Exploring the Wonders of China

Written by Taylor Morley

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Temple of Heaven in Beijing

“We got to know each well while learning about China’s culture, people, and history,” said Distinguished Professor of Humanities Dale Johnston about the recent China Study/Travel Program. On September 13, 2014, a group of 10 undergraduate students, alumni, and community members left Los Angeles for the 14-day program.

“China has a long history and we experienced some of it at the marvelous Henan Museum in Zhengshou, the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum in Xi’an, and the White Horse Temple in Luoyang,” said Johnston.

Guide Talking about Shaolin Temple

Guide Talking about Shaolin Temple

Some additional highlights of the program included visits to the Great Wall, Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City, the Shaolin temple, Pagoda Forest, and Shaolin Temple Kung FU and Musical Show.

“The program was very well planned,” said Maria de Jesus Gomez, an undergraduate student who went on the trip. “All we had to do was show up on time learn and enjoy—the wonders of China, the eventful itinerary, the company of great people, and the warm and delicious food.

Forbidden City in Beijing

Forbidden City in Beijing

The group traveled by bullet train from Beijing to Sias International University for a week-long stay on the campus. There they were introduced to China through a series of lectures and courses in Chinese history, customs, and education. There was also an opportunity for the participants to learn basic Chinese, to practice martial arts, to meet Chinese students.


Sias International University “Graduation”

“The people of China are delightful and eager to learn about the U.S. They exhibit an enthusiasm for life and great energy as they go about their daily life,” added Johnston.

Coming from a city like Los Angeles, students and alumni were well-versed in issues of traffic, but they found that China surpassed Los Angeles in its transportation struggles. “In Beijing and Shanghai, the traffic makes the 405 freeway seem like a Sunday afternoon drive in the country,” said Johnston.

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Meeting Friends in Temple of Heaven Park

“Classmates have asked me, ‘What is your secret? How do you manage to always have so much energy and be happy?’ I say— imagine being bottled up for 46 years, then one day, released—into China!” added Maria de Jesus Gomez.

The group returned to Los Angeles on September 26, 2014. Click here to view a  collection of photos from the trip.