Arrival: Davidson-in-Shanghai 2012

Group Picture at Fudan University

With the requisite group picture standing in front of the Great Helmsman by the main gate to Fudan University, the Davidson program in Shanghai has officially begun!

My family and I arrived a couple of weeks earlier, to make sure Michael was set up for school at Fudan International and that last minute issues were resolved prior to all 14 students showing up in Shanghai. By August 30th, two students of the group (Alex Bau and Tommy Fang) had already arrived in Shanghai. Alex, Tommy, and I went to Pudong International Airport to meet the group – they were relatively cheerful, given the length of the plane ride, the extreme turbulence (weather issues), and one piece of lost luggage.

To recover from jet lag the following day, I took the group out for an introduction to breakfast foods in Shanghai (they all had steamed buns of different varieties, 肉包子), and then we went for a walk around the Fudan University campus and the wujiaochang (五角场) neighborhood. The long walk on the first day was designed not only to familiarize newcomers to their home for the next four months but also to help them get over jet lag.

10 minutes and you know about Shanghai

Semester Program Overview

beijing11 - 2012This program is open to Davidson students interested in East Asian or Chinese history, politics, religion, and culture. It will also appeal to students interested in economics and development, social justice, and environmental studies. While previous knowledge of Mandarin Chinese is not required, it is highly recommended; a course in Mandarin Chinese (at the appropriate level, including 1st year Chinese) will be part of the curriculum.

The next iteration of the program will be in the fall of 2021, and will begin in late August. See the Davidson study-abroad website for more details.  Highlights of the program include:

  • Courses and study tours to Beijing, nearby Shanghai sites, and other locations in China offered by a Davidson faculty member, who also serves as the Resident Director of the Program.  Past Directors have been Professors Fuji Lozada, Ping Shao, Vivien Shen, and Graham Bullock.
  • Campus housing, with many opportunities to interact with Chinese and other foreign students, as well as faculty
  • Course offerings across multiple disciplines, including political science, history, sociology, anthropology, religion, health and human values, and media studies
  • Personalized language courses that will enhance students’ ability to communicate in Mandarin Chinese
  • Convenient access to sites within Shanghai, one of China’s most dynamic cities

Group excursions in 2018 included:

  • Beijing: The capital of China, with many historical sites including the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and the Summer Palace.
  • Yunnan: With cities such as Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La that are home to many of China’s ethnic minorities, Yunnan also has some of the most striking natural landscapes in the world, including Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Tiger Leaping Gorge.
  • Suzhou: The “Venice of China,” home to many famous gardens, and the historical center of the silk industry
  • Within Shanghai: The “Paris of the Orient,” including sites such as the Bund, Zhou Enlai’s residence, Xintiandi, the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, and more.

 

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