Discovering China Summer Program


 The Discovering China program is a 12 day initiative of the Confucius Institute (CI) at Texas A&M University to introduce high school students to Chinese history, society, language and culture. The program builds upon the legacy of developing a better understanding of China and creating personal relationships that bridge cultural differences and to help students better understand contemporary Chinese society, and to understand China’s role in the future.  The program is offered in partnership with one of China’s top universities, Ocean University of China, in the beautiful coastal city of Qingdao.  The program includes introductory Chinese language classes, visits to historic sites, seminars on Chinese culture and society, and opportunities to interact with Chinese students. Participants will be accompanied at all times by staff from the Confucius Institute at Texas A&M University. 


 We arrive in Beijing and visit the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and other historical landmarks. We will then travel to the coastal city of Qingdao, where we will study Chinese, have lectures and seminars on Chinese history and culture, get to know Chinese students, and visit nearby locations, including the famous Lao Shan, Confucius’ hometown of Qufu, and other important sites.
June 4th: Fly to Beijing from Houston Intercontinental Airport
June 4-16: Travel in China
June 16th: Return to Houston



  • Only open to U.S. citizens
  • Students between the ages of 14-18 attending any accredited high school, including homeschool programs, in good standing with their institution may apply. Graduating seniors are welcome to participate as well. 
  • Although Chinese language skills are helpful, they are not required.
  • A valid U.S. passport.  If you already have a passport, it MUST be valid past January 1, 2017.  If you need to obtain a passport, you must plan to have it in hand by May 1, 2016.
  • Participants must be healthy enough for international travel and to participate in the program.
  • Students must be interested in Chinese language and/or culture.
  • Students must be willing to participate in all summer camp activities and comply with the policies and procedures of Texas A&M University and Ocean University in China.



  • Due by April 1st:
    1. Complete the Online Registration Form 
    2. A deposit of $50. (Checks only. Payable to "Texas A&M University " Memo Line: "Applicant's Printed Full Name”) This covers registration fee for Ocean University, mailing costs, and miscellaneous processing costs. Mailed to the Confucius Institute (address at the bottom of the page). 
    3. Letter of recommendation from a teacher or other responsible adult (not a parent) to be emailed to Amanda Johnson azj[at] or mailed to the Confucius Institute office (address below).  
  • Participate in an interview with CI representatives (arranged after we receive your application)
  • Chosen participants will be notified by April 8th and will need to formally accept or decline by April 14th.


  • ​Students will be admitted on a competitive basis based on submitted materials and interview. 
  • Successful applicants will be notified by April 8th and will need to notify Amanda Johnson (azj[at] if they will accept or decline by April 14th. 
  • Maximum number of participants is 20 and the minimum is 15.  You will be notified by April 2nd if the program is cancelled because it does not meet its minimum student requirement and your $50 deposit will be returned. 



 We will have an informational session on March 24th at 5:30 pm on the 8th floor of Rudder Tower as well as 2 pre-departure orientation meetings to prepare for the trip. The the first orientation will be in late April and the other in late May. The exact dates will be announced soon. If you plan on attending the Informational Session, please sign up here. This will help us know how many to expect. 

If you are unable to attend the informational in person, you can connect through GoToMeeting using the following information:

By Phone: +1 (312) 757-3121

Access Code: 240-405-901

Informational Power Point


March 3rd: Application open
: Informational session - 5:30 pm, Rudder Tower 8th Floor
April 1st: Application due, Deposit mailed to TAMU
April 8th: Chosen participants contacted
April 13th: Deadline to accept or decline offer
April 15th: Names submitted to travel agent
April 22nd: First payment due (paid online by check or credit card)
May 5th: First Orientation Session, 5:30 - 7:00 pm (Skype will be available for out of town participants)
May 6th: Visa documents due to TAMU Confucius Institute (passport, visa application, visa fee)
Week of May 23rd: Passports returned to students
May 26th: Second Orientation Session, 
5:30 - 7:00 pm (Skype will be available for out of town participants)
May 27th: Second payment due (paid online by check or credit card)

June 3rd: Depart George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston for Beijing
June 16th: Return to Houston



 The in-country costs for the program are covered by the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China.  These include in-country travel, most meals, lodging, and activity costs and entry fees.  Participants are responsible for a deposit (used to cover mailing fees, etc.), passport fees, visa fees, international travel costs (travel to Beijing), travel insurance, and any spending money for gifts, souvenirs, and occasional meals or snacks. The TAMU Confucius Institute will collect two checks. The first to cover the intial deposit and the second to pay for international travel, visas (if you would like us to process), and travel insurance (if you would like to purchase the TAMU insurance). 


  • Deposit: $50 (This will go towards the cost of registration fees at Ocean University, postage, and processing expenses.)
  • US Passport: $80 (if under 16), or $110 (if over 16) (Please see the U.S. Department of State website for further information concerning passports.)
  • Chinese visa: $140 (Please visit the China Consulate in Houston website for more information regarding visas.)
  • International flight to Beijing: Approximately $1500, paid to Texas A&M University Confucius Institute
  • International Health Insurance Coverage (available from Texas A&M University for approximately $25 or you can purchase on your own).  You will not be allowed to participate in the program without proof of travel insurance. For more information regarding this insurance plan, visit the Study Abroad website.
  • Spending money: approximately $100-150


  • Room and board
  • Group meals
  • Transportation within China
  • All camp-related activities
  • Sightseeing


  • All students and chaperones will travel together at all times.
  • The CI will work directly with the travel agent to arrange international travel. ·      
  • The CI will work with the China Consulate in Houston to obtain visas for applicants. Students are responsible for payment only.
  • Visa documents and checks may be given to CI staff during orientation sessions or may be mailed to the address provided below.


Confucius Institute at Texas A&M University
 805 Rudder Tower 8th Floor
 3371 TAMU
 College Station, TX 77843-3371



Amanda Z. Johnson
Phone: 979.845.3099  

Hong Zhou
Phone: 979.845.6261    


Discovering China Program for High School Students

Lectures & Events > Discovering China Summer Program