Celebrating Your Stories, Cultivating a Community

The Confucius Institute U.S. Center People-to-People Award honors a diverse group of students from across the United States for their outstanding commitment to studying Chinese language and participation in US-China educational and cultural exchanges. 

Award winners will be recognized at the 2021 CIUS Center National Honors Gala in Washington, DC and invited to join the CIUS Center People-to-People Alumni Community, a network of honorees who promote the importance of US-China cultural exchanges and foster their continued interest in Chinese language and culture through CIUS Center global education programming.  

‘Students’ of ALL ages are encouraged to participate.

SHORT ANSWER: ANYONE with a connection to Chinese language or culture

We encourage all students of Chinese language and culture to apply. We define “students” broadly, focusing on competitor’s stories and experiences over age or affiliation.

Past Honorees have been:

  • Mid-career professionals who feel connected to China
  • Participants of Chinese Bridge and other similar competitions
  • Retirees at the beginning of their Chinese language journey
  • Exemplary elementary and middle school students
  • College professors with a passion for learning or teaching Mandarin

Honorees will…

  • Receive access to an exclusive Alumni community, including special events and networking opportunities
  • Be honored at the 6th Annual People-to-People Award Gala in Washington, DC [or virtually – TBD]
  • Be featured on the CIUS Center website and promoted on CIUS Center social media
  • Have opportunities to be interviewed and/or write blogs and articles that will be promoted by the CIUS Center

Applicants can apply via https://forms.gle/nThptTTpojMmJNUX6

Steps to Apply:

1) Read past contest winner’s stories

2) Write about your story.

Some things to consider:

  • What makes you unique?
  • How have you engaged with the Chinese/Chinese-American community and/or Chinese language?
  • What aspects of cross-cultural exchange fascinate you the most?

3) Submit your application via the online form liked above

Chinese Language and Culture Program Administrators and Educators 

Nominate up to 5 students who you believe represent the values of global education and the positive values of US-China cross-cultural engagement. Nominated students are required to submit an essay sharing their personal story of US-China cross-cultural engagement. Nominations will be accepted on rolling basis until April 27, 2021 

“So proud to be a 2018 People-to-People awardee and to travel to China with [the CIUS Center]. The Confucius Institute has opened doors for me and my family, as well as opening our hearts and minds to a fascinating culture and its beautiful people.”

Love Zubiller - 2018 HonoreeSan Diego State University

“I think what’s most important to me is the people I’ve interacted with. This sort of alumni family is something special. We’ve been able to connect in a very real way even though we’re states and states apart. I really appreciate that more than anything else.”

David Cole, 2016 HonoreeUniversity of Kentucky

“I take Pre-IB Mandarin and although learning the language is difficult at times, it is enjoyable , captivating, and global education has also led to many life changing opportunities. It is important to not stay isolated from the rest of the world because we can grow from each other, just like I did by studying Mandarin.”

Victoria Sullivan, 2017 Honoree Stanton College Prep High School
  • Essays must share your personal story of cross-cultural engagement while exploring China and Chinese language and culture   
  • Essays will be evaluated on creativity, reflection, storytelling and your ability to highlight the impact of global education experiences.
  • Mechanical Guidelines: 1-2 pages, single-spaced, Times New Roman, Size 12 font, excellent grammar and formatting, including a title, written in English, .docx format preferred  

Essay Submissions must be submitted through this electronic form by April 27, 2020.

Essay contest participants must be nominated by a Confucius Institute administrator or Chinese language program representative. If you have not received a nomination and are interested in participating, please email cius@ciuscenter.org

No, Chinese language and culture students of ALL ages are encouraged to submit an essay. The ages of past winners range from 9 to 70+.

Chinese language ability is not a consideration for the contest. Essays will be evaluated on creativity, reflection, compelling storytelling, and ability to highlight the impact of global education experiences.

Only contest finalists will be notified and the names of finalists will be listed on the CIUS Center website.

Submit Your Essay Here 

Ready to submit?  Essays will be accepted on rolling basis until June 7, 2021