Trip to Beijing Aug 9-13

On Aug. 9-12, the UDNSLIY students had a cultural trip to Beijing to visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City Palace. They also watched a Peking Opera performance and visited a local neighborhood, in addition to other cultural exploration activities. In doing so, the students had a better understanding of Chinese culture.

UDNSLIY students on the Great Wall.

In front of the Bird Nest, the 2008 Beijing Olympic site.

One of the UDNSLIY objectives is for its student participants to get to know about Chinese popular culture. On Aug. 12 we organized a special event by arranging for Mr. Wang Bin, one of the internationally and nationally renowned filmmaker, playwrighter, literary critic and novelists in China to discuss his films with the students. Mrs. Wang Bin, together with the famed film director Zhang Yimou, has produced such well-known films as “To Live,” “Judou,” “Raise the Red Lantern,” “Not One Less,” “Hero,” “Fearless.” After the film screening of “Fearless,” the UDNSLIY students had a lively discussion with Mr. Wang Bin about his films, particularly “Fearless.” It was an enjoyable program for the students.

On the morning of Aug. 13, the Public Affairs Office at the American Embassy in Beijing hosted a briefing (about one and a half hours) for the UDNSLIY students. The briefing had three components:

a. an overall view of the US-China relations
b. How to prepare for a career in foreign service
c. question-and-answer session

The UDNSLIY students enjoyed the briefing and some of them expressed interest in developing a future career in foreign service. They realized the importance of mastering a foreign language, which in their case, is Chinese. The briefing obviously had an impact on their motivation to continue to study Chinese beyond the program.

Time to Say Goodbye Aug. 8

On Aug. 8, the UDNSLIY students organized a thank-you party for the crew of the Xiamen University Student Cafeteria to express their gratitude for the excellent service they kindly provided throughout the six weeks they stayed on the Xiamen campus. The students sang songs and gave thank-you speech all in Chinese, which impressed the cafeteria crew very much.

In the evening, UDNSLIY also organized a large farewell party for the homestay families to express its deep gratitude for the hospitality and friendship they kindly provided after in two weeks. At the party, both UDNSLIY students and the homestay families performed together to celebrate the successful completion of this important cross-cultural program. It was a touching event at which both sides indicated how much they have learned from each culture they represented.

NSLIY’s Buddy activities

To encourage the UDNSLIY student participants to engage in cross-cultural communication with local Chinese students, we organized what is called “Buddy Activities” twice a week, during which times both the Chinese and American students have a variety of cultural activities that help deepen their understanding of Chinese culture and society.