Signature Experience: Establishing a summer camp in Zhengzhou, China
Woman playing traditional Chinese Guzheng instrument

During their junior and senior years, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in their field of choice through the Peddie Signature Experience.  Designing their own program of independent research or creative work under the guidance of faculty mentors, students in the Signature Program are able to immerse themselves fully within their field of choice.

What better place to immerse yourself in Chinese culture than China? Connie ’20 thought so and, with her Signature Experience, she made it happen. 

Connie worked with Peddie faculty and her dad to create a summer camp in Zhengzhou, China, where young people ages six to 16 from around the world with an interest in Chinese culture can experience it first-hand. 

The month-long experience is something she’ll always remember. “It took my education beyond what I can learn in the classroom by putting me in a place where I would get to physically experience the culture, as well as speak the language,” said Connie.

Her own experiences during her time in China included learning Chinese calligraphy, classical instruments such as the zither-like Guzheng — a plucked string instrument played in China for 2,500 years, — and visiting the Shaolin Temple and other sites.

Connie noted that her interest in creating this unique experience stemmed from being ethnically Chinese but feeling that she knew little about the culture. “I know that a lot of kids are in the same position as I am. and I wanted to help create opportunities for anyone who was interested in Chinese culture to be able to experience it.

The camp that Connie helped start is still open and expands the possible China experiences open to Peddie students.

My Signature Experience has taught me how to interact with professionals, communicate in another language, as well as learn more about my own culture.” Connie ’20