Established in 2009 by the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) in cooperation with the University of International Business & Economics in Beijing and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (HANBAN), the Business Confucius Institute in Athens (BCI) aims to serve as a bridge between Greece and China in the domain of education, culture and business. By bringing together these two countries that represent two great civilizations and two historic nations the Athens University of Economics and Business is hosting the first institution of the Business Confucius Institute in Greece which is also the third in Europe that is specialized in Economics and Business Administration.
The main goals of BCI Athens are to facilitate the better understanding between the two peoples, to strengthen educational and cultural exchange and to enhance the learning of the Chinese language and culture while encouraging the further development of business activities, research and academic cooperation between Greece and China.
More precisely the services offered by the Business Confucius Institute in Athens include:
• certified Chinese language courses
• educational and cultural exchanges between Greece and China through summer courses and trips
• scholarships for Chinese language studies in renowned Chinese universities
• cultural events, workshops and activities concerning many aspects of Chinese life such as arts, calligraphy, music, cooking, martial arts, etc
• seminars and conferences concerning business sector and the socioeconomic environment in China
Since the beginning of BCI’s operation in Athens in 2009, more than 1.500 students have followed several language courses of all levels including specialized programs for tourism and business. Students can participate to conferences and events such as the “Chinese Bridge” a large-scale international competition sponsored by Hanban offering the opportunity to foreign students to travel and study in famous Chinese Universities. BCI Athens is also cooperating with Greek schools concerning the learning of Chinese for children and young people. Throughout the years, BCI Athens has become a place for understanding Chinese culture, a real platform for China-Greek cultural exchanges and a bridge for the strengthening of friendship and cooperation between the Chinese and Greek people.
BCI Athens has also a remarkable activity in the domain of business and entrepreneurship as it organizes Greece–China Business Conferences gathering business executives, entrepreneurs, diplomats and distinguished academics from both countries with a view to exploring trade, business and investment opportunities in Greece and China.
The establishment of a second Confucius Institute in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in northern Greece is also foreseen, according to a recent agreement signed in 2019 with the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), a renowned Chinese university specializing in languages, culture and diplomatic studies.
Confucius Institute is a non-profit educational organization with the aim of promoting Chinese language and culture, strengthening educational and cultural exchange and cooperation between China and other countries and deepening friendly relationships with other nations. Confucius Institutes are operating in 140 countries in co-operation with local affiliate colleges and universities.
The Athens University of Economics and Business is a leading Greek University in the areas of economics, management, business administration, marketing and communication, informatics, international and European studies etc. The University has a very strong international orientation, as it is indicated by its membership to many programs and activities worldwide, presenting also a remarkable research work.