By Brittany Lehman
How about travelling with a group of friends/peers AND gaining access to tours and locations that you would not be able to have access to on your own?
Do you want university credit for it?
What if I told you that this is a possibility for you, in CHINA?!
In the spring of 2015, Augustana is offering the trip of a lifetime to Zhuhai, China. The trip is being offered as a course, either AUECO356 or AUPOL356. So not only do you get to go to China, but there is credit offered for going!
Prior to the tour, there is a course being offered: AUECO354/AUPOL358, Economic Development and Institutional Change in China. You are not required to take this course if you want to go on the trip, but it is strongly recommended. The prerequisites are AUECO101 or AUPOL 103 or 104. However, consent of the instructors is also an option. So even if you have never taken an economics or a politics course, just chat up Dr. Jérôme Melançon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Varghese Manaloor at email@example.com to gain permission to take the course.
While it is not required to take the lecture course prior to going, as Jérôme points out: “The course teaches you about the economic and political structures since the Reform of 1979 in China today, and the trip gives you the opportunity to experience what you have learned.” It is definitely worth it to experience what you have learned and actually understand what it is that you are seeing, rather than heading in with no prior knowledge.
Dylan Hansen, a student who went on the trip the last time it was offered, had nothing but great things to say about his own experience.
“Every moment was filled with opportunities to learn, engage, and live,” he says. “Culture shock and language barriers were obstacles that added to the positive experience. I definitely learned that the China we learn about in elementary school is not the reality; every region, province, city, or even street in China holds a book full of stories, some dark and some wonderful.”
When touring a Buddhist temple, Hansen had the opportunity to witness a mother teaching her toddler daughter how to pray. It is a moment that will remain with him forever.
The final details of the trip are not yet confirmed, however, temples, Hong Kong, the Great Wall, and several other points of interest are more than likely to be included. There will be countless opportunities to experience China, and perhaps “read” some of the books written into the destinations you will visit.