American High School Students Enjoyed 2016 Chinese Bridge Summer Camp

High school students at the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp in 2016 practicing martial arts, studying in the classroom, taking a group photo with Confucius Institute t-shirts, and posing for a photo with a Chinese background.
High school students at the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp in 2016 practicing martial arts, studying in the classroom, taking a group photo with Confucius Institute t-shirts, and posing for a photo with a Chinese background.

By Ning Zhang (Sycamore Community Schools)

From July 18 to July 31, 2016, ten high school students from the Cincinnati-Dayton area attended a “Chinese Bridge” summer camp sponsored by Miami University’s Confucius Institute. For some students, it was their first time to leave their sweet home. The camp was held in Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, Liaoning Province. During ten days staying in Dalian, students attended language and culture classes. Every day their campus life was filled with enjoyment. They were immersed in Chinese language and exposed to Chinese culture. They had opportunities to learn Chinese calligraphy, traditional painting, paper cutting, Chinese knots, and Chinese martial arts. Besides attending the classes, participants also visited the tourist attractions of Dalian. In the Dalian Nature Museum, participants got to know marine animals of China. In Lushun, they had a good lesson on contemporary Chinese history. In Tiger Beach National Park, they watched the marine animal show and appreciated the beautiful underwater world. In addition, participants visited local Chinese families and experienced Chinese hospitality.

After studying in Dalian, participants got to experience travelling to Beijing, China’s capital, by an overnight train. In Beijing, they toured a number of highlights, including Tian’an Men Square, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Olympic Park, and the Temple of Heaven.

All participants enjoyed this summer camp and they commented that this summer camp helped them better understand Chinese history, geography, and history. Their Chinese language skills also improved a lot. A couple of students expressed their interest to study in China when they go to college in the future. When the students looked back on this camp, Brianna from Dayton STEM School mentioned, “Overall, my China Trip was amazing. I got to see so many beautiful landmarks with extraordinary people by my side…this trip opened my eyes to many things.” Katy from Madeira High School hoped that “this program should be continued because it is a once in a lifetime experience. We met people from different cultures with different perspectives. This trip develops connections.” Anjali from Dayton STEM School expressed her gratitude towards the people who were involved in this camp, “At first, I was a little scared to go to another country. But, as soon as we got into China, I was amazed to see how caring they are. No matter what, we always got the best care, the best food, and the best arrangements. I am forever grateful for everyone that put this together and all of the amazing chaperones that came with us.” Calvin, a graduate from Summit Country Day school, mentioned that he harvested friendship in this trip and he will pursue Chinese learning in college.