USF World News

High School Students Attend Chinese Summer Camp
July 27, 2012

Thirteen Florida high school students got a first-hand taste of Chinese language and culture this summer on the Confucius Institute’s ‘Chinese Bridge’ Summer Camp program.

Spending 15 days in China, participants were immersed in Chinese culture where they interacted with the locals, took language and culture classes taught by the Qingdao University faculty, and visited various cultural sites, including Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China, to improve their understanding of Chinese culture.

The camp is co-sponsored by Qingdao University who coordinated local visits for the students to Qingdao, Qufu and Beijing, and is funded by Hanban through which all expenses in China including accommodation, transportation and food were taken care of. Chaperoned by Ms. Hongxia Zhang, Chinese teacher at Lake Highland Prep School, the camp was planned and organized by USF Confucius Institute Director Kun Shi. Great support came from Qingdao University staff, such as Liu Qi and Fang Fang.

Among the many activities scheduled, participants visited the Second Middle School of Qingdao where they played sports, interacted with students, participated in music class performances and had dinner at the school cafeteria. Students from both countries exchanged contact details to stay in touch.

Participants also had the opportunity to visit local Chinese families where they shared food and exchanged experiences. In addition, participants met with USF Professor Dr. Eric Shepherd and 27 USF students on summer study abroad, as well.

The camp is an integral part of the Confucius Institute’s community initiative and is held to increase interest in Chinese language and culture among high school students as well as ensure further Chinese language learning at the university level. Both participants and parents have clearly expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the camp. “This trip was a great experience and I am so happy that I got to go on it. It helped me really understand why I was taking Chinese in the first place and I had a really great time!”