Friday, December 23, 2016

HNC Washington Office Holiday Hours

Happy holidays from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office!

The HNC Washington Office will be closed from Friday, December 23 through Monday, January 2. Admissions representatives will be still be available to answer admissions questions via email at Please allow 2-3 days for representatives to respond to your request. 

As reminder, HNC admissions representatives will be holding virtual information sessions in January. Join one of our upcoming virtual sessions to get tips and advice on the HNC application process. Admissions representatives will be going over each section of the application. To receive email updates about the upcoming virtual sessions, RSVP by clicking the links below. To join the sessions, click here at the scheduled time.

Can’t wait until the virtual session? Check out a blog post on 5 things to remember when applying to the HNC or email to speak with an admissions representative. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hopkins-Nanjing Center Virtual Session

Didn’t get a chance to attend one of our virtual information sessions this fall? Click on the link below to hear about the unique HNC experience from admissions representative and HNC alum, Lauren Szymanski, and current HNC Certificate/SAIS MA student, Clarise Brown.  Lauren and Clarise share their thoughts on what it’s like being a student at the HNC: coursework, adjusting to the learning curve, taking advantage of career services and living in Nanjing in addition to information about the application process and financial aid.

If you have additional questions not covered in the virtual session, please contact admissions representative at 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

HNC Alumni Profile: Jacob Clark

Jacob Clark, HNC Certificate 2012, reflects back on his time at the HNC and his experience as a law student at Michigan State University College of Law.  Read on to hear how his HNC experience helped further his career.  

Tell us about your current role.
 As a law student, in addition to my studies, I have used my background from HNC and in China law to tailor my summer and part-time work experience during law school to a potential role within the U.S.-China legal relationship.  I have been fortunate to gain work experience at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, NYU School of Law U.S.-Asia Law Institute, and PILnet (Public Interest Lawyers Network) in Beijing. I was also awarded an externship grant to intern in the Appeals Chamber of the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where I worked in the chamber of the Honorable Liu Daqun of China.  Additionally, I served as President of the MSU College of Law American Chinese Attorneys Club for the 2014-2015 academic year.  I hope to use all these experiences combined with my background at HNC to obtain a future role as a lawyer working on issues related to China, public interest law, or international criminal law.

How do you think your experience at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center prepared you for this work?
My experience at HNC taught me several lessons to prepare me for my current role as a law student and future role as a lawyer.  First, the opportunity at HNC to live with and take classes with Chinese students and others from around the world taught me how to function professionally and adapt in a multi-cultural environment.  Second, it taught me how to adapt my language skills to a professional setting, which has helped me both in obtaining and gaining more responsibility at my past and current jobs.  Third, I learned how to view and analyze legal issues through Chinese legal principles and legal cultures and beyond just my own understanding of the U.S. legal system.  This helped me adapt to my position at the U.N., where it was imperative to view legal issues through the lens of multiple countries as well as international legal precedent.  Fourth, I learned when to be patient and when to take initiative to solve issues; something I have used everyday since leaving HNC.  My experience at HNC did not just develop my China knowledge and language skills, but it taught me life skills that have helped me thrive in my past work experiences, current role as a law student, and will continue to help me in my future role as a lawyer.

What was your most memorable moment when you were at the HNC?
My most memorable HNC moment was a field trip to a Nanjing landfill and waste disposal center with Professor Hua Tao for my Social Issues of China’s Modernization class.  It was such a unique and random place to go, but it fit in perfectly as we were studying Chinese environmental and sustainability issues.  The trip allowed me to visualize the unique environmental challenges faced by China beyond what we had read about in class.  Moreover, it was great walk around the landfill and discuss what I saw with my classmates.  I have never seen mountains of garbage that high before and (hopefully) never will for the rest of my life!  (It smelled so bad!)

What advice would you give someone contemplating attending the Hopkins-Nanjing Center?
The HNC will help you acquire the skills and provide all the resources you need to be a functioning professional in any industry that relates to China.  However, one thing to understand about the HNC is that it is a graduate school and not a language institution.  That means that professors will not spoon-feed you information, and much of your development will rely on your own initiative.  This does not mean that you will not learn anything in class.  Quite to the contrary, it means that you must take what you learned in class and use the invaluable resources provided by HNC to round out your education.  The best thing I did at the HNC was use the library and access to Chinese and international professors during their office hours to discuss class topics and current events.  Taking advantage of such access combined with the classroom instruction at HNC as well as the alumni network at HNC and SAIS is what will make you a successful student and alumni of HNC.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

HNC Giving Week: 30 Things to love about the HNC

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center's #HNCGivingWeek is December 4 through December 11. Support the HNC and future students by making your gift here. In honor of Giving Week and the HNC's 30 year history, we are sharing the 30 things that we love about the HNC. 
  1. HNC graduates become part of the 2600 HNC alumni network who occupy positions of responsibility in all areas of China’s global relations.
  2. The HNC has intellectual freedom to discuss, debate and learn with Chinese peers and faculty.
  3. HNC students form a dragon boat team and participate in the Nanjing dragon boat competition, a time honored tradition in China. This year the HNC team placed third in the final competition!
    2016 HNC Dragon Boat Team
  4. Nanjing is less than a 2 hour train ride away from the international center of Shanghai.
  5. HNC Students and faculty have access to the HNC’s open stacks library with over 120,000 volumes in Chinese and English.  
    Hopkins-Nanjing Center Library
  6. Students get one-on-one attention from faculty members with small class sizes and weekly office hours.
  7. HNC grads can be found at Apple, the U.S. Treasury, U.S. State Department, the U.S.-China Business Council and in jobs where China matters around the world which emphasizes China’s continued importance.
  8. Students have free access to a 24/7 fitness room at the HNC in addition to discounted rates at all of Nanjing University’s facilities. 
  9. HNC students have the opportunity to take multidisciplinary classes—from environmental law to game theory to anthropology.
  10. There are opportunities to learn about Chinese culture through calligraphy, Tai Qi and Erhu classes.
  11. Every year HNC students form a student band (or two) and perform at HNC events throughout the year.
  12. The HNC has modern facilities including heating and dryers—a rarity in southern China.
  13. Double the holidays! The HNC celebrates Chinese and American holidays like the Mid-Autumn Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  14. HNC students (and professors!) hang out and chat at the HNC’s student-run coffee shop.
  15. The HNC career treks bring students to organizations in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing to hear firsthand from professionals in the field. 
    2016 Beijing Trek
  16. The HNC hosts talks from leaders in the field. The HNC has welcomed Former US Sectary of State, Henry Kissinger, Former US President George Bush and former US Ambassador to China, John Huntsman Jr.—just to name a few.
  17. The bilingual environment extends outside of the classroom. International and Chinese students live together as roommates in the student dorms.
  18. The HNC students participate in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. In 2012 and 2016, the HNC team placed in the finals in DC—an extraordinary result for a small institution with no law school.
    HNC 2016 Moot Court team at the Jessup International Law Moot Court finals
  19. Faculty members take students outside of the classroom on field trips to international organizations, power plants, rural villages and court rooms.
  20. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center makes every effort to support students with funding their education. 100% of students who apply for financial aid by the application deadline of February 1st receive a fellowship.
  21. There are endless activities to take part in: board games in the lounge, movie showings, student interest groups that range from philosophy to basketball.
  22. Students, faculty and staff show off their skills in ping pong, badminton and billiards tournaments.
  23. A full-time Career Services Officer invites organizations to the HNC, holds skills workshops and provides assistance with internship and job searches. 
  24. HNC students give back to the Nanjing community by volunteering as student teachers at local schools. 
  25.  The HNC is a multicultural community with about 15% of students coming from countries other than the US and China. This year we have students from South Korea, Israel, Jamaica, Peru and Russia—just to name a few.
  26. Students use holiday and summer breaks to travel all around China and Asia. Students’ self-travel have taken them to places like Japan, Cambodia, Sichuan, Huangshan and Guangdong.
  27. The HNC is located in the heart of Nanjing and yet close to Xuanwu Park and Purple Mountain.
  28. The HNC curriculum reflects current issues facing China’s global impact and US-China relations. Courses range from China’s Development and Environment to the Politics of Rural China.

  29. MAIS students research, write and orally defend theses all in Chinese. Past topics have included the Role of the Maritime Militia and the Challenges of Building a Child Protection System in China.
  30. The HNC was founded just after the US and China formalized relations. With 30 years of history, the HNC continues its longstanding commitment to US-China relations.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Holiday Season at the HNC

It’s easy to assume that living in China might make celebrating “traditional” American holidays, such as Thanksgiving, somewhat tricky. Admittedly, there are a few logistical issues, such as the difference between appliances found in a Chinese kitchen and in an American one—most Chinese kitchens are not equipped with an oven— and trying to find certain items that are harder to come by at a Chinese supermarket—i.e. condensed milk. But don’t let that discourage you! I recently celebrated my first Chinese Thanksgiving here at the HNC and found that it was surprisingly easy to accomplish and any extra effort I put in was definitely worth it in the end.

As I started preparing for Thanksgiving, the first challenge was finding the proper ingredients. One of my favorite shops in the area is Times Grocery, an imported goods store on Shanghai Road just two blocks away from the HNC. The lady who owns the shop is always friendly and will offer to help you find whatever you’re looking for. The shop is small but packed with literally everything you might need to prepare and variety of 西菜. After picking up some Australian flower, canned pumpkin, Irish butter, and other necessities, I was feeling more confident in my ability to at least put together a few pies.

Times Grocery, for all your imported grocery needs
At the center, we’re lucky enough to have a week-long holiday falling over Thanksgiving. I haven’t had the chance to do much cooking since moving to Nanjing, so I was particularly excited about the opportunity to host a Thanksgiving get-together with the help of my roommate and some friends. Thanks to a friend’s toaster oven and kitchen, we made good use of our extra vacation time, preparing staples like cornbread, pies, green beans, mashed potatoes, and more pie.

Learning how to make apple pie
Though I always enjoy Thanksgiving as an excuse to spend a few days preparing (and eating) some of my favorite homemade foods, this holiday was especially fun as I was able to introduce some of my Chinese friends to an American holiday. It’s always funny to see people’s first reaction to a new dish, or way of preparing food. For example, I made a pumpkin sweet-bread and I had also put some butter out on the table to spread on it. My roommate asked me why anyone would want to put butter on cake. To which my typical American answer was, “ 为什么不!?”
The pies didn’t last for long

However and wherever you choose to celebrate, have a safe and happy holiday season!

Written by Amanda Bogan, HNC Certificate '17