Arts and Culture

Chinese immersion course inspires creativity

The appreciation of art took on a whole new meaning to eight students who traveled to China this past summer with Professor Tong as part of a three week long class, “Appreciation of Chinese Culture Through the Arts.”

The students immersed themselves in various Chinese art practices, such as costume and makeup design from the Beijing Opera as well as painting and calligraphy showings and practicing daily Tai Chi lessons. Aside from Tai Chi, students also took classes in Philosophy, Language and History. “Much of the course focused on the culture and practices of the many ethnic minority groups living specifically in Yunnan province,” explained Meghan Dorian ’16. 

Karissa Vincent ’16, one of the most enthusiastic about her journey, thought back on the breathtaking sights and eye-opening experiences. “One of my favorite experiences in China was seeing the Chinese ethnic minority show Dynamic Yunnan in Kunming. It is a performance created by the famous dancer and choreographer Yang Liping,” said Vincent. 

Although students engaged in various activities and classroom settings, individual learning experiences occurred everywhere the students traveled. “We explored a wide range of settings from Daoist and Buddhist Temples, to major cities of the province such as Dali and Lijiang,” recounts Dorian. 

Reflecting on her experience, Dorian expressed her initial desire to take this class abroad: “I was very excited to be able to travel somewhere that I may never have been able to go on my own and to be able to study topics that I am passionate about while being there.” When asked what she took away from this adventure she said, “the travel bug.”