2007 Wooster in Xi’an Summer Program
The ancient capital of Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang dynasties for some 1,100 years, Xi’an is a perfect place for studying the formation of Chinese civilization. There have been magnificent archaeological and art discoveries in and around the city, such as the grave of the first emperor and the terra-cotta warriors, that are now important national tourist sites. There are Ming-dynasty Drum and Bell towers and the Great Mosque near the city center, the Big Goose and Little Goose pagodas, and Famen Temple, located at the outskirt of the city, in which Buddhist scriptures were first translated after they had been brought back from India. There are hundreds of tombs of imperial families, many of which are yet to be excavated and studied by archaeologists. There is Beilin Museum (the forest of steles) with tomb-stones inscriptions of China’s best and most famous calligraphy. There is National Museum of Shaanxi History containing thousands of historical artifects through which the brilliance and glory of ancient Chinese civilization become evident. For these reasons, many international exchange programs based in other Chinese cities come to Xi’an to study China’s development from prehistoric times until the height of the imperial period.
Xi'an as a city is in many ways more representative of China as a developing country than Beijing and Shanghai. Living expenses in Xi’an are considerably low and quite affordable even by Chinese standards. Wooster students still have access to such modern conveniences as hospitals, internet cafes, CNN cable T.V., McDonalds restaurants, Pizza Huts, and so forth; at the same time, they would still have plenty of opportunities to interact with citizens of Xi’an and farmers from nearby rural areas; they would be able to witness China’s transformation from an agricultural to an industrial society in ways more immediate than those Americans studying in Beijing and Shanghai. In their short excursions to historic sites, our students would be able to see the yellow earth tableau that was the home for Chinese civilization until recently. (Click here to see a short clip of the city as a modern metropolis.)
Xi’an International Studies University (XISU) is a medium sized school, with 8,000 students. It is an institution in which classes are taught in seven languages with an emphasis on English and a recent expansion into business and international relations. (Click here to view a short clip of the new XISU campus and the School of Chinese Studies.) The university has accommodations for foreign students and has a regular program established to receive them. (Click here to watch a short clip of XISU Hotel on campus where students enrolled in 2007 Wooster in Xi'an Summer Program will be staying.) At the school, students are able to participate in many programs including a speech competition (Click here to watch some samples of the speech competition)
|II. Teaching Staff and Draft Course Syllabi|
The progrqam is jointly run by both Wooster faculty (Wang) and experienced XISU language teachers. The five-week intensive language program running between the last week of May and the first week of July offers multiple courses and is open to (1) those wishing to take Chinese from scratch and with no prior knowledge, (2) those having completed beginning Chinese courses at the College or have the equivalents, or/and (3) those having completed intermediate courses at the College or the equivalents. The intensive language classes, which meet five days a week, with as many contact hours as two semesters of language studies in Wooster (28 weeks), carries 2 and a quarter credits; the quarter-credit is for a travel journal on the formation of Chinese identity (ethnic and cultural).
In addition to language acquisition, there can also be cultural components to this program such as field trips to the historic sites and museums on weekends, paired off with Chinese students taking courses in English literature, tourism and teaching Chinese as second language. Besides language training, our students would have a chance to meet with English speaking (bilingual) students and faculty in China such as those in the school of tourism at XISU, as well as other international students from Africa, Japan, Korea, Canada, and Europe, as well as native speakers of Chinese learning foreign languages.
In addition, in the course of five weeks, there will be lectures on local history, marchal arts, calligraphy, and tours to historic sites on weekends. Ideally, the program is most effectively run (financially) with 15 students, at a faculty-student ratio of 1:5, which means that for every full-time and experienced instructor on hand to teach in class and in individual sessions, there need to be five Wooster students. To ensure absolute continuity in language training, the same textbooks (Integrated Chinese) as used in Wooster are adopted. (Click here to see tentative course syllabi and required textbooks.)
|III. Travel Itinerary (suggested schedule subject to minor changes)|
|D1; 5/15||Cleveland - Beijing||Depart Cleveland||United Flt #143 10:15am|
|D2; 5/16||Arrive Beijing||transfer to Xingqiao Hotel for 4 nights with breakfast daily; an evening at Wangfujing Street, the most westernized part of Beijing|
|D3; 5/17||Full-day Beijing sightseeing, including Tiananmen Gate, Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven, lunch included en route. (Click here for footage of Tiananmen Square) (Click here for footage of Lao She's Tea House) other sights in Beijing include Beijing University (Click here for footage of Beijing University and Edward Snow's Gravesite) and Famen Temple (Click here for footage of a meditation session in Famen Temple)|
|D4; 5/18||Full-day excursion to Great Wall and the Ming Tombs, with lunch included. (Click here to see footage of the Great Wall)|
|D5; 5/19||Summer Palace, lunch included en route; evening flight to Xi'an, Transfer to Xian International Studies University and check into XISU Hotel; (Click here to see footage of the Summer Palace "Yuan Ming Yuan")|
|D6; 5/20||Orientation, meeting with XISU faculty|
|D7; 5/21-25||first week of language class|
|D12-3; 5/26-7||visit the Ming-dynasty Drum and Bell towers, Shaanxi History Museum, the Big Goose pagoda; and explore the market for Hui Moslem minority in the evening|
|D14-8; 5/28-6/1||second week of language class|
|D19-20; 6/2-3||Visit the Mausoleum of the First Emperor Qin Shi Huang, terracotta warriors, and Huaqing Hot Springs resort;|
|D21-25; 6/4-8||third week of language class;|
|D26; 6/9||check out of the XISU Hotel and transfer to Xi'an Airport; flight to Kunming (HU#7165), arriving 1 p.m.; check into Bao Shan Hotel; take bus to Yunnan Nationalities Villages (water-splashing festival of the Dai people); return to Hotel, explore Kuming at leiture in the evening|
|D27; 6/10||Bus trip to Stone Forest, 80 miles outside the city; lunch included en route; return to Kuming Airport for evening flight to Lijiang, check into Kai Tian Hotel (click here to watch see the Yellow River "Hu Kou" and the Stone Forest "Lin Shi")|
Bus ride to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (cable car to the very top of the mountain); the village of Dong Ba culture, and "White Water Terrace;" return to Kai Tian Hotel; explore the Old Town of Lijiang, a world cultural heritage; watch dance show titled "Beautiful Waters and Golden Sand"
|D29; 6/12||Leave Kai Tian Hotel for Shangri-la, on the way visit "Tiger Leaping Gorge " of the Jinsha River, the first bend of the Yangtzu River; arrive in Shangri-la at the foot of the Meili Snow Mountain, a world natural heritage, visit the dance party at one of the Tibetan families; check into Xinhua Hotel for the night|
|D30; 6/13||Bus ride to Bita Lake; Songzanlin Monastery (also known as the "small Potala Palace"); return to Lijiang in the evening, check into Kai Tian Hotel|
|D31; 6/14||Bus ride to Lugu Lake (280 miles and 6 hr ride); visit one of the families on Mosuo tribe, otherwise known as the "women's kingdom", a matriarchal community where women rule and where men and women never get married; after evening bonfire party, check into a local motel in Luo Shui Village; (click here to watch a video clip of Lugu Lake, Mosuo tribe and its evening dances)|
|D32; 6/15||Bus ride back to Lijiang; dinner in Lijiang Old Town; check into Kai Tian Hotel|
|D33; 6/17||Flight to Xi'an, move back into XISU Hotel in the evening|
|D34-8; 6/18-22||fourth week of language class|
|D39-40; 6/23-4||7 a.m. starts bus tour to the Tomb of Crown Prince Yide, Tomb of Princess Yongtai, and weekend Zen retreat at Famen Buddhist Temple where to visit the temple museum|
|D41-45; 6/25-9||fifth (and last) week of language class, including final exams; Friday evening have dinner at Tang Paradise restaurant while watching the musical and dance performance titled "Dream back to the Great Tang Dynasty"|
|D46-7; 6/30-1||an evening of village shadow theater in Lu Yuan; visit Ming-dynasty city wall at the Eastern Gate, the Beilin Museum (forest of stone steles); visit the street of cultural antiques; flight from Xi'an to Cleveland via Beijing|
|IV. Projected costs and expenses, subject to change as oil price in 2007 may rise dramatically|
|$980/each||total tuition (when and if a target minimum of 15 students is reached), which includes: [A] $580 USD fee for language instruction by both Wooster and XISU faculty at 1:4 teacher-student ratio, with an average of 4-contact hours per day, [B] $30 USD (240 RMB) student activity fee, with an identification card that would allow American scholars to enjoy the student rate when purchasing tickets to museums and parks in China, [C] $25 USD (200 RMB) classroom and facility fee, and [D] $350 USD (2,800 RMB) dorm fee (at the rate of 160 RMB or $20 USD per day) for a double-occupancy room, air-conditioned, with bathroom, shower, and breakfast. It does not include lunch or dinner, which is available in the cafetaria for international students for 30 RMB ($3.75 USD) if one decides not to eat in nearby restaurants, which is roughly $260 USD for 5 weeks. Textbooks are the same as used in Wooster and should be purchased in the States.|
|$2,500/each||tour fee for the entire trip (when and if a target minimum of 15 students is reached), which includes air tickets from Cleveland to Beijing, to Xi'an, to Yunnan, and back to the States; it also includes ground transportation, tickets for the places of interests in Beijing, Xi'an and Yunnan; hotels in Beijing and Yunnan (3 or 4 stars hotels and standard rooms), medical evacuation and personal injury insurances;|
|$300/each||Chinese visa ($50), and $250 for 9/11 security fee, departure-arrival custom fee, fuel charge, domestic airport tax and service fee|
|V. Impact on the Chinese Program and the Goal of Internationalization|
summer program expands the existing Chinese program and doubles its language
offerings in number. It offers options for those unable to take Chinese
at during regular semesters. The program is also an addition to the East
Asian track of the program in Cultural Area Studies. With the summer break
three and half months long, students currently taking the language tend
to forget much of what they have learned by the time fall semester begins;
that is why the summer program in XISU makes sense pedagogically. Moreover,
a change of venue can also motivate and cultivate interests in China in
ways not possible before. Visits to Xi’an, Beijing and Yunnan Province
provide an opportunity for Wooster students to have a once in a lifetime
experience while developing a better understanding of cultural differences.
The program tends to generate interest in Chinese Studies and satisfy the
needs of those hoping to take third-year Chinese, which we currently do
not offer except through tutorials.
Other possibilities may include increase in enrollments in such existing courses as taught by David Gedalecia, Ishware Harris, or Rujie Wang in Chinese history, religion, and literature/film that would deepen one's understanding of what they see on this field trip to China. Some interests in cross-Pacific cultural and academic exchanges may be generated when and if people in English, philosophy, and communication departments decide to take part in and take advantage of this Wooster in XISU summer program.