2017 Discovering China Summer Program for High School Students


The Discovering China program is a 15 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. 

Tentative Program:
We arrive in 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. We will then travel to Beijing and visit the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and other historical landmarks.
Tentative Itinerary (subject to change):
June 6th: Fly to Qingdao from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport
June 7-13: Experience Qingdao and take classes
June 14-15: Travel just outside of Qingdao (Qufu)
June 16-19: Experience Beijing
June 20th: Return to Houston

The in-country costs for the program are covered by the Confucius Institute Headquarters.  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, travel to Consulate 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.

Anticipated Student Costs:
  • Deposit: $50  (This covers registration fee for Ocean University of China, mailing costs, and miscellaneous processing costs)
  • US Passport: $80 (if under 16), or $110 (if over 16)
  • Chinese visa: approximately $140
  • International flight to Beijing: Approximately $1300, 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.
  • Spending money: approximately $100-150.
Student Requirements:
  • Must be U.S. citizens
  • Students between the ages of 15-18 (10th grade – incoming college freshmen for 2017/18 school year) 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, 2018.  If you need to obtain a passport, you must plan to have it in hand by May 1, 2017.
  • 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.
  • Commitment to attend all pre-departure orientations and classes.
Registration Procedure:
  • Due by November 28th EXTENDED TO JANUARY 6, 2017 :
    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. Check will be voided if student is not selected.
    3. Letter of recommendation from a teacher or other responsible adult (not a parent) to be emailed to Amanda Johnson
  • Participate in an interview with CI representatives (arranged after we receive your application)
  • Chosen participants will be notified by December 9th JANUARY 13, 2017 and will need to formally accept or decline by December 16th JANUARY 20, 2017.
Selection Procedure:
  • ​Students will be admitted on a competitive basis based on submitted materials and interview. 
  • Successful applicants will be notified by December 9th JANUARY 13, 2017 and will need to notify Amanda Johnson ( if they will accept or decline by December 16th JANUARY 20, 2017
  • Maximum number of participants is 15 and the minimum is 13.  You will be notified by November 28th JANUARY 6, 2017 if the program is cancelled because it does not meet the minimum student requirement and your $50 deposit will be returned. 
Informational & Pre-Departure Orientations:
  • We will have an informational session on November 14th at 5:30 pm on the 8th floor of Rudder Tower as well as multiple pre-departure orientation meetings and language classes to prepare for the trip. 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 link:
Contact for more information:
Amanda Z. Johnson:    Phone: 979.845.3099  
Hong Zhou:    Phone: 979.845.6261   

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

Lectures & Events > 2017 Discovering China Summer Program for High School Students