project they undertake with you may suggest new avenues of research as they pursue their graduate education. Many will also be looking forward to an opportunity to study in the United States. In some cases, research teams include research assistants from both the host and local institutions. The local assistant is likely to be much more familiar with the area and its people and can be an important source of information and help in becoming acquainted with the area. Research assistants from the host unit may be better trained academically but less conversant with local issues.
Interpreters are another vital part of the team. Researchers who have used Chinese interpreters report that an English-speaking scholar who is also part of the project, especially one who has studied in the West, is likely to be extremely effective. He will understand both the project and the specialized language, which "ordinary" interpreters might not.
You will, in any case, want to make certain your interpreter is able. You can facilitate the work of interpreters by providing outlines of questions ahead of time and perhaps making a glossary in Chinese to English for technical terms. Since he will also be interpreting during whatever negotiations you may have in the field, his position can be delicate. His English abilities will enable you to befriend him more quickly than non-English speaking members of the team, and his trust, friendship, insights, and information can be invaluable to your work.
While serving as your translator, the interpreter remains an employee of your host organization and is often junior to your Chinese collaborators. While you may become friends, his first responsibility is to his superiors in his own work unit. Your interpreter, too, may be looking for an opportunity to come to the United States and may want you to help.
Local officials who have been persuaded to accept you into their area are also vital to your research. Their continued cooperation is necessary for your success. Once you arrive, they are responsible not only for your food, housing, health, and safety, but also for assisting your research, which can be a heavy burden. Hospitality to foreigners is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture even as wariness toward them is pervasive. You will need good relations with your local hosts for the successful completion of your work, and it will be important to them to understand that your intentions are good. Representatives from your host institution may help you in the early stages of this relationship, serving, in effect, as middlemen in explaining who you are and what your project is about.
But if you spend lengthy periods in the field, you will want to develop good relations with your local hosts. Just as hospitality to foreigners is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture, so you will be expected