Confucius Institute 2014 Chinese-Bridge Summer Camps
Frequently Asked Questions
- Application Process:
Q1: Who is eligible to participate?
A: Students must be USA citizens that are high school students between the age of 14 and 18, and grades 8 to 12. Next, they are required to have a non-Chinese learning background and less than three years of Chinese learning experience. Lastly, eligible students should have a pronounced interest in Chinese language and culture and be sufficiently healthy for travel.
Q2: What cost will be covered by the Confucius Institute?
A: Confucius Institute headquarters will be responsible for all cost in China, including transportation accommodations, food and site visiting. On the other hand, students and chaperons will be responsible for their international travel fees, international insurance, visa applications, and other fees associated with travel between China and United States.
Q3: While my son or daughter is abroad, where will he or she reside?
A: In Beijing, where students are assembled before heading to different provinces, students will stay in dorms of the hosting school. While they are in different provinces, local organizer will arrange hotel or well-equipped international student dorms. It is 2 students per room. It is possible local organizer may arrange home stay with the families that meet the standards.
Q4: Who will chaperon my son or daughter throughout the summer camp?
A: Confucius Institute will select chaperons that meet the following criteria: respect and understand Chinese culture, are good at communication and are adaptable to new environments, have K-12 teaching experiences, are highly experienced in student management, are healthy enough for international travel, and are under 50 years old. Student-chaperon ratio is about 10:1. In addition to chaperons from United States, Confucius Institute headquarter and local organizers will arrange travel guide and Chinese chaperon who are experienced working with international students.
Q5: This is my son/daughter first international trip, how about the international flight?
A: We recommend students and chaperon book the same direct flight so we could get together at the airport before the flight. While student make his/her own plan about traveling based on time and cost, the student needs to arrange his/her own transportation to camp site on time.
Q6: What I should do for my daughter/son’s international insurance?
A: Please check your insurance company and make sure it covers an international travel. If not, please purchase a short term one.
Q7: What will the process be if a student needs medical attention?
A: For ordinary medical needs, there is onsite medical service in the host university. For other needs, there is hospital located within 10 minutes to the university campus. Oversea cost can be reimbursed, which needs to be consulted with your insurance provider. From last years’ experience, the minor problems were taken care of by onsite medical services.
Q8: What activities will be conducted by the Confucius Institute?
A: Students will participate in Mandarin language classes, cultural courses, site seeing, and exchange activity with Chinese students. Last year in Henan Province under the theme of Exploring Kong Fu, students learned martial arts as culture course. Other provinces have different topics. Furthermore, students will be given the opportunity to observe and interact with the Chinese culture on small excursions and during their homestays.
Q9: How do I apply for a visa?
A: Students may directly apply for a visa through the embassy in New York City, or use a visa application service to package their documents with extra fees. It is recommended that students use a service since they are easier to manage and quicker. Information will be provided when application is accepted. The current travel agency that helps flight can also help visa.
Q: Am I required to receive vaccinations for international travel?
A: We do not recommend students receive a significant number of vaccinations for the trip. However, you may refer to:http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/china. The trip will not be taking students through mosquito-laden areas; therefore malaria does not pose a major threat. On site, there will be professional medical service provided. Camp locations are near hospital. Furthermore, since the trip is short, there is less risk of contracting China-specific illnesses.
During stay in China, we strongly suggest students do not eat outside campsite (mostly they are inside, except field trips) or outside official arrangements. It is strongly recommended that they don’t buy food from unauthorized stores or food service. The food provided by campsite is authorized and safe. If in particular area that we are travelling to, there are viruses or other epidemic situation, we will be informed and corresponding arrangements will be made by Confucius Institute Headquarters.
Q: How will my son or daughter get money while abroad?
A: Students should arrange with his or her bank as to the best method of withdrawing from his or her account while abroad. If you receive service from a bank that has branches or ATMs in China, then this issue could be resolved as easily as notifying the bank as to the dates that you will be abroad, and then using your debit or credit card abroad in the same way that you use it here in the US. Some U.S banks have agreement with Chinese banks for travelers to withdraw from ATM at a low cost or free, such as Bank of America and China Construction bank. Please consult your bank before traveling. VISA, MASTER and other common credit cards are accepted in China in many stores. It is recommended that the students exchange some Chinese currency in cash in United States for convenience and also to avoid expensive fees at airport. Traveler’s checks are becoming less popular and it is difficult to find a place, bank or otherwise, that will accept them in China.
Q: Will my son or daughter have time for independent travel during the program?
A: Learning about the culture and its language requires living alongside its people and setting. Therefore, although backpacking across the country may, at first, appear as an attractive option, more can be gained, comparatively, through participating in the summer camp’s language and cultural activities. During the camp, students are required to stay with the program.
Q: What are important dates for the trip?
A: Campers are requested to arrive camp site in Beijing on July 17th. Camp closes on August 1st. The direct flight from Boston to Beijing takes off on July 16th.
Q: How could I contact my daughter or son while he is in China? Can I reach him by phone and internet?
A: Some U.S carriers provide roaming service to China so that student can bring their phone to China. Pre-paid phone cards are also available at airport or other locations. Please confirm with your carrier that you phone is eligible for using oversea. On camp site, there will be internet service and telephone for you to reach your son and daughter. WIFI hotspot is common in China, therefore they can use internet when it is available.
Q: When and where is the orientation?
A: The orientation for URI group will take place in University of Rhode Island end of May. The orientation for CCSU group will take place at Central Connecticut State University’s campus end of May. Time and location will be announced.
Q: Can I speak with a past participant of CCSU CI’s Chinese Bridge-Summer Camp?
A: A past participant will be at happy to answer questions at the orientation during the summer.