My Summer In China


My Summer in China FREE Immersive Language Youth Camp


The My Summer in China program took place in the Spring and Summer of 2023. A huge thanks to our instructors, students, and community partners for making My Summer in China such an unforgettable experience. As we approach the end of the year, we'd like to inform you that there will be no further teaching activities or camps scheduled beyond December 2023.


Central Oregon Community College and STARTALK are proud to offer My Summer in China, a free and immersive Chinese-language day camp for youth in grades 7 – 12. The 2023 program includes an in-person summer camp in Bend, as well as 15 hours of pre-camp (April – June) and 30 hours of post-camp (August – December) offered via an online (synchronous and asynchronous) learning format. High school students who complete the entire program will be eligible to earn up to four college credits at COCC (at no cost to the student). 

The free COCC/STARTALK My Summer in China program features an innovative curriculum that recreates the experience of being an exchange student in China for the summer. The program is intended to serve both Chinese-heritage and non-heritage students with little to no previous Chinese language knowledge. By the end of the youth camp, students will be proficient at the novice-mid or novice-high Mandarin Chinese language level and will have a deeper understanding of Chinese culture.  

Summer camp participants will be immersed in Mandarin Chinese language and Chinese culture through interactive experiences in the community. Each week of camp will focus on a different theme, including family, relationships, food, sports, education, and geography. Summer camp Fridays will be reserved as Adventure Days, during which students will enjoy cultural activities (i.e. visits to local Chinese families, recreating Chinese night markets, camping, hiking, and picnics).  

Students dancing with fans in Chinese language immersion class

Summer Camp Session One

July 3 – 14, 2023 (camp will not be held on the July 4 holiday); 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; grades 7 – 12; held at COCC's Chandler Lab (1027 NW Trenton Ave) in Bend, OR. 

Summer Camp Session Two

July 17 – 28, 2023 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; grades 7 – 12; held at COCC's Chandler Lab (1027 NW Trenton Ave) in Bend, OR. 


Online Pre-Camp

Wednesdays; April 19, April 26, May 3, May 10, May 17, May 24, May 31; time TBD; offered via Zoom and Canvas; grades 7 – 12

Online Post-Camp

August – December 2023 (exact dates TBD); offered via Zoom and Canvas; grades 7 – 12



The application to the 2023 COCC/STARTALK My Summer in China program closes March 15, 2023. This program will accept 20 middle school students and 20 high school students. The program will be open to applicants from across the US, with a focus on Oregon residents.

Applications will be evaluated based on the strength of students’ responses to a 250-word essay question, and priority will be given to students who can attend all sessions (pre-camp, both summer sessions, and post-camp) as well as to low-income, ethnic minority, and rural students.

High school students can earn up to four college credits from COCC (a $529 value covered in full by COCC’s STARTALK grant) by attending both summer camp sessions (4 weeks total) as well as the pre- and post-camp sessions. Only those students who complete the entire program will be eligible to earn college credit. 

Watercolor paintings of tea kettles and cups

Program Cost 

The My Summer in China Immersive Language Youth Camp is FREE, courtesy of funding from STARTALK. 

The free program includes: 

  • Tuition and learning materials 
  • Daily lunch and daily snacks 
  • Program T-shirt 
  • COCC's College credit (for eligible participants who successfully complete the whole program and meet the requirements of COCC's Chinese 101 course learning outcomes

$20 fully refundable registration fee: In order to ensure that those who register for My Summer in China are committed to attend, COCC will charge a $20 fully refundable fee when accepted students register. This charge will be refunded after a student successfully attends the first week of summer camp. If this refundable fee is cost-prohibitive for a student or their caregivers, please reach out to for financial assistance.  

COCC does not provide transportation to or from the summer camp. However, financial assistance may be available to those students who need help covering transportation costs. Please contact for more information. 

Important Dates 

Week of January 16, 2023 COCC/STARTALK My Summer in China 2023 application opens. 
February 22, 2023, 6-7 p.m. Online information session for students and families to learn more about the program; Attend Zoom Session 
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 Last day to submit an application to the program. 
Friday, March 24, 2023 Students notified if they have been accepted to the COCC/STARTALK My Summer in China program; accepted students will receive a link to register and pay the fully refundable $20 registration fee.  
Week of April 3, 2023 Online orientation sessions for all accepted students.  
Wednesday, April 19, 2023 Online pre-camp begins (15 hours of total instruction). Pre-camp continues Wednesdays through May 31, 2023. Offered via Zoom and Canvas.
Monday, July 3 – Friday, July 14, 2023 Summer Camp Session One (camp will not be held on the July 4 holiday)
Monday, July 17 – Friday, July 28, 2023 Summer Camp Session Two 
August – December 2023 (exact dates t.b.d.) Online post-camp (30 hours of total instruction). Offered via Zoom and Canvas. More details coming soon.   


COCC World Languages and Cultures Logo
COCC Youth Programs Logo


My Summer in China is made possible by STARTALK, a prestigious federal grant program from the National Security Agency that supports innovative programs for K-16 students and teachers to learn and teach critical-needs languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian.

Learn more about STARTALK

Contact Us 

For more information, please contact program director Lin Hong at or call COCC's Community Education language immersion programs at 541-383-7240.