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China camps

Our China Camp is the perfect opportunity to visit China under the guidance of experienced hosts, who will lead you through a packed programme of language classes and cultural excursions.

Subsidised by the Confucius Institute Headquarters, and hosted by our partner university (The University of International Business and Economics in Beijing), our camps are an affordable and enjoyable way for our students to experience China.

Important dates

The date for the next China Camp has yet to be confirmed.


Who is eligible for the China camp?

The China camps are designed for people who:

  1. Haven’t previously participated in a China camp sponsored by Hanban.
  2. Are over 18 years old.
  3. Have studied Mandarin with the Business Confucius Institute OR are studying Mandarin at the University of Leeds Language Centre.

Participants are required to attend the briefing meeting (and interview, if required) before the trip.

There are a maximum of 30 places available on the trip. These will be allocated to those who fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit a final application after the briefing meeting.

Students of East Asian Studies at the University of Leeds are welcome to apply, but priority will be given to those who are not currently undertaking a degree course that includes study abroad in China. If application numbers are high, places for EAST students will be limited.

How much does the camp cost?

Accommodation, transportation and activities will be fully funded by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban).  Applicants are expected to cover their own international airfare and the Chinese visa application fee (visa fees vary but are approximately £150).

Most participants spend about £300-£400 in China on buying souvenirs and eating out. If you enjoy shopping you may spend more, and it is also not difficult to spend less.

You will sometimes need to buy some snacks when you are out and about. Based on participant feedback we now also allow extra free time in the evenings, which means that not all meals are provided. However you can eat relatively cheaply in China.

What is the programme of activities for the trip?

Participants are immersed in Chinese language and culture for an action-packed two weeks. Activities may include:

  • Chinese language lessons
  • Historical excursions (including a visit to the Great Wall)
  • Chinese calligraphy and painting classes
  • ...and much more!

We work with our partner University to prepare an exciting itinerary of activities and excursions for camp attendees.

Download the 2018 itinerary

Download the 2019 itinerary

Register your interest

If you are interested in participating in a future trip, join our mailing list to sign up for updates.


What previous participants had to say about the trip

What was your favourite thing about the China Camp and why?

  • My main highlight is realising a boyhood dream of visiting the Tomb of the Qin Emperor in Xi'an! I would say, as with any programme how much you put into it, is how much you will get out! I exhausted the experience, like it did me!
  • The organisation is really good and I felt we made the most of our time. The group was really nice and meeting new people while being in a new country was great. Having many activities but also free time to enjoy by ourselves was essential.
  • Coming together as a group and having a really good dynamic between the group members and our hosts and volunteers - it was constantly fun. I especially liked the interaction from the volunteers at UIBE and our travel guides, it was really amazing to ask natives about life in China and what they thought of Chinese and foreign culture.
  • Seeing China in person was amazing and learning about the culture and language.
  • The group of people and the helpers were all so great.
  • Hard to say! I think some of the unplanned activites were a wonderful surprise- cycling around Xi’an, the art district 798 and the hutongs as I had no previous expectations. The Great Wall and the terracotta warriors were breathtaking! I found the painting class in the school to be ethereal- what a calming and transportational experience!
  • The painting and calligraphy lesson was so relaxing. I enjoyed it a lots because I have always been interested in Chinese art and calligraphy.
  • I truly liked the studying process (lessons and lectures). I wish I could learn more.
  • Going to the university, and the middle school, we got to experience what studying in China could be like.
  • Definitely the Great Wall! It was definitely the most surreal moment of the trip. Also, the food was amazing.
  • Being constantly exposed to Chinese language. As a language learning experience it was invaluable to be surrounded by native Chinese language assistants who I could chat with on all the trips. The fact that it was a mixed ability group also helped as I was able to pick the brains of more experienced campers.
  • The chance to explore a highly respected Chinese university.
  • Difficult to mention only one. Exploring these amazing historic places. All the information we got from the lectures opened my eyes about China's government, economy and society. The experience of living the everyday life in China. The staff members from UIBE were extremely friendly, helpful and kind. All the camp participants were extraordinarily nice.

Is there a particular memory that sticks out in your mind? Please tell us about it and explain why it is so memorable!

  • The Great Wall was the highlight of the trip - something I had wanted to do since I saw it in history books as a kid - tiring but worth every step. The view from the top towards the mountains was beautiful.
  • Standing on the Great Wall is the most amazing feeling and something I will never forget. The view blows you away and after climbing all the stairs and reaching the wall you feel like you've achieved something monumental.
  • In Houhai we got asked to be part of someone's wedding photographs.
  • I don’t think I could pick any particular time I thoroughly enjoyed everything!
  • Memorable thing was to go to the silk market and bargain. It's also useful to practice new vocabulary with locals as it helps to remember words and pronunciation in a short time.
  • The painting at the middle school, after being non stop it was nice to relax and attempt painting.
  • The Great Wall was my favourite day of the entire trip. It was such a beautiful time of year to go - it was as if you were looking at a billboard but it was actually in front of you. Pro tip: don't be afraid to haggle for ice cream, prices can be negotiated for anything.
  • Riding bikes along the ancient wall of Xi'an. The views from the wall were beautiful and the experience was the perfect end to a wonderful fortnight.
  • The business lecture regarding Chinese companies. The point of going to another country is to really understand mindset and cultural outlook. This lecture really delivered on that.
  • The cultural excursions. Exploring these sites was an unforgettable experience.

What would you say to somebody considering taking part in the trip next year?

  • Don't hesitate even debating, just go for it!!!
  • The China Camp is the best opportunity to discover the culture, learn and enjoy at the same time. Travelling by yourself in such a different country can be stressful and difficult sometimes that's why being part of this group and living the experience together is much more enriching
  • Don't even hesitate to sign up! China Camp was my first trip to China and it was a life-changing experience. Travelling around Beijing on the subway, walking the old market streets or wandering through the Forbidden City - they have to be experienced first hand to realise how amazing China actually is!
  • Do it! Be prepared to make friends, experience new things and eat lots of rice.
  • 100% do it
  • Go! It was very well organised and (for me) stress free! I felt very relaxed and looked after. Go with an open mind and a welcoming attitude.
  • Highly recommend because you never it might turn out to be one of the most memorable trip ever.
  • It's a wonderful chance to experience China, to learn more about their culture and understand their lives. This camp can help not only to strengthen a language but also to be a witness of lives of workaholic people and helps to decrease a cultural distance for business purposes.
  • To 100% go for it, it was the best decision I made.
  • Sorry but why would you not do it? I may not have got much revision done over Easter, it was so worth it. So don't worry about it if that's the only thing holding you back.
  • You will not regret doing so.
  • Don't think twice, even if you have been to Beijing before likely this would have been a brief visit seeing only the main highlights. This trip provides a more in-depth approach to get to know China and Beijing.
  • This trip is a life-changing experience. Don't miss it out!

Sum up the China Camp in a tweet

  • China Camp 2018, understanding centuries old history and future ambitions, all in two weeks!
  • Discover by China by making new friends, living new experiences and creating unforgetabble memories.
  • China Camp gave me the opportunity to explore China for myself, practice the language with native speakers, learn about the ancient civilisation and culture of China and much more. It was an experience I will never, ever forget - I love you, China!
  • Loved every minute! Very grateful to all:)
  • The China camp allowed me to visit China when otherwise I would have had to wait a few years to save, I enjoyed every moment of it and would love to do it all over again.
  • Feel like I've completed the whole of China in just two weeks. Trip of a lifetime!
  • China Camp 2018, a wonderful unforgettable life-changing experience. Lots of new friends, lots of fun, and improving my Chinese language skills.