Bangor Chinese School Hosts Summer Immersion Program

Published: Jul. 10, 2017 at 3:32 PM EDT
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Students from 22 states including Maine are wrapping up a month long language class.

The summer immersion program is run by the Bangor Chinese School.

Joy Hollowell tells us more.


Logan MacKinney has studied the Chinese language for four years.

"I really fell in love with it in middle school," the soon to be sophomore says. "And then I am also seeing like a general trend that China is an up and coming power and I view this as a job source."

MacKinney is one of more than 60 students spending three weeks at Husson University in a Chinese language immersion program. This is their final week.

Half of the participants are from Maine. The other half from 21 other states.

Some have studied the language already. Others, like Christina Sossenheimer, are relatively new.

"I think I knew how to count to three," the recently graduated high schooler said, smiling.

"It doesn't matter because we have four classes," says Jing Zhang, President of the Bangor Chinese School. "We have two beginners classes and then two in the higher level classes."

This is the ninth year the Bangor Chinese School has hosted its STARTALK Dragon Chinese Immersion Summer Program. It targets kids in grades 4 through 12.

"This year's program, there is- how much do you know about traditional Chinese medicine," says Zhang. "We invited several Chinese traditional doctors from a local clinic to come and share with our children- what's different, the Chinese traditional medicine and western medicine."

Two national grants from the National Security Agent Project STARTALK help to fund the program. The goal of STARTALK is to expand and improve upon the teaching the learning of strategically important world languages.

A two-week teacher training course is held at the same time.

The closing ceremony is Friday. On Monday, July 17th 15 students from the program will travel to China to spend three weeks studying the language and culture.

For more information on the Bangor Chinese School, log onto