I just spent 4 months in a Chinese boot camp with no Internet or phone. AMA!
I'm a college student right now. I'm Chinese, but I'm an American citizen (born in China but came to the states at the age of 6).
Back in January 2013, my parents told me we were seeing family for a week or so. While I was in China, my family told me I would be going to this school for 4 months.
I started college in 2010 and I performed poorly my second year and was put on academic suspension. I worked fall of 2012 and was sent here for the entirety of spring of 2013. I came back to the United States about two weeks ago.
The school itself is located in Shandong province in China. Everything was in Chinese, so it really wasn't designed for kids that grew up in America like me; almost everyone else there was from the area except for me. It's main mission is to help with youth struggling with "Internet addiction," but a lot of people sent here have a myriad of problems that aren't just related to being on the computer in a web cafe all day. When you get sent there, all of your electronics and money are taken away. During your entire stay there, you aren't allow to use any personal electronics. One phone call is allowed home at the 2 month mark if you are well behaved. Your parents or family are allowed to see you at the 3 month mark.
There are anywhere from around 70 to 120 students at the school at any given time; students come and go so since it's not a fixed semester like normal schools. All students are split into one of 6 teams - 5 male teams and one female. The female team usually has around 20 members and they go through the same training that the guys go through. The youngest members were 12-13; the oldest were as old as 31. Most of them were high schoolers (ages 15-18) that didn't do well or just skipped school and had fights with parents.
There are 3-4 staff members per team (most of which were ex-army or police) and they stay with the kids 24/7. They get a few days of break per month, but we all basically eat and sleep together. The staff oversees our training and when parents call the school, they speak to their student's respective staff members. They specifically are not allowed to hit students (as in straight up beating the shit out of us) but are allowed to put us down and punish us in any other way.
I honestly had it pretty easy compared to some of the other kids. Being an "American" and all, a lot of the other kids and even staff were really curious as to what life was like here in the US. I almost never got punished because I behaved generally really well. I became the class monitor (Ban zhang in Chinese) around the 2 month mark, which entailed leading the team in activities and ordering the team around when it came to cleaning our dorms or the mess hall. I could also punish students with exercises if they didn't comply.
I don't know how I got through it all. I felt like I learned a lot coming out of this. My Chinese definitely got better. Heh.
Here are some pictures I took on the day I left: http://imgur.com/a/wWHnE#0
The reason I'm dressed differently is because I was about to leave; they let me change clothes and gave my iphone back for the day.
Can't really think of much else to say right now, which is what this AMA is for! Ask me anything.