, gives an overview of this year’s Fall Break trips.  

Chelsea beat me to the post about Halloween, but here’s one of my favorite Halloween photos.

Throwback to HNC Halloween
Halloween was such a cool moment for me because only a few hours before the celebrations, the same people that were running around and putting the finishing touches on citations for papers, had some of the most elaborate Halloween costumes that I have ever seen. 

Anyway, we just finished our Fall/Thanksgiving break. Some people went on elaborate trips throughout China and East Asia. I asked some of my classmates to send me some pictures from their trips, and here are some of my favorites:

Matt went cycling on Hainan Island’s east coast

Belinda, Xiaoyu and a lot of other HNC students took part in the Asia Career Trek where they went to Shanghai and Hong Kong to meet with representatives from a lot of companies focused on banking and finance. 

Asia Career Trek
Brendan took a long trip from Japan to Taiwan and then to Hong Kong where he ended up at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Hong Kong Disneyland
 Eli went to Chengdu and Chongqing and spent a day going to Leshan to see the giant Buddha.

Leshan, Chengdu
 Susan and Leowill went to Japan and got a picture with Totoro at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mintaka.

Studio Ghibli Museum
Me, well, I decided to keep it simple and spend a few days trekking around Shanghai with two of my international friends (Justin and Chelsea), three Chinese friends (Deng Jing, Jin Hao, and Hong Lingyan) and every once and a while running into some other HNC friends. We had some good Italian food, spent a day walking along East Nanjing and West Nanjing Road, visited to a museum that displayed a lot of Communist era propaganda posters, we even got to spend Thanksgiving with some of Justin’s friends and had real turkey, stuffing, etc. 

Shanghai Skyline

But most interesting of all, we (along with a lot of other HNC students) were invited to attend the Barnett-Oksenberg Lecture on Sino-American Relations. The lecture is an annual event where an individual with significant experience dealing with China U.S. relations. Past speakers include Gary Locke (former U.S. ambassador to China) and former president Jimmy Carter. This year they invited David M. Lampton, the director of China Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Maybe next year I’ll have the opportunity to study with Professor Lampton at SAIS in D.C.

Barnett Oksenberg Lecture
However, unlike many other students, we decided to only spend four days in Shanghai and then return to HNC. Why did we cut our break so short you may ask? Well, quite honestly, we had to get back to work! Seriously, the week before break we were taking our midterm exam and then the week after was loaded with a lot of big assignments.

For me personally, the Monday after break, I had to give a 15-20 minute presentation in Chinese for my International Political Economics Class about the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank, using only Chinese sources for my research. 

The day after that I had to write an essay for my International Humanitarian & Armed Conflict Law class analyzing the applicability of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions during the Gulf War. The problem? The U.S. has not ratified Additional Protocol I, so how can you use Additional Protocol… Ahhh I won’t go into the specifics; lets just say it was a rough week.

But while we’re on the subject of my International Humanitarian & Armed Conflict Law Course, join me in my next post where I’ll give a few more details about that course and the professor who made it possible.

Written by Andrew Retallick, HNC Certificate/SAIS MA Student  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Asia Career Trek

Last week, Robbie Shields, HNC Career Counselor, led HNC and SAIS students on a five day career trek to Shanghai and Hong Kong. Students met with representatives at organizations in a variety of sectors ranging from global risk consultancy to pharmaceuticals to finance.

The Asia Career Trek, held annually by the HNC and SAIS, is open to students on all of the SAIS campuses: Washington, Bologna and Nanjing. This year, nearly all of the students participating were HNC students. The trip is designed to have students meet with professionals the field face-to-face, learn different organizations and network with potential employers and alumni. Organizations that the students visited represented a variety of different sectors in the financial hubs of Shanghai and Hong Kong. The large majority of visits were hosted by a HNC, SAIS or JHU alumnus which goes to show how HNC students not only become a part the HNC alumni network, but also the Nanjing University, SAIS, and JHU alumni networks. The Asia Career Trek is a great opportunity for students looking for employment after graduation and summer internships. Year after year, students report overwhelming positive experiences of the Asia Career Trek. 

This year the trip kicked off in Shanghai and included visits to Johnson & Johnson, Wells Fargo, FTI Consulting, Deloitte, AGI and Control Risks. Students had the opportunity to network with HNC and SAIS alumni at a reception in Shanghai. 

Students at AIG Headquarters in Shanghai
Students at the alumni reception in Shanghai
Shanghai alumni reception
Shanghai alumni reception
The group spent the second half of the trip in Hong Kong. Students visited the following a number of multinational companies and banks: HSBC, Morgan Stanley, BBVA, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, Macquire, Citi, APCO, Economist Intelligence Unit and Fitch Ratings. Students were also invited to meet with HNC and SAIS alumni at a reception in downtown Hong Kong. 

Students at HSBC conducting an employer briefing in Hong Kong 
Students at HSBC
Taking the Hong Kong metro 
Break for lunch in Hong Kong
Students at Citibank headquarters in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Park
Look for a post later in the academic year on the Beijing Career Trek. For more information on career services offered at the HNC, click here.