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Fourth annual Chinese Bridge Summer Camp will take high school students to China July 15-31

For release: March 25, 2011
For press information, contact Riki Jackson ,901-678-3166

This year’s Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for American High School Students will take place July 15-31 in China.  Registration must be completed by April 10.  All expenses, except for international airfare, will be covered by the sponsoring organization.

Students will fly to Beijing, then visit a local province in China for an extended stay. They will participate in Chinese language classes as well as cultural classes such as paper-cutting, calligraphy, brush painting, martial arts, etc. Students will also participate in various sports and other activities including basketball, soccer, and ping pong tournaments, international student get-togethers, family visits, and much more. They will also visit historic sites in Beijing and points of interest in various provinces.

The program is highly selective and seeks students who are committed to representing their country, school, and family in the most professional and positive manner. Applicants must  be enrolled in an accredited public, private, or parochial high school. They must be United States citizens, possess at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average, and be interested in the Chinese language and culture. They must complete an application, submit an essay, participate in an interview, and have at least two letters of recommendation in order to be considered for the program. Applicants must also be prepared for international travel, which includes long flights and multiple layovers.

The camp is sponsored by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) and the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing, in cooperation with various Confucius Institutes across the United States. The goal of the program is for American high school students to experience the Chinese language and culture in a hands-on, culturally immersed environment.

The Chinese Summer Bridge Camp was launched in the summer of 2007, just a few months before the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis (CIUM) officially opened. Since the program’s inception, thousands of American high school students have participated. They have gained a better understanding of the Chinese language and culture and developed lasting friendships with the young people of China.

Last summer the CIUM took 33 high school students from Tennessee to Beijing, then to the Shandong province, where they lived for the remainder of their stay.  The students climbed the Great Wall of China, visited Tiananmen Square, entered the Forbidden City, toured the Summer Palace, and saw the Temple of Heaven. While in Shandong, they visited Qufu, the hometown of the great educator and philosopher, Confucius. Students also enjoyed visiting Weifang, the kite capital of the world, followed by a visit to Jinan, the capital city of Shandong.

One of the 2010 participants, Corrine Nulph , a student at Collierville High School, said of her experience, “I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to visit China. I would love to visit China again. The people were wonderful! I especially loved the students at Century School in Shouguang and visiting all the historic sites.”

Nailen Chen, visiting scholar and professor at the CIUM, said, “As the coordinator for the 2010 Chinese bridge summer camp, I witnessed the positive results of the program. We hope that some of our students will major in Sino-American fields of study and become future experts in Asian-related programs. The goal of the program is to bridge the gap between two countries and do something useful to enhance the friendship between two nations.”

For additional information about the CIUM’s Chinese Summer Bridge Program, contact Yang Yangwei or Riki Jackson at 901-678-2595 or 901-678-3166 or go online to www.memphis.edu/cium.

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