Components of the Freeman Fellows Program

The Freeman Fellows program consists of the following parts:

• Research • Presentations • Faculty Partners • Field Trips
• Academic Course Auditing • Orientation Class • Host Families • Freeman Fellows Website
• Conference Attendance • Weekly Seminars • Cross Cultural Conversations

Research

An important goal of the Freeman Fellows Program is for each scholar to begin and/or complete the academic research project they presented during the application process. Fellows are expected to avail themselves of the opportunity to conduct meaningful academic research and writing during their stay at the University of Illinois.

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Academic Course Auditing

Freeman Fellows have the opportunity to audit University of Illinois classes in their research field and to meet and form relationships with faculty members in their field.

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Conference Attendance

Freeman Fellows receive financial support to attend and participate in academic conferences in their disciplines. The Freeman Fellows are encouraged to be an active participant in these conferences by engaging in the panel discussions and/or presenting their own scholarly papers.

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Presentations

The scholars are encouraged to actively seek opportunities to make presentations both on and outside of the University of Illinois campus. Some presentation opportunities might occur in university classes the scholars audit, at organizations within the Champaign-Urbana community, at national or international conferences, or in local junior college, elementary or high school class rooms. Freeman Fellows are valuable resources for area teachers who are anxious to learn more about China and incorporate that knowledge into their classroom instruction.

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Orientation Class

Soon after their arrival, the scholars participate in an orientation class. The three-week class is designed to acquaint the scholars with the university and the local communities. The scholars are introduced to local resources for future reference and use during the year. Processing of the scholars into the University of Illinois system is completed during the orientation period.

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Weekly Seminars

Freeman Fellows attend a year-long series of seminars, arranged by the Program, to enhance their understanding of American history and culture. These seminars are presented by a University of Illinois faculty member or an expert from the community. The topics presented cover a broad range of interest. The seminars fulfill several purposes for the scholars: to learn about the American experience; to be exposed to areas of study outside their area of expertise; to experience a variety of teaching styles, and to broaden their understanding of American culture.

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Faculty Partners

Scholars are assigned a partner who is a member of the University of Illinois faculty. The partner facilitates the scholar's intellectual integration into the University of Illinois campus. Faculty partners serve as a connection between the Freeman Fellows scholar and other faculty members in the same field of research. Sometimes scholars and faculty partners collaborate on articles.

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Host Families

Each Freeman Fellow is matched with an English-speaking host family. This provides scholars with more opportunities to refine their English skills while also enriching the scholar's experience in American culture. Often these relationships continue after the scholar returns to China.

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Cross Cultural Conversations

Beginning during the orientation class, the scholars attend a series of nine cross cultural conversations held at the home of a local resource person. Each conversation addresses a different topic. The discussion leaders are current or retired faculty members or community leaders. Freeman Fellows are provided background information prior to each conversation. Cross cultural conversations allow the Freeman Fellow scholars to share their own ideas and individual experiences related to each week's topic.

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Field Trips

Throughout the year, the Freeman Fellows travel to various locations in the Midwest arranged by the Program. Most are day trips, but some are overnight trips on the weekends. Some trips are related to topics covered in the seminars and others are visits to places of interest in the Midwest. The Freeman Fellows are given the opportunity to learn more about American history and culture by participating in field trips to such places as Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; St. Louis, MO; Hannibal, MO and Springfield, IL.

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Freeman Fellows Website

The purpose of the website is to facilitate the continued exchange of information between the Freeman Fellows Program and former and current Freeman scholars. This website serves as the source of information about the Freeman Fellows Program that can be easily accessed by the university community and general public.

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