Campus: CSU Fullerton -- May 3, 2004

‘Experience China’ to Provide Educational Opportunities

Summer camp in the land of the Great Wall of China?

Youths, parents, teachers and other interested travelers will have that opportunity this summer as participants in “Experience China,” offered through University Extended Education (UEE) at Cal State Fullerton.

A partnership between the People’s Republic of China and UEE, Experience China offers three programs aimed at “building a bridge of understanding between America and China, and promoting friendship between the two peoples,” says Lisa Xue, UEE director of international programs, China. “We also hope to encourage development of international business and cultural exchange through outreach delegations.”

Xue will lead a May 8-19 Outreach Delegation, a group of American community and business leaders and educators interested in developing a greater understanding of Chinese culture and language. They’ll have the opportunity to engage in discussions with their counterparts and pursue business opportunities. The group will visit academic, trade, cultural and scenic sites in Beijing, Guilin, Xi’an, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

The International Summer Camps, July 8-22, are open to American youths 12 years and older, as well as parents and teachers, and are designed to help participants develop a better understanding of the Chinese language, people and culture through classes, field trips, recreational activities, art, drama, music and calligraphy. Camp locations will be in Nanjing, Beijing and Shanghai.

Departing in July, Spend the Summer Teaching in China is the third program of Experience China and has two components. In one, university/college English as a Foreign Language/English as a Second Language-certified teachers will serve as instructors of methodology classes for Chinese public school teachers. The three-week trip will include transportation, lodging, food and some sightseeing — paid for by the sponsoring institutions. The other component will involve K-12 instructors teaching English in special summer camps designed to help Chinese youth better understand American culture, language and people. The four-week program will provide lodging, food and sightseeing, in addition to all but $400 of the round-trip airfare.

Xue, who joined UEE last May, directed similar programs at the University of Utah. About the summer camps, she says, “the students always say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And many of the teachers who have gone maintain contact with their students — the teachers they taught.

“Teachers in China are more focused on knowledge-based teaching and memorization, whereas our American teachers work to motivate and stimulate creativity through student involvement and active use of the language. They help the Chinese teachers develop instructional strategies, which engage and encourage students.”

Both Xue and Harry L. Norman, dean of UEE, agree that Experience China is just the beginning for similar future projects. “We don’t plan to stop with China,” says Norman. “We’d like to roll out these kinds of programs, in the next year or two, probably in the Pacific Rim.”

Cultural exchanges, such as Experience China and programs that bring people here from other countries, “continue to strengthen our ties with the global community,” Norman says.

Adds Xue, “This is going to benefit both countries. If people would understand each other, we’d have less conflict. It’s not only about academic, cultural and business trade — we’re promoting world peace.”

To enroll in one of the programs, or for additional information, call (714) 278-4190, or visit the “Experience China” Web site: www.experiencechina.fullerton.edu.

Contacts: Lisa Xue, (714) 278-2938, lxue@fullerton.edu
Gail Matsunaga, (714) 278-4851, gmatsunaga@fullerton.edu


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