SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - Students in Wittenberg University's Honors Program will likely visit area photo developing dealers following the holiday break, but the pictures depicting how they spent their holiday vacation from classes will differ from most students returning to campus spring semester. The photos they share with family and friends will capture the many highlights their trip to China.
The group of 11 students and five faculty members will tour Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou between Dec. 27 and Jan. 9, thanks to a $1.9 million grant from the Freeman Foundation awarded to Wittenberg’s East Asian Studies (EAS) program in 2002. The men’s and women’s basketball teams made the first trip to East Asia in the summer of 2002. The Honors Program trip had to be postponed last year because of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which caused many deaths in and near mainland China.
The Freeman Advisory Committee selected the students based on their interesting approach to learning about East Asia, according to Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, associate professor of religion and director of Wittenberg’s EAS program.
“Each student identified something that was of particular interest and suggested an itinerary for that day of travel,” she said. “The night before each excursion, such as visits to the Great Wall of China, the Peking Opera or the college of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the student will be responsible for briefing the group about each selected site.”
In addition, the students will take a bicycle tour of Beijing, visit several temples, see a performance of the Shanghai Acrobats, take in a Tai Chi practice and sample Chinese culinary specialties throughout the visit , including a full Chinese cooking demonstration at a hotel in Beijing.
Thanks to the Freeman Foundation grant, the goals of the EAS program are enhanced by ensuring that all students, regardless of their course of study, have an opportunity to encounter the culture of Asia as part of their undergraduate experience.
A pioneer when founded in 1970, Wittenberg’s EAS program now stands as one of the preeminent academic programs in the nation. Called the “jewel in Wittenberg’s crown” by independent reviewers affiliated with Yale University and Colorado College, the EAS program has granted degrees in East Asian Studies to nearly 500 Wittenberg graduates. For more information about the EAS program visit www.wittenberg.edu or call Oldstone-Moore at (937) 327-7401.
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