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Chinese Studies

Chris Deelman Travel Scholarship

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC) is delighted to offer the Chris Deelman Travel Scholarship, which is provided through the generous support of Chris’s parents, Harry and Margaret Deelman.

The Scholarship offers one or more awards to undergraduate students who undertake a year abroad study placement at a Chinese university as part of their Chinese Studies undergraduate degree course. The £500 award must be solely used to help fund a 30-day travel period in China during the year abroad and needs to be used outside of the academic semester-times of the host university.

Chris Deelman

Chris Deelman (Van Mildert, 1988-92) read Chinese and Management Studies at Durham. On graduation, he secured a job in Hong Kong that enabled him to use his many languages, to travel and to make a contribution to the world. Chris enjoyed a very full and active time based in Hong Kong until his totally unexpected death in December 1996, aged just 27.

Chris was a firm believer that a more widespread knowledge of languages would contribute to a more peaceful coexistence in our modern world. He was also convinced that travel and mixing with ordinary people in their own language were essential in order to fully experience and understand the culture(s) allied with a language. Chris used his languages to get to know the people of the countries he visited for work and pleasure, as a “traveller” experiencing and living with the local people in an effort to really get to know and understand them rather than as a “tourist”.

As a tribute to Chris’s life and values, the Chris Deelman Travel Scholarship is an award to encourage cultural interaction and language development outside of the academic setting.

We encourage all students who are considering applying for this Scholarship to read more about Chris and his ethos, and the spirit and intentions behind the Chris Deelman Travel Scholarship, here.

Scholarship Details and Criteria

The Chris Deelman Travel Scholarship is available to those Durham University full-time students currently in Year Two of the BA in Chinese Studies (with Year Abroad) degree course, and due to undertake their year abroad study placement at a Chinese university during the 2018-19 academic year.

One or more awards of £500 will be offered after a competitive application process, to subsidise the costs of a 30-day travel period within China that the recipient(s) should undertake outside of their host university’s academic semester-times, but during the period of their year abroad. The 30 days can be taken in one block or in separate spells, but must be completed by 30th September 2019.

The recipient(s) should use their award to gain experience of Chinese life and culture away from the university environment and from the city in which they are based. In so doing, the recipient(s) should aim to practise Mandarin in a non-academic setting, experience local dialects first hand, and get to know ordinary Chinese people outside of the main urban centres better.

The recipient(s) must provide a written account of their travels and experiences to the Scholarship Assessment Panel no later than 31st October 2019. The University requests that each recipient make themselves available for an Awardee Event during their Year 4 studies to meet Harry and Margaret Deelman and discuss their travel experiences. There is also an expectation that the recipient(s) will willingly share their advice, encouragement and time to future applicants and awardees of the Scholarship, to help build a new community of like-minded Chris Deelman scholars.

Scholarship Application and Selection

Awards will be made on the basis of an online application to the School of Modern Languages & Cultures (MLAC), to be submitted by Monday 30 April 2018. Your application should include a personal statement of no more than 500 words describing:

  • where and how you plan to spend your 30-day travel period within China;
  • how this will help in your understanding of the Chinese language and culture, and therefore your studies;
  • why you would be the best candidate for an award, taking into consideration the spirit and intentions behind the Chris Deelman Travel Scholarship.

The Scholarship Assessment Panel, consisting of a majority of Chinese experts, will then consider all applications based on the information provided and how well each application reflects the ethos and spirit behind the Scholarship. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Thursday 31 May 2018.

For further information on the Chris Deelman Travel Scholarship, please contact Mr Don Starr, Director of Studies in Chinese. Tel: 0191 334 3225. Email: d.f.starr@durham.ac.uk .

On kind permission of Harry and Margaret Deelman