OU Asian Food Fair

Today was a good day, because among other reasons, I got to eat some delicious food at OU’s Asian Food Fair. Plus it felt like it was free, because even though it cost $7, I bought the ticket yesterday so it seemed like it was free today. The Asian Food fair is hosted by OU’s Asian American Student Association, and it raises money to provide holiday meals and gifts to underprivileged kids. The food at the food fair was provided by several Asian food restaurants around Norman.

Though I didn’t have time to stay for long, I got to sample several different types of Asian food. To be totally honest, I’m not that adventurous of an eater, plus I had practice this afternoon and I didn’t want to eat anything weird right before practice, so I only tried one thing that was unfamiliar. It turned out to be a desert that was probably coconut milk based and had some fruit and jello in it. It wasn’t bad, so I’d say I made a good choice. Of course, I sampled some more familiar looking dishes from several restaurants

Overall, it was a great way to break up the monotony of always eating the same lunch, and got me thinking about how much I miss Chinese food. Not the stuff you get at Panda Express that’s doused in sweet and sour sauce but the hot pot and Dalian seafood and baozi and $1 fried rice from the sketchy looking shop across the street. I’m not really sure where I was hoping to go with this post, I guess I was just feeling nostalgic. I’ll get back to China someday, if for no other reason than just to see and hear and experience it all again.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far, and thanks to AASA for setting up a great event for a great cause.

Confucius Institute Day

As usual with this blog, it took me a long time to get this post up, but I still think it’s worth posting about. About a month ago was the Confucius Institute hosted an event designed to celebrate the connection between Beijing Normal University and OU and raise awareness about the Confucius Institute and the study abroad scholarships they provide. There were speeches by faculty from Beijing Normal University and OU, performances by Chinese learners from Norman high schools, music, and lots of free Chinese food. As a recipient of the scholarship, I spent a few hours working at a booth telling people about the Confucius Institute Scholarship, and I’ll spend a little bit more time talking about it now.

The Confucius Institute at OU is a really great organization. They provide free Chinese related classes, such as beginning Chinese language, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese paper cutting, and various other Chinese culture courses. They also provide HSK testing, which is an advantage, and sometimes even a necessity, for anyone who wants to study or work in China. Finally, they help students apply to the Confucius Institute scholarship. The Confucius Institute Scholarship is one of the best ones out there for studying in China. It’s not terribly competitive, although you do need to know some Chinese to apply. The application process involves taking the HSK, writing a short essay, choosing a school to apply to, and filling out a fairly easy form. All of this is made even easier by the fact that the lovely people at the OU Confucius Institute will walk you through the whole process.

The Confucius Institute has offices all around the country and world (most of the people I met in China who had received a Confucius Institute Scholarship were from Belarus!), so even if you’re not in Oklahoma it’s still a great resource for learning about China or getting scholarships to go there and study. I would highly encourage anyone who is interested in studying in China to check out the Confucius Institute.