Gillian Daley/Contributing Writer
The Annual Forum and Expo for Sino-Latino Trade taking place November 2018 for the first time in Qingdao, China could provide an opportunity for students enrolled in FIU’s Spanish-language program in Qingdao University, said Peng Lu, the associate provost for international programs.
Created a few years ago in collaboration with QU, the goal of FIU’s Spanish Bachelor’s Dual Degree Program in Qingdao University is to help bring together two powerful regions, according to Lu, and break the language barrier between China and Latin America.
And Miami, he said, could act as the “bridge between China and Latin America,” with the program’s student “pioneers.”
Chinese-Latin American trade was around 24 times larger in 2013 than they were in 2000, according to The Council of Hemispheric Affairs, and in 2014 China became the “top destination” for Latin American exports. Because of the rapid and lucrative increase in trade between the two regions, breaking language barriers between China and Latin America is becoming relevant in the trade business, according to Lu.
Introducing the Spanish language to China, Lu said, can also greatly benefit FIU.
“[Spanish] can be a key to open relations.” Lu said. “We need [to] bring the people here. . . We want Miami to be the Hong Kong, the Dubai, the Singapore of America.”
So far, the results of the program are positive, as recent national test scores show.
In June 2016, the program’s Class of 2014 scored an 80 percent pass rate on the Spanish Major Language Test Band 4, according to President Mark B. Rosenberg’s blog post, exceeding the 60 percent national pass rate for China that year.
And six of the top 10 student pass rates, he wrote, were from QU-FIU.1
To meet the program’s requirements, interested Qingdao University students must first take 12 credits with professors from Qingdao University, and then finish the remaining 30 upper level course credits with FIU professors, according to Qingdaonese.com.
Image retrieved from Flickr.