September 4, 2014
Summer 2014 marked the fourth year that the Chicago in Beijing Summer Chinese Language Program has been held at the Center in Beijing. This year, a group of current UChicago undergraduates were joined by several UChicago graduate students and an incoming first-year in studying Mandarin and exploring Beijing and wider China. The students attended lectures and drill sessions at the Center, visited local historical sites each weekend, and got involved in the community of UChicago summer interns and alumni in the city. University of Chicago Chinese teachers Youqin Wang and Fangpei Cai led the program, with assistance from four local junior teachers.
The group of 21 summer language program students arrived in June and lived on campus at Renmin University of China. A packed schedule of field trips included visits to the Great Wall at Jinshanling, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Lama Temple, the Confucius Temple, and the Temple of Heaven. The students took an overnight weekend trip to the mountainous imperial summer capital of Chengde, several hours by bus from Beijing.
The group also attended a reception at the Center in Beijing for interns, other students, and alumni in China for the summer; and enjoyed a Peking opera show at the National Center for the Performing Arts on the Fourth of July. Towards the end of the program in August, the language instructors guided the students through several annual traditions such as participation in an inter-university Mandarin speech contest and the creation of a commemorative yearbook in Chinese.