With a population over 1.3 billion people, coming from 56 different ethnicities, spread throughout China’s 34 provinces, staying in Beijing, let alone the classroom, will not even begin to show you the real China.
To understand China in its entirety, all of these aspects must be considered. That is why The Beijing Center (TBC), builds two academic trips into each semester. The Silk Road trip in the fall semester retraces the legendary caravan trade route that connected China with Europe for the most part of history and transported not only precious goods but technology, religion and culture between the east and west; students discover in China’s “wild west” historic treasures, oasis towns, Tibetan and Muslim nomads, as well as a thriving contemporary trade and cultural exchange between China and Central Asia. The Yunnan trip in spring explores the immense diversity of landscape and ethnic cultures where China meets Southeast Asia; students immerse themselves in the rich rural life of Yunnan’s ethnic peoples among the Himalayan, the hills and the jungles, in the meantime seeing the great growth potential and challenges in China’s development strategy at its Southwestern border.
Each student undertakes a research project for the academic trip and completes a term paper; students can receive three-credit by fulfilling other requirements of the “Engaging China” course which centers upon the trip experience.
In addition, following the midterm exams, TBC arranges students for a week’s deep engagement with either the rural communities around Beijing or mainstream Chinese culture in the adjacent provinces of Shanxi and Shandong; students provide service to underprivileged communities or gains insight into foundations of Chinese traditional culture, while also enjoying leisure time outside Beijing’s urban crawl.
These unique trips allow you to see and experience more of China than most people will their entire lives – Chinese people included, and prepare you for future careers involving China in many areas that fulfills the “seeing is believing” criteria.