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History of the Chinese Students' Alliance | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: History of the Chinese Students' Alliance

Historical Note:

The Chinese Students’ Alliance was a nationwide organization of Chinese students studying in the United States, the first nation to which modern China sent students for an education. The first students were 30 boys, arriving in 1872. The numbers of visiting students remained small until 1909 when the United States began sending Boxer Indemnity funds to China. By 1915 there were more than 1,200 Chinese students in the United States, 800 of these students in colleges and universities formed the membership of the Chinese Students' Alliance. The alliance published the Chinese Students' Monthly in the United States and the Chinese Students' Quarterly, a Chinese language journal, in Shanghai.

The Alliance was divided into 3 sections; the Eastern, Midwest and Western. Each section was composed of a number of local Chinese Students’ Clubs. Each year during early September, an annual summer conference was held by each section at some convenient location for the purpose of bringing the Chinese students together to exchange ideas and discuss important problems.  The three conferences were held at the same time but in difference locations. The length of the conferences varied from one to two weeks, and the grounds at which they were held were usually universities of fame, where the facilities could accommodate the purposes of the conference. Purdue University was the site of the 12th Mid-West Conference in 1921 and the 16th in 1925.

The conferences proved themselves to be of great value to the Chinese students. It gave them the opportunity of making acquaintances with their fellow-countrymen and of freely exchanging ideas, which they were unable to do during their school work. It also afforded better understanding between the American people and the Chinese. The Chinese Students’ Alliance was active until 1931.


Burg, David F. "Chinese Students' Alliance." Encyclopedia of Student and Youth Movements. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1998. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 17 June 2014.

Yu, C.C. “The Chinese Students’ Alliance in the United States.” Young China, July 1921. Web. 17 June  2014.

Bevis, Teresa Brawner. “The Chinese Students’ Alliance.” A History of Higher Education Exchange: China and America.  New York : Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2013. Web. 17 June 2014.

Note Author: Mary A. Sego

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