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Culture Express > News Video

Chinese students go abroad for summer vacation

Reporter: Yuan Chenyue 丨 CCTV.com

08-12-2014 02:45 BJT

In Shanghai, more and more students are taking the track of summer camps, many of which are far from home and abroad.

14-year-old junior high school student Zhou Zhenyu spent three weeks in the United States last summer. His camp at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, near Washington DC, focused on academic skills such as writing and science. Zhou says the camp was more helpful for his studies than other camps that spend too much time on traveling.

"For me, I take the mathematical logic, it's, comparatively to be an easier curriculum to other classes. But still, it's like kind of a college classes. It's really challenging and you have to prepare a lot. But luckily enough, we have great tutors and we have great TAs," Zhou Zhenyu said.

Zhou says he hopes summer camps can prepare him for studying abroad in the future. And another student says having overseas study experience could be a big plus when applying to colleges.

“For example, if you were to apply to Yale, and then you attended the Yale summer program, perhaps it would be worthwhile to mention it. If you think that you have a certain summer camp experience that is particularly meaningful, you can add it to your personal statement,” Ding Jingwen said.

But not every student wants an academic experience. A local company that says it sends about 300 students a year to overseas camps says most choose programs that mostly involve travel, and notes that different programs have different requirements.

“Summer programs focusing on studying set high standards for applicants, and not every student can pass. Students need to submit their language test scores such as TOEFL and their GPA from school,” Teng Zheng from Shanghai CIIC said.

And a representative from a similar company says travel itself can inspire children.

“See the culture first hand, then you will be able to understand it more, you know, if you can go and look yourself with your own eyes, and you see, you touch and you walk around and you experience it. It will make the whole process of learning more interesting, cause, just sitting down and learning words is really boring,” William Vanbergen from BE Education said.

And some parents say they want their kids to learn what overseas education can be like by attending such summer camps, though they'd like more of an academic focus.

China's Ministry of Education released new guidelines for overseas study tours last month that says at least half the time should be spent on studying.

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