BU Today


Ten Days in China

Summer course leads students to the real culture of five major cities

Click on the interactive graphic above to find out more about the trip plan and to learn about a previous edition of the course Study in China. You will need sound.

Jake Walker’s bags had been packed for a week. On August 14, he began a 16-hour flight from Boston to Beijing, China, the first of five major cities that six adventurous BU students will visit for the class known as CAS LC115, or more plainly, Study in China.

“I’ve never been out of the country,” says Walker (CAS’08). “But my major is economics, and I’ve heard from a lot of people that China is the upcoming market. I’m really excited about going.”

The 10-day summer course, now in its third year, was created by Xiaoyang Zhou, a College of Arts and Sciences preceptor in Chinese. In addition to Beijing, the students will spend time in Xi’an, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. They will travel from city to city by train, which will double as a classroom.

“Instead of seeing China from a fancy hotel,” says Zhou, “I wanted to offer students more opportunities to observe and experience ordinary Chinese people’s lives. I want them not only to know the language, but also the culture, people, society, and what the Chinese are really like. Maybe they have seen movies, but it’s different to see it with your own eyes.

Vinny Mitchell (CAS’07) couldn’t agree more. A veteran of the 2005 expedition, Mitchell describes the experience as a highlight of his BU career. “In my high school yearbook, before I even came to BU, I’d written that one of my dreams was to go to China,” he says. “It was incredible.”

Since that enlightening summer, Mitchell has spent a full semester in China. He is now back in Boston, volunteering as a Chinese interpreter at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “At the moment, I’m only translating Mandarin,” he says. “Cantonese is next.”

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu.