Confucius Classrooms

Authentic Chinese language and culture learning in N.C. elementary, middle and high schools

Confucius Classroom.1 resizedMore than 8,000 North Carolina K-12 students are studying Chinese  language and culture through the Center for International Understanding’s first-in-the-nation statewide network of Confucius Classrooms.  School year 2013-14 marks the fourth year of this innovative global experience for North Carolina schools and communities.

In all there are 43 CIU-coordinated Confucius Classrooms active in 10 school districts hosting 30 guest teachers from China. Students who learn Chinese hold a competitive advantage in an increasingly global world.

Why China?
China is North Carolina’s second largest trading partner and more than one-third of the world’s population speaks Chinese. To learn more about why understanding China is so important to North Carolina students’ success in the global economy, click here.

Where are N.C. Confucius Classrooms located?
CIU’s network of Confucius Classrooms spans the state. Participating schools, from both urban and rural areas, represent geographic, economic and demographic diversity. Elementary, middle and high schools are included. Ten school districts host Chinese guest teachers through CIU’s program in 2013-2014.  For a map of host schools, click here.

CIU Confucius Classroom Highlights
Jess Carson students in china 2012
Student Exchanges: One example comes to us from Jesse C. Carson High School, part of Rowan-Salisbury County Schools. Building on their third year of hosting a Chinese guest teacher through CIU, a group of students traveled to China to experience another culture and meet new friends at their partner school. Assistant Principal Amie Williams put together this awesome VIDEO.

China bridge.2013Faculty and Administrator Exchanges: Wake County educators tell us they learned so much more about Chinese history and culture by seeing and experiencing it for themselves instead of just reading about it in a textbook! A Wake County team was among a group that recently traveled with us to China to jump start school-to-school partnership activities. Check out Wake County’s VIDEO.

Funding and Program Partners

Major funding and program support is provided by Hanban, an affiliate of the Chinese Ministry of Education; and College Board. In North Carolina, the State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction provide policy leadership to expand Chinese language opportunities in schools. Participating host school districts provide a financial commitment to secure a Chinese guest teacher.

How Does it Work?
Confucius Classrooms provide students and educators with transformative international experiences. Together, North Carolina and Chinese partners learn about each other’s culture, history and educational systems and work on joint school projects in many subject areas.

Through CIU’s program, North Carolina host schools:

• Host a qualified Chinese language teacher from China for three years with partial salary subsidies from the program
• Send school principals and teachers to China to learn about its culture, history, and education system
• Develop a partnership with a school in China
• Engage guest teachers and local teachers in professional development opportunities, focused on improving language instruction
• Receive technical and academic support from the Center’s team of education experts

How are Schools Selected?
Participating schools have a demonstrated commitment to global education. By “clustering” the programs within select school districts, students can progress from school to school with continued opportunities to advance their proficiency in Chinese.  Only N.C. schools whose superintendent and central office have taken part in Center for International Understanding China programs are eligible to apply.

For More Information
Superintendents and Principals: Please contact Brian White at if you are interested in  North Carolina Confucius Classrooms.

North Carolina ranks 18th in the nation in number of international visitors, with 1.2% of market share U.S. Department of Commerce