This is what students and faculty will hearwhen they step off the plane in China this July as they embark on UDM's first study-abroad experience inChina.This is the launch trip to China," said Lara Wasner, director of Language and Cultural Training.The trip is duplicated from the Brazil study-abroad trip, which was launched in 2005. That trip went very well, but it started to get too expensive due to the planning for the 2016 Olympics and the World Cup.Ten to 20 UDM students traditionally participate in the Brazil trip.
We are hoping to gainthat amount for the China trip, Wasner said.The tripwill run July 1-14 with stops in megacities like Beijing, Shanghaiand Xi'an.Though this is the university's first time abroad to China, it will be Wasner's fourth.The first two times I went were for recruiting for university programs, said Wasner.My focus on the last trip was education reform in China. I enjoyed all of the visits, even when I was there on business.Wasner met with college students andvisited historical sites.The last time I was there, I dove into the educational aspects of China because of the rapid changes being brought on by the economic growth and development," Wasner said. "From there, planning for the China trip began"following requests by UDM students.
For many, the trip to China will be the trip of a lifetime.For the Rev. William Tillie, the trip will offera great chance to gain more knowledge pertaining to his career aspirations.I think that going to China will be very interesting, said Tillie. "I can't wait to study their culture, religion, interpretation of the Bible,as well as seeing the business side of the country.While I'm there, I hope to gain more knowledge on how to run a business or businesses,he continued.I want to help people who are struggling in this economy and do God's will. This experience will help me grow and when I grow, other people grow as well.Courses will beoffered in comparativeeducation, cultural anthropology, urban issues and problems, and directed readings, a course being offered to students who already have taken one of the other classes, said anthropology Prof.Dr. Aloha Van Camp.
The readings class is a private study arrangement that can be worth anywhere between three to nine credits, said Van Camp.One example is a nursing student who is going to China and is using the directed readings to study the Chinese holistic approach to medicine and how the Chinese medical system is different than ours.Being in Van Camp's cultural anthropology class this semester, Tillie will be participating in directed readings during his trip to China.While I am in China, I have to take at least 100 pictures,said Tillie.Taking the pictures will be the first part of the course and then the second part will be presenting them after we get back.Van Camps hopes that her students will take the opportunity to immerse themselves in Chinese culture.
I think that the traditional classroom learning experience isgood, but the chance to immerse one's self in a culture such as China's is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,said Van Camp.Ms. Wasner has done a wonderful job with the study abroad opportunities here at the university. I am excited about seeing the Great Wall as well as some the megacities such as Beijing and Shanghai. It is a great opportunity for the students and faculty to see where China is going and, especially for the students, see how China will continue to play a key role in society for the future.Students will be attending a Chinese theatre, taking rickshaw tours and participating in many more memorable experiences.The costis not cheap, but Wasner saidfinancial aid and travel grants areavailable for students interested in studying in China.For those who are planning on studying abroad inChinaor in any other summer study abroad program, there is a discounted rate of tuition,said Wasner.You can also apply for financial aid. There is also a travel grant established by Jamie Dylenski and family three summers ago.