Confucius Institute at The University of Toledo

Chinese Bridge High School Summer Camp FAQ

Application Related:

1. Can students from heritage families apply for the summer camp?

The program is designed to stimulate interest from students to learn Chinese, especially those who do not or just begin learning the language and culture at the moment. If there are too many students from families with Chinese, we will not be able to maximize our impact, as these students have already been speaking the language and understand the culture. Also, in China, we have an organization called Overseas Chinese Affairs Office under the State Council. They have a summer camp program targeting only the heritage speaker students. So there will be an overlap for our target groups.

Also, most heritage speakers have already attained a very high level of Chinese. With our program design, those non-heritage students and Chinese beginners would benefit much more than the heritage students.

We can accept students with Zero knowledge of Chinese, and those in Chinese I, II, or even III, but priority would be given to students with no prior training or those who are early beginners. And please pay attention to the factor of too many different levels of Chinese in one group. It’s ideal to limit the number of levels of Chinese in one group to 2, or even 3. At the moment, the host institution simply cannot provide one on one instruction or too many small classes.

Considering all these factors, we would prefer to give the opportunity to students who would not readily have access to Chinese language and culture or are just beginning to learn the language. But of course, we understand that it would not be possible and fair to exclude heritage students. We would suggest limiting the number of heritage speakers to within 10% of the total students in your group.

2. Should the students be US citizens?

Yes, the student applicants should be US citizens. However, if students are other countries’ citizens with US Green Card, they can also apply. While in screening, you need to provide Confucius Institute Headquarters with detailed information (including their academic records, their school performance, their family background, their interest and achievements in Chinese etc.) about those students for our approval.

3. Is it okay for the Chinese teacher going with the group of students to write one recommendation letter on behalf of the entire group? In some cases, there is only one teacher going so it is quite a lot for them to write so many individual letters. Would it be okay if a non‐Chinese teacher (such as an English, History or Math teacher) wrote the recommendation letter for the student?

Yes, it is okay for the chaperon to write one letter on behalf of all his /her students. Also, it would be okay if a non‐Chinese teacher writes the letter for students.

4. Is this program open to rising ninth graders in high school?

This program is open to students in the 9‐12 grade, aging 14‐18. If students are rising ninth graders or going to graduate from high school this summer, it would also be okay for them to submit applications.

5. Where do students send their applications?

UTCI will conduct primary selections in accordance with the application materials; identify qualified candidates and summary information into a list (already offered in our program plan).

Contact person: Xinai Sun, Program Coordinator/Chinese Instructor Confucius Institute at The University of Toledo 
Location: Snyder Memorial Room 1020  
Mail:  2801 W. Bancroft St. MS 125, Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390               
Phone: 419.530.7750 

Travel, Insurance and Visa Related: 

1. Does UTCI book tickets for the Students this year?

Yes. Currently Payment Deadlines is TBD. Please check our website later.

2. Do the kids need to have had their passports for more than 6 months before the arrival date to be eligible to apply?

When they apply, they do not necessarily have to have that, but it is requirements for all visitors to China have a passport that is valid at least 6 months from their arrival date, which is usually in July.

3. Does Confucius Institute Headquarters provide medical insurance?

Confucius Institute Headquarters will be responsible for the medical insurance when you land in China. But you need to buy your own international travel insurance, which can be arranged at Center for International Studies and Programs, University of Toledo. Please call 419.530.7750 for more information about international travel insurance. 

Activity Related

1. What kind of activities will students take part in while in China?

During this two weeks program, students will not only be studying Chinese language and culture in traditional classrooms; they will also be experiencing for themselves various points of interest of China's long history, and viewing sites of natural beauty. Daily itineraries and curricula will be developed by schools and provincial departments of education, with full consideration of advice from US Confucius Institutes and with approval from the Confucius Institute Headquarters. The specifics of activities will include the following:

A) Orientation (about 2 class hours)

B) Chinese language lessons (40%, about 30 class hours total, three hours/day)

Classes will be divided based on levels of Chinese proficiency. The teaching method will take advantage of small class size and student‐centered pedagogy. A wide array of teaching aids will be employed to ensure a rich and dynamic learning environment. The number of students in each class will not exceed 18 people. All teachers are credentialed, speaking standard Chinese mandarin and fluent English. They should also have experience of teaching students from English‐speaking countries.               

C) Chinese Culture Lessons (20%, about 15 class hours total, 1.5 hours/day)

Various Chinese culture lessons will be provided, such as paper cutting, calligraphy, ink painting, China‐go, Chinese knots, Clay Figure, Peking Opera, Kites, Embroidery, Martial Arts, etc. and students could choose any lessons based on their hobby or interests. The teachers of these lessons have experience of teaching students from foreign students and could speak English.               

D) Sports activities and interactions with local students (20%, about 15 class hours)

Organize a diverse range of sports events, visit 1 or 2 local high schools, hold symposium with local students, so that the children in the summer camp can get opportunities for close range communications with Chinese youths of the same age. Also, more activities to enhance communications will be organized, including basketball game, table tennis class and karaoke contest, host families etc. 

E) Tourism (20%, about 15 class hours)

Visit famous local tourism sites, such as the Great Wall, the Palace Museum, and the Tiananmen Square and others.               

F) Graduation Test

Graduation test will be held on the last day of the Camp. Confucius Institute Headquarters designs the test and will award each student a certificate of graduation.

2. Will the students spend the night with the host families?

Students will stay with host families for most of the nights on weekdays and whole day on weekends in Qinhuangdao.

Money Related
1. How much money should each student bring?

Confucius Institute Headquarters will provide food, accommodation, travel and trip costs in China. So, RMB1500‐2000 ($150‐200 USD) will be enough. If the children want to buy something, they can use a credit/debit card in most of the major cities.

2. How much currency should be exchanged before departure?

You’d better have some currency ($50 for example) exchanged in case of emergency. Students will be able to exchange USD to RMB in the airport through the Bank of China.

3. Should students bring a credit/debit card? Which cards work the best?

A Visa or Master card can be used in most Supermarkets and Department stores. Remember there could be extra service fees charged to your card if you use it. Check with your bank before you depart for China.

Clothing / Packing

1. What is the weather like?

Check the temperature of Beijing and Qinhuangdao before departure, temperatures vary. 

2. Should students pack a swimsuit?

Yes, pack a swimsuit.

3. What types of dress clothing are needed?

Boys should bring at least one dressy outfit for dinner or opening ceremonies, and graduation. This can include a pair of dress pants and nice polo shirt, or short sleeve button down. Coats and ties are not necessary. 

Girls should bring a dress or skirt of modern length, or dressy pants for more formal activities. This can be paired with a number of dressier tops, but it is better they not wear sleeveless or spaghetti strap tank tops or shirts that show midriff.

4. What type of shoes should students bring?

Students may spend a lot of time walking, so comfortable solid shoes are recommended. Students should easily be able to pack three pairs of shoes: one pair of flip flops/casual sandals, tennis shoes, and dressier casual shoes which are not tennis shoes. 

5. Will students need to bring adaptors for electronics?

Students will need to use adaptors to plug in any electronics. Voltage is 220 in China (compared to 110 in the US). Students will need to purchase a voltage and outlet converter before they arrive in China.

6. Does the student need to bring “gifts” from home? For the host families? School Children?                     

Students could bring small gifts which represent the US to give to the host families or other friends made during the trip, e.g. caps, key chains, fridge magnets with city or school logo. But do not bring green caps as gifts in China. 

Medication Related

1. If students get sick, what should they do?

Students should alert their chaperones if they feel ill. First aid kits will be available at all times, and Yanshan University will provide transportation to local hospitals in case of an emergency.

2. Are all medicines self-administered?

Host schools will have contact for local hospitals. If students take medicine regularly for asthma, diabetes, etc. these medicines should be self-administered. Please bring all medicine in original bottles and with a note from doctor in the US in case of emergency. Students may want to bring extra prescriptions with them for important medicines. Pack all medicines in carry-on luggage. General medicines will be available at the host school.

Last Updated: 6/30/19