In this year, for 20 students from the State of Saxony a dream came true. For 14 days,
they had the opportunity to visit a country which most of their fellow students only knew
from television or postcards – China. Together with students from Berlin, Hamburg,
Lower Saxony, and Saxony-Anhalt they took part in this years Confucius Summer
Camp and visited the cities of Beijing, Jinan, Jining, and even Qufu, the home town of
Confucius.For all participants, German as well as Chinese, this was a unique and
The agenda was quite comprehensive. Nevertheless, there had been no complaints
whatsoever. If need be, there was only a slight desire for additional free-time. But
visiting the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Tiananmen Square, the Olympic
venues, and the People’s University was a sufficient compensation for the ‘exertions’
during the daily programme in the Chinese capital. The stay at our host school, the
Affiliated Middle School of Jining Institute, was more relaxed. In fact, there was a
comprehensive programme here as well: Chinese language, paper-cut, Kungfu,
calligraphy, and Chinese music. But there was still enough time to get to know Chinese
students and teachers. This holds for sports events like football, table tennis, and
basketball as well as for visiting Chinese families and making Chinese dumplings.
Confucius Summer Camp 2010 (July 19 to August 2) – Saxon Delegation
All of our students will keep in mind the extraordinary experiences of their stay in
China. Without a doubt, visiting the Chinese families was the most exciting experience
of all. After returning to Germany, there had been hardly a student that was not
interested in continuing to learn Chinese. Some even planed to study Sinology or East
Asia Studies. Even more than the country itself it has been the people that left a lasting
impression. Their warm-hearted friendliness made us feel welcome. All together, a
successful Confucius Summer Camp 2010!
The thorough stage of preparations for the Confucius Institute in Leipzig began in April
when the itinerary was basically fixed. At the same time, Hanban confirmed that
Saxony would be allowed to delegate 20 Students for the Beijing-Shandong route. In
combination with the students from Berlin, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, and Saxony-
Anhalt there were 90 places available.
Confucius Institute Headquarters were in charge of room and lodging, entrance fees
and presents. The participants only had to bear the costs of travelling. Luckily, we
gained the support of the State Ministry for Culture and Sports (SMC). It accepted a
reasonable part of the travel expenses. Therefore, the amount retained by the students
was only as high as 250 € for their 14-days stay in China.
Because there where only two months until the end of registration the main task was to
call the schools attention to the Confucius Summer Camp 2010. It was quite important
to reach a high number of applicants. In two stages there had been advertising letters
to several school principals. At the same time, the programme and information
concerning the application process were published on our homepage
www.konfuziusinstitut-leipzig.de. Among others, requirements were a self written letter
of motivation, a school’s letter of recommendation, and at least basic knowledge in
Mandarin Chinese. Because learning Chinese is not yet part of the curriculum in
Saxony only a few students were able to perform the required language qualification.
For those who did not speak any Chinese the Confucius Institute in Leipzig offered
preparatory language lessons. Almost all applicants took part in these courses. Those
who did not already acquired basic skills in modern Chinese within voluntary classes
at their schools.
The entire preparation work was carried out in close cooperation with Mr. XIU
Chunmin at the Educational Department of the Chinese Embassy in Germany, Professor
GU Shiyuan und Mr. HU Chunchun PhD at the Confucius Institute in Hanover as well
as Mrs. Heidrun FORSSBOHM from SMC. Whereas the Educational Department was
responsible for the entire travel preparations, the Confucius Institute in Hanover was coordinating
all requests and issues of the German Confucius Institutes involved. The
SMC, finally, was not simply official supporter but helped to choose the most qualified
applicants and kept in touch with the Chinese side on the political level.
Although our work in the field of public relations was quite reasonable, a mere 22
applications reached the Confucius Institute in Leipzig. Therefore, the selection
committee only had to reject two applicants. The others where invited to Leipzig for a
preliminary meeting. On this occasion, students and their parents had the opportunity
to find out more about the Confucius Institute in general and about the Confucius
Summer Camp 2010 in detail. At the same time, the meeting served as a get-together
and as an introduction to cultural characteristics of China. Questions that could not be
answered prior to the preliminary meeting were discussed here.
Besides doing PR for the Confucius Summer Camp 2010 as well as preparing and
executing the preliminary meeting, main task for the Confucius Institute in Leipzig
was look through the application, and if necessary claim missing documents, e. g.
insurance certificates, visa applications, consents of the parents et cetera. At the
same time, parents and students needed a contact point in concerns of preparing
the stay. The Chinese side, on the other hand, needed a source of information as
to the state of preparation and for enquiries concerning the participants. This
contact point and co-ordinating site was the Confucius Institute in Leipzig.
(Person in charge of the Saxon Delegation / Summer Camp counsellor)