USF World News

1. Inside the Forbidden City (Palace Museum)
Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for Florida High School Students
August 13, 2015

Each year, hundreds of American high school students experience China firsthand through the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp culture and language learning program. Sponsored by the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, with support from the USF Confucius Institute, eight students from schools in Charlotte County and the Tampa Bay area visited Beijing and Shandong with Liang Wang, a Chinese teacher from Charlotte High School.

The students toured cultural and historical sites in Beijing and spent ten days in Shandong Province where they were hosted by Taishan High School in Tai’an. During the two weeks of camp, the students were offered language lessons and many cultural classes, including Chinese painting, calligraphy, traditional Chinese medicine, Kungfu, Taiji and paper-cutting. They were also able to visit several landmarks near Tai’an including Mount Tai and Qufu (the birth place of Confucius with gardens and the Confucius Temple).

In addition, the students spent a day with a local host family.  With the help from Taishan High School teachers, the campers gained a deep level of appreciation and understanding of Chinese culture, including Confucianism and local culture in Shandong. They were able to strengthen their friendship with Chinese students by experiencing their customs and the local life.

The trip was made possible with a grant from the Hanban to cover costs within China. The USF Confucius Institute appreciates the work by Wang Laoshi and is proud to be able to help the third group of Florida high school students to experience China.

Finally, the students participated in a performance at Beijing Royal School and took the Youth Chinese Test (Mandarin Chinese proficiency test). They were thrilled to visit such sites as the Great Wall, Forbidden City (Palace Museum), Tiananmen Square and Beijing Zoo.