History of the Program

The Zylphia Shu-En Kirk Endowment was established in 1999 by Radford University alumnus and former university Rector R.J. Kirk. The program, named in honor of Mr. Kirk's daughter, enables selected Radford University students to travel to China and study the culture while continuing their Mandarin studies.  All of this is done at minimal expense to the student.

What do you do as a Kirk Scholar?

As a Kirk Scholar, you will take two semesters of Mandarin Chinese in the Fall and Spring. After you have completed the courses, you will travel to China for three weeks in the summer to experience the language and culture first-hand. 

(Students with previous Chinese study may also apply to the Kirk Scholars Program and take two semesters of Mandarin Chinese at more advanced levels.)

What do you do on the trip?

The trip usually begins in Beijing where students sometimes stay at Beijing Language and Cultures University interacting with faculty and students learning Mandarin and Chinese culture. On weekends, the group travels to famous sites around Beijing, such as Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace. After their time in Beijing, the group travels to various cities around China.  This could include a visit to Radford University's sister institution in Huangzhou, the Terra Cotta Soldiers in Xian, or other areas of interest.