2019 is a landmark year for the DukeEngage-Zhuhai program - it marks the 10th anniversary of this innovative, immersive summer service project. Each year, students from Duke University spend eight weeks at Zhuhai No. 9 Middle School in Zhuhai, a city in Guangdong Province, China, located just northeast of Macao. Students from Zhuhai No. 9 School also have the opportunity to travel to the U.S. each year in a reciprocal exchange, where they meet students at a host middle school and visit Duke. DukeEngage-Zhuhai's program director is violinist and music professor Hsiao-Mei Ku.
Duke students who participate in DukeEngage are empowered to address critical human needs, advance Duke's educational mission, and work to provide meaningful assistance to individuals and communities across the U.S. and around the world, including China, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Students in a group program spend a minimum of eight weeks in the assigned community. In cooperation with a local partner, the participants work to meet the needs of the local group, whether it is education, public health, environmental stewardship, social justice, or even economic development. The goal of DukeEngage is to go beyond volunteering; it accomplishes this through developing meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships with local communities, enabling all participants to learn and grow through the collaboration. During the program as well as following the completion of the service project, DukeEngage students engage in the process of reflection, helping them transform their experience into deep and effective knowledge that enables them to not only better understand real-world problems but also to devise meaningful and practical solutions that accurately reflect the needs of the community.