About the Institute

The Confucius Institute in Chicago (CIC) was opened in May 2006 and is a partnership between the City of Chicago (Chicago Public Schools/CPS), The Office of Chinese Language Council International (the “Hanban”, under the Ministry of Education of China) and Shanghai’s East China Normal University (ECNU). It is the first Confucius Institute in the US which is housed in a K-12 environment and primarily focuses on K-12 Chinese language and cultural education. CIC has been awarded the title of the “Confucius Institute of the Year” for four consecutive years from 2007 to 2010 and the “Director of the Year” in 2008, 2009 and 2011. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited CIC in 2008 and China’s President Hu Jintao visited CIC in 2011 during his state visit to the United States.

The Confucius Institute in Chicago is housed at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, a Chicago public high school. CIC is an educational resource for educators, parents and students throughout the greater Chicagoland on the teaching and learning of the Chinese language and culture. In addition to being a full professional development and workshop center, CIC is a resource library with more than 10,000 print and multimedia materials for educators and students from all academic levels. The Confucius Institute in Chicago is open to the general public.

The Confucius Institute in Chicago provides the following services:

  • Coordination of the Chicago Public Schools Chinese World Language Program, which is housed at 43 schools in Chicago, with an estimated 11,000 students
  • Professional development programs and workshops for K-12 Chinese World Language teachers from the greater Chicagoland and other states
  • Chinese cultural activities and events for students and parents
  • Resource center for the teaching of Chinese language and culture – open to the general public, free to use
  • Coordination of study programs for teachers and students in China
  • Computer lab for technology based workshops
  • Support and advocacy for schools and districts which are interested in teaching Chinese World Language
  • Hosting of educational delegations from the USA and abroad
  • Hosting visiting visual and performing artists from China to present and offer workshops in Chicago Public Schools and private schools in the area
  • Pre-travel cultural orientation seminars for the business, diplomatic and educational communities