China Graduates BA Degree Students Taught in Amharic

On June 28, 2024, China celebrated the graduation of undergraduate students who were taught in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, in Beijing.

This milestone event was held at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU).

BFSU, known for its diverse language programs, saw its first cohort of Amharic language students graduate yesterday.

Representatives from the Ethiopian Embassy in China attended the ceremony, highlighting the significance of this achievement.

The Embassy expressed gratitude to BFSU for offering Amharic language courses, emphasizing that this initiative will strengthen the cultural and interpersonal connections between Ethiopia and China.

Beijing Foreign Studies University is the only university in China that offers a dedicated Amharic language department.

The Embassy noted that the first round of students from this program graduated yesterday, marking a historic moment.

Last May, BFSU released Amharic textbooks for Chinese students, further supporting the program’s development. The university began offering Amharic as an undergraduate language in the fall of 2022.

BFSU is one of China’s premier institutions of higher education, located in the Haidian district of Beijing. The university operates two campuses, East and West, and is directly overseen by the Ministry of Education.

It currently offers instruction in 101 foreign languages, including Amharic, across various educational levels.

In addition to China, Russia has also incorporated Amharic language instruction. Since September 2023, four schools in Moscow have been teaching Amharic.

Alexey Maslov, director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Moscow State University, mentioned that these courses are held twice a week.

Beyond China and Russia, Amharic is taught in the United States, Germany, and other countries. Conversely, Ethiopia also includes the teaching of various foreign languages as part of its standard education curriculum, reflecting a commitment to multilingualism.

Amharic is Ethiopia’s national working language, and there are ongoing efforts to promote other regional languages such as Afan Oromo, Tigrinya, and Somali languages as national official languages of the country.


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