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Confucius Institute Summer Camp at Capital Normal University in China

The Confucius Institute Summer Camp at Capital Normal University in China hosted 18 high school students from the Orono and Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan school districts for a two-week camp in July. Students were able to build their Chinese language skills, learn about paper-cutting, and Chinese music through daily classes and interactions with people through excursions and language partners.

Students were paired with a language partner, an undergraduate student volunteer attending Capital Normal University, who supported students in homework and to navigate the city and visit places such as fruit markets.

The students were treated to famous Peking duck at dinner during one of their first few nights in China. Students enjoyed looking at menus to look for words they could read and understand. Other highlights from the trip include taking part in a Chinese yo-yo (diabolo) competition; visiting Purple Bamboo Park where they saw many gardens, a fishing area where local people catch fish with bamboo poles, and a beautiful lotus flower pond; and learning to ride public transportation to see the Temple of Heaven.

The group traveled to Shandong province and visited the Confucius temple, family mansion and family forest. In addition, the group went to Tai An to climb Mount Tai. The group missed the torrential rain in Beijing while they were in Shandong province and returned to Beijing when almost all of the rain had already dried up.

During the last Chinese class, the students worked on presenting a sentence or two in Chinese for the closing ceremony. The closing ceremony included a slideshow of photos from the trip while each student presented their Chinese sentences. The students graciously presented all of the teachers with gifts along with thank you cards.

“[The students] received many compliments and encouragement for their Chinese, as well as many compliments of "handsome boy" and "beautiful girl" in English. It was an example of what this trip is all about--the chance to connect with Chinese people and learn the language,” said Chinese teacher and chaperone Maureen Wu.

Paper cutting Tai chi