Trip to China by USC Student Winter Camp
2019 Chinese Winter Camp organized by Confucius Institute at USC and the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU for short) was launched on December 27, 2018 with the joint efforts by USC Study Abroad Office.
2019 Chinese Winter Camp organized by Confucius Institute at USC and the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU for short) was launched on December 27, 2018 with the joint efforts by USC Study Abroad Office. The 15-day winter camp with 20 participants covered a full range of language learning and experiences in China including classroom teaching, cultural experience and cultural tours.
The campers acquired basic Chinese expressions in a short time under the guidance of veteran instructors in BLCU. They also caught every opportunity to practice their real-life Chinese after class by seeking to communicate in Chinese while dining, shopping and taking taxies to participate in the New Year Events, which in turn inspired them to learn further in real-life Chinese context.
The campers also participated in cultural experience activities such as calligraphy, Chinese painting, Taiichi, Chinese music and mask painting. In Chinese calligraphy and Chinese traditional painting classes, students saw brushes for the first time and were fascinated in writing and drawing with brushes, and eventually learned to paint lotus flower with Chinese flavor. As the most favorite activity, Taiichi practice offered them a chance to feel the delicacy and force, the spirits of Taijiquan and the syncretism of body and mind. Mask painting taught them the different connotations of colors in Chinese traditional culture, which offered a chance for them to be exposed to the cross-cultural implications of colors. Chinese music, Peking Opera and acrobatics experience activities also amazed the campers with their unique charm.
The campers were amazed at the splendid Chinese culture and long history by visiting many places of interest in Beijing – Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and other places. Standing on the Great Wall, they marveled at the courage, wisdom and creativity of ancient Chinese people. When they took the Chinese high-speed train from Beijing to Shanghai, they were impressed by the speed and stability of the high-speed rail. The students enjoyed the prosperity of Shanghai and the tranquility of the ancient town of Zhujiajiao.
In the closing ceremony of the winter camp, the students gave group reports on Chinese, Chinese culture and society in multiple ways, added by an in-depth summary of the trip to China. They saw, for the first time, the achievements of China's modernization, the daily life of common Chinese, and were made aware of the similarities and differences between China and the United States.
“Through firsthand cultural experiences, I was able to learn so much about Chinese traditions and the way of life in this magnificent country. After visiting different historical sites, taking part in a variety of activities, and adventuring around cities big and small, there is a spark of excitement within me to learn more. Chinese people were proudly Chinese. I could see the passion in their eyes when they would share aspects of Chinese culture. And I really appreciate the serenity and balance in Chinese arts. I cannot wait to return to China!” said Andrew Co, a Winter Camper, in the report.
All the students stated that the winter camp was a good starting point for their horizon broadening, further understanding of multi-culture. They said they would continue to explore China, sharing their unforgettable experiences with more people, and encouraging friends and families to go to China and experience the charm of China.