The 2017 Students’ China Study Tour for students of College of Kinesiology, organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Saskatchewan together with the International Students and Study Abroad Center (ISSAC), College of Kinesiology and the U of S flagship partner– Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), was successfully carried out from May 15 to 29, 2017 in Beijing and Zhengzhou, China.
The recruitment for members of the tour started in October, 2016 when the Confucius Institute hosted two information sessions to more than 60 students in College of Kinesiology, explaining the purposes, requirements, and selection process of the program. College of Kinesiology set up a selection committee to review the applicants’ self-introduction videos. At the end, 18 students were selected to be part of the 2017 CI China Study Tour. In order to support the students’ travel, ISSAC offered each student $1000 travel awards. Additionally, College of Kinesiology provided each participant $350 scholarship. The Confucius Institute Headquarters covered the students’ accommodation, meals, and local transportation cost during their two-week visit in China. In order to better prepare the students for their visits in China, the U of S CI also conducted a 26-hour Chinese language and cultural training program from January to May, 2017. All participants took an HSK exam (Chinese Language Proficiency Test) towards the end of the China Study Tour.
BIT came up with an excellent travel arrangement, including visits to prestigious Chinese universities and visits to famous historical sites in the two cities. In Beijing, students visited BIT and Beijing Sports University. Through the exchange and discussion with the staff members and students in these two universities, students gained better understanding about the physical education system in Chinese schools, the differences of athlete training system between Canada and China, and the physical training programs at the community level in Chinese society. They also visited the gymnasiums on campus and the physical training facilities in the local community parks. Students also visited many historical sites in Beijing, such as the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace. They were amazed by the beautiful scenery and the long history of China.
On May 22, students took the high-speed bullet train to travel from Beijing to Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan Province. In Henan Province, they visited Zhengzhou University, Henan University, Luoyang Normal University and Songshan Shaolin College of Chinese Martial Arts. Students had productive conversation and discussions with Physical Education students from these universities. Many Chinese students and U of S students exchanged contact information for future communication. Students had a wonderful time visiting the Longmen Grottos, Shaolin Temple, Qingming Riverside Garden, and Yuntai Mountain. The participants were deeply touched by the hospitality of the local people and the richness of the culture.
Visit to Beijing Institute of Technology
Visit to Beijing Olympic Park
Visit to Henan University
与Visit to Songshan Shaolin College of Chinese Martial Arts
At the end of the two-week China study tour, many students expressed their wishes to stay longer and see more in China. In the reflection papers, students mentioned that they would come back to China for travel or study in the future. As students wrote: “China is an amazing place. It is so much different from Canada. There were so many things that I was surprised by and did not expect. The culture was by far the most surprising to me, as well as the many differences between it and the North American stereotype. …… I felt that I learned so much more than I was expecting to”. “Coming to China has been an opportunity of a lifetime. I have traveled a bit prior to this trip but I must admit, nothing is comparable to this trip so far. The different cultural practices, beliefs, food, etc. will never be experienced anywhere else. The Confucius Institute has done a great job of welcoming us in China, and provided us with awesome, well-structured activities…. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to make new friends, to enhance my education, and to travel the world!”