UMD: A Globally Connected University

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Who was Confucius?

Confucius was a teacher, editor, philosopher, and politician who lived from 551-479 B.C. in the State of Lu during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (Spring and Autumn Period), in Shandong Province, China.

Why is there an institute named after Confucius?

Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions aligned with the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Their mission is to promote Chinese language and culture, to support local Chinese teaching internationally, and to facilitate cultural exchanges. Just as Confucius is perhaps one of the best-known teachers throughout history, the institutes named after him are recognized for promoting knowledge, understanding, and thus friendship across the globe. Name recognition benefits the educational goals of the institutes. As Confucius has said: “Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?” (Analects of Confucius)

When was CIM established?

CIM was established in November 2004. CIM was the second Confucius Institute ever to be established; second only to one in South Korea that is no longer active. 

What does CIM do?

Learn more about CIM’s mission as well as a brief listing of our activities and services.

Where does CIM fit at the UMD?

CIM is under the Office of International Affairs (OIA), and is a sister unit to several other offices that handle international services and programs:

  • International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) supports incoming international students & scholars;
  • Education Abroad administers academic programs overseas and assists with placement;
  • Maryland China Initiative (MCI) provides leadership training for Chinese professionals.

Where is your office located on campus?

CIM moved in Summer 2013 to South Campus, behind the South Campus Commons, near Mowatt Lane Garage. Find us on the Campus map in SUSQUEHANNA HALL.

Where should I park for classes and events at CIM?

Park FREE in Mowatt Lane Garage, Levels 1-3, weekdays after 4 p.m. and on weekends. There is paid visitor parking on the top level. Please do not park near Susquehanna Hall unless you find a meter, or you will receive a ticket!

Where do CIM teachers come from?

Many native Chinese teachers who have been specifically trained in teaching Chinese to foreigners are selected from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. Nankai is CIM’s sister university through Hanban. We also invite native Chinese speakers who are receiving teacher training through the CCLTCD in UMD’s College of Education to intern as teachers-in-training in our classes, as they work toward becoming certified to teach Chinese.

What Chinese classes do you offer, and how do I sign up?

Please check our class listings under Programs for Adults. All CIM classes are non-credit. Call us at 301-405-0213 or e-mail us with questions.

When do classes start for adults?

The CIM class schedule closely follows the UMD academic calendar. CIM classes often will continue through winter and summer breaks, based on interest.

What classes can children and youth take?

Sunday Chinese language classes at several levels, as available. Please check under Programs for Youth.

How should I pay for classes through CIM?

CIM accepts checks and money orders only; please, no cash payments. Checks should be made to:  University of Maryland.

How do I sign up for the CIM listserv for event notices?

Send a request to be added to the events listserv to: or call 301-405-0213.

What kinds of events does CIM coordinate?

Academic lectures, conferences, and other cultural programs; cultural performances in arts, music, and dance; student-centered activities; visits to K-12 schools; teacher training; trips to China; testing; and competitions. Join our listserv to keep connected!

What Chinese tests are offered? How often, and where?

Check under Resources for available tests and test dates. The HSK is offered several times a year at the CIM office. For up-to-date info, contact us.

Where does CIM funding come from?

Some funding comes from the Hanban office in Beijing, China (Chinese Language Council International), and the rest comes from the University of Maryland. The CIM agreement stipulates that both sides contribute, in different ways and means, with funding, services, facilities, and materials. UMD completed a successful fund-raising campaign in 2011 to establish an endowment for CIM events and activities that is now growing toward its principle.

How may I support CIM activities?

You may sign up to attend events, offer to host a student or students in your home, or donate funding toward a designated gift.