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Studying chinese

Chinese Language and Culture Camps offer a rare chance for your child to experience a nearly full-immersion study program - more fun, more knowledge!



My Experiences in China: A Country in Perpetual Change
By Alex Gray
Prior to my arrival in China, I held the beliefs that I was about to enter a wealthy, technologically advanced, and clean country, a place very much synonymous to reports from media outlets. China was not, however, anything that I expected it to be. I did see jams of people, skyscrapers, and all the major historical and cultural sites that I had anticipated, but I did not expect such warm yet unscrupulous individuals, a sense of efficiency, and, finally, filth. China is a dirty country -- people do not take care of buildings, cars, and other belongings with the same pride that we do in the United States. Also included in the obscenities of daily life are garbage piles the road, children’s excrements on the sidewalk, and bathrooms that make American gas stations look like hospitals. The comforting notion in all of these shortcomings, nevertheless, is that the Chinese people are not unhappy or impoverished; they conduct themselves in the same manner that life has existed for centuries and demonstrate their cultural heritage. Consequently, China’s social norms have not sufficiently been assimilated with the rate of economic growth that they are experiencing, therefore proving evident the need for attention to be given to personal social development of the people, instead of to large corporations.

Following a fourteen hour trip by train from Beijing to Xi’An, I was greeted by my host partner, Tom, and his dad where I got to have a short five day glimpse into an average Chinese household. Tom’s apartment may have been considered luxurious by Chinese standards, but was basic by those in the United States, and cleanliness was not nearly at the same level as I was accustomed. The apartment did not bother me, however, even as the family did not turn on the air conditioning despite one hundred degree temperatures outside or that the floors and other spaces, like the bathroom, were simply dirty. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and, while I did occasionally wish that I was going back to a Hilton at the end of each hot day of learning and site-seeing, I was grateful for the family’s hospitality and warmth. My host grandmother, known as nai nai, was an excellent cook, as well. Tom emphasized that we need not go out to eat as nai nai was so good at making food in-house. At the end of my stay, I presented the family with my final gift of a painting of crabs that symbolized thanks, and the grandfather started crying. He gave me a poem that he had penned especially for me, and my host father, known as shu shu, gave me a very nice book filled with coins through all the dynasties of China, with the oldest being from 221 BC. I was incredibly grateful for my host family’s hospitality, and the experiences that I know hold with me.

While being in Xi’An was not nearly as exciting as seeing the crossroads of society in Beijing and Shanghai, it did provide a more local glimpse into how real people live, and how students treat their educations. I am still undecided on whether I like the Chinese or the American style of teaching better, primarily as I have very little knowledge of the student achievement in China, but it was insightful to sit in Chinese high school classrooms and then discuss school with my host partner. Along with learning vast elements of culture from my host family, I was also able to gain confidence in my conversational speaking, one of my primary goals of the trip. As only Tom spoke English, I was forced to use every piece of knowledge I have been able to retain in my Chinese class in the United States to live comfortably in the apartment for five days. I even got the opportunity to further practice speaking as I gave a speech to my extended host family at my nai nai’s birthday luncheon and when I met my host grandparents’ friends at the park.

As there are so many lasting impressions I have of my trip to China causing for no one to be most important to me, I can say that the cultural differences between China and the western world are most striking. From living with a host family to taking a fourteen hour train ride, I learned how to cope with situations of which I had never dreamed. As my dad just returned from China the day before I left and raved about the niceties to which he was treated, my mom best described what I experienced compared to my dad, she said, “your dad saw VIP China, and you saw real China.” While real China might not be as technologically advanced or as rapidly modernizing as the media might report, it still is one of the last genuine cultures left on Earth. The goal of the average Chinese people is to live a peaceful yet successful life -- at which they are most certainly succeeding.

2012 Spring Break Chinese Language and Chinese Culture Camp

Dates:April 2-6

Location:UK Campus

For grades 3 - 6
$120 per student
This is a one-week Chinese culture camp taking place during the spring break. Simple Chinese language and all sorts of cultural activities will be the focus of this camp.   For students from grades 3 - 6.

Camp Activities:
Beginning Chinese Language,Chinese Calligraphy,
Chinese Painting,Chinese Songs,Chinese Dance,
Ceramics,Papercut,Tai Chi and more.

Get the Application form here.

UK Confucius Institute Spring Chinese Language Camp Medical Release/Permission Form

Please print out, sign, and send this application form to:
UK Confucius Institute Spring Camp
c/o Dandan Zhang
University of Kentucky
113 Bradley Hall
Lexington, KY 40506-0058
For more information, contact Yonghua Zhang at 859-257-4523.or emai:yonghua.zhang@uky.edu

2012 Summer Chinese Language and Chinese Culture Camp

Dates:June 4 - 15

Application Dead line:May 28th

For grades 8 - 12
$200 per student
This is a two-week summer camp focusing on Chinese language and martial arts for students from grades 8-12. Campers will learn Chinese language and three types of shadow-boxing as a kind of Chinese martial arts with experienced Chinese teachers During this summer camp, every weekday, they will have morning exercise, two or three Chinese language classes with topics related to students’ daily life, e.g., “My family”, “My friend and I”, “School Life” and so on, and a couple of cultural activity classes, and two sessions of shadow-boxing as a kind of Chinese martial arts.
Get the Application form here.

UK Confucius Institute Summer Chinese Language Camp Medical Release/Permission Form

Please print out, sign, and send this application form to:

UK Confucius Institute Summer Camp
c/o Dandan Zhang
University of Kentucky
113 Bradley Hall
Lexington, KY 40506-0058
For more information, please call Confucius Institute, University of Kentucky,at 859-257-4523 .



Upcoming camp information



Study Tour to China
Students who completed the two week summer camp are eligible to participate in a two week study trip to China! Sponsored by the Confucius Institute, students will visit Beijing and one other province in China, where they will experience specially tailored language and culture classes and be given tours to modern and historic landmarks.
Get the Application form here - to be submitted with the Summer Camp Application.
Note: The two weeks’ expenses in China will be covered by the UK Confucius Institute. This includes: accommodation, food, travel within China, admissions to cultural and historical sites, and Chinese lessons.
The international round-trip tickets from Lexington to Beijing, Shanghai to Lexington will be covered by participants (facilitated through a designated travel agent). In addition, participants will be responsible for their own passports and visa application fees.