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Studying Chinese in Texas

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chrix

Of course it's too far from where all the Chinese are, like Sugar Land, and all the areas out west beyond the Beltway and so forth. I was mainly joking about NASA, they just didn't get how spread out the Houston-Galveston area is, I suppose, or didn't check Google Maps, or whatever went wrong...

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Meng Lelan

Blah, no Chinese radio for us here then.

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knadolny

Great to see so many Texans studying Chinese. If/when I return home, I'll be sure to post more to this group.

I am from Houston and always enjoy going to the Hong Kong market on Bellaire past the Beltway, but that's about it for my Chinese studies back home.

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Meng Lelan

Oh, I didn't know you're from Houston. The Chinese activity isn't limited to Bellaire, though. There a lots of Chinese-American professionals who live throughout Houston especially in suburbs like Katy and Sugarland. Actually there are always some Chinese parents who haul Junior in for some weekend kungfu lessons in Katy and Bellaire, especially the dads, but they're not much language practice because they either fall asleep in their chairs or in their cars.

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knadolny

Yep I am a Texan, born and raised, representing our state in Japan now. I miss home but am really starting to like Japan. I had an interview on Tuesday which was a bit brutal (my Japanese is at a basic level so that made it tough), but we'll see if I have a position here for life.

If not then I'll be back to Houston sooner or later. The diversity of the city is amazing. I didn't know of all these Chinese activities when I was living there. Although it has been a while since I have lived there and I hadn't starting learning Chinese then.

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Meng Lelan

Oooh that's exciting, a job in Japan, when do you find out? There's a Toyota plant here in San Antonio so lots of Japanese stuff going on here, but if you're looking for Chinese life then you got to be in Austin or Houston. San Antonio is pretty much dead for Chinese life. No wonder I flee to Houston twice a month.

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knadolny

I should find out by the end of the month since everyone in Japan starts work on the same day, April 1st. I've actually been working at this company for the past four months so they know exactly who I am. I am a "part time" employee though. That means I get paid less with no benefits. I still work full time however.

I've been told that the interview is just for show and I shouldn't worry. However, lots of people still seem quite happy to apply pressure and make me worry how I would do and now how I did. I suppose that is Japanese style. Make you suffer for a bit so that you're more grateful in the end.

The job is a good one though and I would be using Chinese which I really want to use and to improve. We have a lot of work going on in China so there would be business trips there as well!

The fact that I know Chinese might be the key to me securing the job. Hopefully, I'm about to be all the more grateful I started studying Chinese in the first place.

I would imagine too that the Chinese population is only going to keep growing in Houston. With the expansion of the panama canal and the port of Houston, trade is sure to increase between Texas and China. Hopefully that is another reason to keep studying Chinese.

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Meng Lelan

I should add too that San Antonio and Houston have got their own exhibit space at the Shanghai World Expo this year.

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OneEye

And speaking of Houston, did anyone see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit there last fall? I thought it was really great, well worth the drive from Austin just for that.

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Meng Lelan

I didn't get to see it but I'm hoping to view the real thing in 西安 this summer.

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kjspring

I am in Houston. Many different Chinese schools. At the University level I think University of Houston has the most classes. They are offering a calligraphy course this semester.

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Meng Lelan

Are you taking it? I think there's a Chinese calligraphy course being taught at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX.

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kjspring

I was sitting in it a few class but did not have the time to stick around due to graduate studies.

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Meng Lelan

I notice that University of Texas in Austin is looking for a Lecturer in Chinese Language. Is someone leaving or the program expanding? One of my former students was taking Chinese there but he was complaining to me about the Chinese programs, now he's opting for a weekend Chinese School program in Austin.

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OneEye
One of my former students was taking Chinese there but he was complaining to me about the Chinese programs, now he's opting for a weekend Chinese School program in Austin.

That's interesting to hear. And good timing. I just got my rejection letter a few days ago from UT Austin. :roll: That's OK, I might end up moving next year to China or Taiwan for a year or two to study instead of trying to get a degree here. But as far as the opening, no clue.

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Meng Lelan

I'm sorry to hear that, that similar thing happened to me before when applying to UT San Antonio and it turned out the department I was applying to (and got rejected from) was having financial problems (the teaching second languages program). Were you trying to apply to UT Austin's program in Asian Studies, or Chinese, or what? Because the Daily Texan newspaper (the newspaper for UT Austin) reported that the foreign language departments there are undergoing major budget cuts.

You might well get your Chinese training in a far better place. With the budget cuts coming, I don't know what to tell my students who are going to UT Austin anymore in terms of what to expect from their Chinese course.

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OneEye

I had applied to the Chinese program. I'm not too upset about it. My wife and I are both really looking forward to moving next year though.

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Meng Lelan

Ok. Well quite frankly my former student and I both think you'll find much better Chinese studies somewhere else. Apparently Texas A&M is starting to get into the Chinese thing now that they have a Confucius Institute. UT San Antonio now also has a Confucius Institute so maybe Chinese studies will start improving in those two places.

I was hoping to get a master's or PhD in Chinese or Chinese pedagogy somewhere in Texas someday and I'm not wanting to do it at UT Austin because of what is going on there right now, right now I'm asking around Houston. I'll post results here if I have any news to report.

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chrix

At least the Perry-Castañeda Library has a great collection of Asian studies related books...

I don't know much about U of H, but I know that Rice has a large Chinese languages program, they can accommodate both heritage learners and non-heritage learners, though because of the financial crisis the language center had to let some instructors go, though I don't know how much this has affected Chinese.

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OneEye
At least the Perry-Castañeda Library has a great collection of Asian studies related books...

Absolutely. I have to be careful when I go there to work on other things, because I always get distracted. :lol:

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