China Camp 2019
This Easter the Business Confucius Institute took 30 people to China on their annual China Camp trip, including 8 Leeds University Business School students.
The trip is an action-packed two-week programme hosted by their partner university, The University of International Business and Economics in Beijing (UIBE), with expenses in China covered by the Confucius Institute Headquarters.
The group included people of all ages and backgrounds who study Chinese on BCI evening course or with our partners in the East Asian Studies Department and the Language Centre.
The trip included eight days in Beijing and four full days in Xi’an. In addition to Chinese classes and lectures, there were visits to famous sites such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors. There were plenty of opportunities to experience Chinese culture first-hand, such as trying out Chinese traditional medicine treatments and playing Chinese games on campus.
The visit to a Beijing school was a highlight for many. The day provided a glimpse into school life in China, from the morning exercises to the school lunches, and the group enjoyed a range of cultural activities including Chinese painting, zither playing, crafts and tai chi. The warm welcome from staff and students made the day even more special.
Meeting and interacting with Chinese people is not always easy as a tourist, particularly if your language skills are limited, and this is one area where participants on this trip benefit from the close connection with their hosts at UIBE. On the trip they spend time with UIBE staff and volunteers as well as school and university students. The experience of being guests in China also allows them to be exposed to Chinese working practices and etiquette through participating in the opening and closing ceremonies.
Camp participants had different experiences of China before the trip. Some are currently studying Mandarin at degree level, while others only took up the language in order to prepare for the China Camp. It was wonderful to see the group making the most of the experience and seeing China in a whole new light.
Economics and Management student, Stella, commented: "BCI China Camp was an amazing experience with great people. I had so much fun exploring China and learning more about the culture and the language. Thank you BCI and UIBE!"