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KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee faculty, staff and students are being sought to participate in the 2011 English Summer Camp at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, June 22 through July 15, 2011.

This is the fifth year for the camp — the largest of its kind in the world — where 3,200 freshman Chinese students will take part in an intensive three-week English learning experience. Tsinghua University requires all of its students to be proficient in conversational English by the time they graduate.

This is the fourth year UT has been invited to participate with a select group of other colleges and universities from the U.S., Australia and the United Kingdom. UT’s Center for International Education administers this cross-cultural program which provides an opportunity for UT faculty, staff and students to travel to China and immerse themselves in the culture.

Faculty, staff and students interested in being part of UT’s group at this year’s summer camp must fill out applications that are forwarded to Tsinghua University officials who select the participants. Faculty and staff applications are due Feb. 16, and student applications are due Mar. 8.

Teacher applicants must have doctorates, master’s degrees or currently be enrolled in graduate school. At the camp, they work with Chinese teachers and Tsinghua graduate students to conduct classes between 8:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Monday through Friday. They also assist with activities from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day and with evening activities once a week.

Student volunteers teach classes, as well as lead games, discussions and competitions designed to promote the use of English.

Applicants should be flexible, outgoing, able to adapt to new situations, comfortable speaking to large groups and willing to work long days. Public speaking, music and leadership skills are pluses. Applicants should be in good physical condition. No knowledge of the Chinese language is needed.

Teachers and volunteers receive free housing in air-conditioned, Western-style lodging, meals and 80 hours of Internet connection during their stays. Teachers receive stipends of about $2,000 for the program; volunteers get about $450. Participants must pay their own airfare.

Teachers and volunteers will have weekends free for travel, shopping and sightseeing.

Tsinghua is one of the top universities in China, often compared to Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford. Many of China’s current leaders, including China’s President Hu Jintao, are Tsinghua graduates. The campus is on the grounds of the Imperial Summer Palace of the Qing Dynasty in northwest Beijing.

Interested individuals have several opportunities to learn more about the Tsinghua University program.

The Programs Abroad Office, located in the Center for International Education at 1620 Melrose Ave., has two informational meetings about the Tsinghua Summer Camp program scheduled:

  • Thursday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. in the Programs Abroad Resource Room in Melrose Hall
  • Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the International House Dining Room

For more information, also see the Programs Abroad website at

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,

Todd Steed, Programs Abroad Office, (865-974-3177,