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K-State Today

May 18, 2018

K-State Confucius Institute sponsors first student China trip

By Jessica Shields

The K-State Confucius Institute is sponsoring 20 students on a summer trip to China, from May 28 to June 10. The trip will be a great way for students to learn about China's history, culture and see the country and the Chinese way of life firsthand.

Students will visit the Chinese capital city of Beijing, Changchun in northeast China, and Shanghai — the country's largest city. While in Changchun, K-State students will join their counterparts from Rutgers University in a number of social and educational activities prepared by Jilin University, which is K-State's partner university for the Confucius Institute. Students in teams will document their experiences in photographs and videos while participating in various activities. On the last day in Changchun, each team will present a short video to share their take-away experiences and feelings of visiting Northeast China.

This is the first time the Confucius Institute is sponsoring such a trip. Students pay only the round trip airfare between the U.S and China. All travel expenses in China, including room and board, are covered by the Confucius Institute. K-State students' interest in seeing China was very strong. All seats were filled up shortly after the trip was announced in late March.

As the departure date approaches, students are getting excited about the upcoming trip. For some, the trip will fulfill a life-long aspiration.

"I’ve been in love with China since I was two or three years old," said Megan Eppler, senior in biology. "This trip is a dream come true because I will actually get to visit the place of my dreams instead of reading about it from a history book."

For others, it will be an occasion to meet new people and observe the Chinese lifestyle.

"Because I work with visitors from all over the world, my main interest is to understand their culture and social behavior," said Andres Leon-Reyes, doctoral student in national parks and recreation from Ecuador. 

The various activities ranging from visiting historical sites and museums to eating in host homes will give participants plenty of opportunities to do so.

In addition to the student trip, the Confucius Institute is again sponsoring a similar trip this summer from June 12-25 for K-12 teachers and administrators. Besides touring the same three cities, the participants of this trip will visit several Chinese schools to better understand China's educational system.

The Confucius Institute plans to make both types of trips annual events in the future.