2017 Summer Tour of China

In its annual fashion, the GW Confucius Institute once again organized a two-week summer tour of China’s ancient capitals for currently enrolled GW and GW Confucius Institute students. Funded by Hanban, this year’s tour brought students to Nanjing, Xi’an, and Beijing, offering them the opportunity to explore China’s rich culture, history and language. For many of the students, this tour marked their first entrance into China and for some, Asia.

The tour began with students meeting at GW Confucius Institute’s partner university, Nanjing University, in Nanjing, China. For the first week, students acclimated to China, took classes on Chinese language, and experimented with some cultural staples, including dumpling making, taichi, and calligraphy.  The week ended with two full days of site-seeing in Nanjing, where students saw the impressive and stunning features of Nanjing, from the Xuanwu Lake Park to Linggu Temple Scenic area, from the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum to Sun Yat Sen memorial and Ming tomb. Students were left breathless at the gorgeous and lush greenery near this hallowed sites.

After a quick and smooth ride on the high speed rail, the group arrived in Xi’an, China for a 4-day stay. During this time, students tried the many wonderful snacks that comprise Xi’an food, including Biangbiang noodles, Roujiamo, and liang pi noodles. The group visited the many man-made structures that helped elevate Xi’an to capital status, such as the Terracotta Army, City Wall, and Wild Goose Pagoda. During the day students spend time at the Shaanxi History Museum, riding bikes on top of the City Wall, eating Chinese style hotpot, and enjoying Tang Dynasty style theater performance. In the evening, students ventured out into wild and neon-lit area of the Muslim Quarters, bargaining for merchandise and tasting an array of unique snacks.

For the final leg of the trip, the group arrived in capital of Beijing – one of China’s most well-known and populous cities – an urban metropolis sprawling with sky scrapers and wide avenues yet sprinkled with cultural icons including the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven. On the first full day in Beijing, the group ventured out to the Great Wall, hiking the Badaling Section for hours, taking dozens of photos and selfies with the beautiful blue skies and cool weather. After visiting many attractions during the day, in the evenings the students ventured out for a night on the town in Beijing’s bustling Sanlitun and Houhai districts, mingling with locals and foreigners alike.

As the final day approached, students were sad to leave China, having bonded so well with each other and having been challenged by Chinese culture. Suffice to say students learned a lot about themselves, about China, and about embracing the many diversities in the world. This year’s tour continued on the educational success of previous years’ tours. The GW Confucius Institute can’t wait to begin organizing next year’s!

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