Wiregrass Newsroom: Students Take In Chinese Culture

Troy, AL (WSFA) -- Step into Mrs. Fan's classroom, and step into China.  Her class is the first offered in the new Confucius Institute at Troy University.

"It's my favorite class," says student Samantha Seay.

It's a partnership between the People's Republic of China and the university--a program that teaches Chinese language, culture, art, ethics and values.

But Mrs. Fan says language is key.

"I think the most important thing is to encourage them to speak while teaching a language.  And the most important thing for a student in a language world is to practice everyday."

22 students are currently enrolled in the program, and administrators are optimistic about its future.

"I think the fact that we now have the Confucius Institute open, that we have Chinese scholars on this campus, and that we're doing all these cultural events is peaking the interest of our students. There's no question about that, " says Maryjo Cochran, the president of the Institute and Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

And there's no question, it's been a big hit for Kenneth Palmer.

"It's been an enjoyable experience for me," says Palmer.

An enjoyable experience for their teacher, Mrs. Fan, as well.

"They're very good students. I'm proud of them."

Reporter: Melissa McKinney