Sophomore Katelyn White attended the Study Tour trip to China over spring break. Here’s her account of the trip:
The trip to Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai was an amazing experience. Not only did we get to experience the culture of the people living in all three cities, but we got to experience the in-depth history of how all three cities came to be what they are today. My parents had the pleasure of joining me on this trip, along with around 30 other students from Rider. The flight to Beijing was quite long and excruciating, it was well worth it. Being an Environmental Science major, it was quite interesting to see the sustainability side of China. Although there is quite a lot of pollution and smog in the area where we went, solar panels on the roofs of houses surprised me quite a bit, along with education on sustainability at the Beijing Royal School that we visited.
Between the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, shopping in Shanghai, the Buddhist Temples, and the garden, I think the Great Wall had to been the best experience out of the whole trip. Not only do you get to see the Great Wall, but you get to experience the pleasure, or discomfort to some, of walking the Great Wall that stretches far across the land. It was simply breath taking. Every day during the trip we had a full-packed schedule.
After hitting major tour sights such as the Great Wall or the Terracotta Warriors, we visited other smaller and interesting tour sights that everyone should experience when they are in China. I’ve gotten a Chinese foot massage, went to a silk factory and tea shop, experience Tai Chi in the Summer Palace of Beijing, visited Pearl City, two Buddhist Temples (one in Beijing and one in Xi’an), went into the Shanghai World Financial Tower that is 101 floors and 1,555 feet high, and experienced a Kung Fu and acrobatics show. Two of the more interesting adventures were when we had dinner with a family that lived in Beijing at their home and when we visited Beijing Royal School. Both experiences gave you a little more of a cultural background how children grow up and live in this area.
One of the more adventurous things I did was riding a bike along on the Ancient City Wall in Xi’an. This 8 mile long wall encloses the city within, which is very modern and more Americanized. A group of us rode the entire thing! The food in China was amazing, way better than any Chinese restaurant or take out in America, but at times breakfast became a little difficult. Let’s just say noodles and rice isn’t something I would have every day for breakfast, I missed my pancakes and eggs. Besides the language barrier, pollution, and the not-so-Americanized breakfasts, the trip was unforgettable.