UCT students on Tian Anmen Square, the heart of China
Mandarin course convenor, Professor Wu Qianlong, hosted the first Mandarin language summer camp for UCT students during the June vacation this year. 37 students, who had recently completed an Initial Mandarin course, took part in an intensive language and cultural tour of the cities of Guangzhou, Xi'an and Beijing in China.
The 17-day tour kicked off with intensive language lessons at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou where the group were welcomed by teachers, students and Professor. Zhu Qizhi, Deputy Director of the School of Chinese as a Second Language. The South African group also included six international students currently studying at UCT. Whilst on tour, many students also took the opportunity to participate in daily Taiji training, basic instruction in Kong Fu as well as Chinese music lessons. Sightseeing in Guangzhou included a visit to the Chen Clan Temple in the west of Guangzhou and the new city center and provincial museum. In the country's bustling capital of Beijing, students visited Tian An Men Square, the Forbidden City as well as the Heaven Temple. "This was a great opportunity for our students to augment what they had learned on the course and to apply their skills to real-life situations when they took buses and taxis, shopped around in town and dined in local restaurants" said tour leader Professor Wu.
The summer camp was sponsored by UCT's Confucius Institute and was by all accounts, a truly unforgettable experience. The Mandarin language course at UCT is made possible through substantial support from the Chinese Language Office International (Hanban) and followed the launch of the Confucius Institute at UCT.
"This tour with such a large group of students was the first of its kind at UCT and its success is testimony to the success of the course in its first year" said Professor Clive Chandler, Head of UCT's School of Languages & Literatures.