IMUSE REVIEW 2008

NORTH AMERICAN CAMPUS TOUR PROGRAM

In the winter of 2007, IMUSE selected fifteen student delegates from over 600 applicants at Tsinghua and Peking Universities to visit eleven North American universities in the spring of 2008. At each institution, the delegates engaged journalists, academics, and local student leaders before a local audience in moderated panel discussions about a number of different topics concerning China, such as its increasingly influential role in the global marketplace, its slowly westernizing culture, the balance between its environmental consciousness and its economic growth, and more. Specific topics of discussion were based on the results of the “My Top Ten” poll posted on our website last winter and spring, which received over 1200 responses from hundreds of different schools.

In concert with these panel discussions, IMUSE offered other on-campus events at each university, including talks by prominent guest speakers from Dr. David Kang to Mr. Jet Li, documentary screenings, “Landscapes of Modern China,” a professional photo exhibition prepared by Kodak, and a variety of school-specific workshops, performances, and other activities.

“CHINA IN MY EYES” ESSAY AND PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION 

Since North American Campus Tour events were limited to select schools, IMUSE also designed the "China in My Eyes" essay and photography competition, open to all North American postsecondary school students. The competition encouraged its entrants to carefully examine their own views about China and convey their ideas through original essays or photographs. The six grand-prize winners of the essay and photography competitions received either a new Lenovo laptop or a spot in our Beijing Olympic Summer Fellowship Program. The twenty runners-up each received a set of five officially licensed Beijing Olympic souvenir coins (global circulation: 60,000). All competition winners received personalized certificates and publication of their winning entries on our website.

“MY TOP TEN” SURVEY OF IMPORTANT ISSUES FACING MODERN CHINA 

From winter 2007 to spring 2008, the IMUSE website hosted a survey regarding various issues being addressed by China today, from environmental pollution and governmental corruption to human rights and religious freedom. North American postsecondary school students were eligible to select ten of twenty choices that they felt demanded the most urgent attention. The survey ultimately had over 1200 responses from hundreds of different schools, and the results were used to design the questions for our North American Campus Tour panel discussions. 

BEIJING OLYMPIC SUMMER FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM 

Three of our five grand-prize “China in my Eyes” competition winners and our “My Top Ten” survey winner attended the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Fellowship Program in Beijing during the first two weeks of August 2008. The purpose of the fellowship was to broaden the North American students’ perspective on China by bringing them not just to traditional tourist sites but also to places of historical and contemporary significance. Each fellow was assigned a Chinese student liaison to help them with language and culture differences as well as deepen and personalize the exchange experience. In addition to visiting a number of cultural sites, attending Olympic events, and participating in academic lectures and conversation tables, the fellows and liaisons also held a public panel discussion at Peking University similar to those hosted by our fourteen Chinese delegates during the North American Campus Tour Program.

IMUSE SUMMER 2008 OLYMPIC FELLOWSHIP PARTICIPANTS:

American Delegates: Eric Chiang; Alex Mobley; Winnie Tong; Jae Wooten

Program Directors: Evan Kornbluh (Harvard University); Kelley Swanberg (Harvard University); Wang Ruoying (Tsinghua University); Ellen Qian (Tsinghua University); Tracy Li (Peking University)

Chinese Student Liaisons: Li Fei (Tsinghua University); Lu Lu (University of Wisconsin Madison); Shen Chang (Beijing No. 4 High School); Zhu Jun (Tsinghua University)