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Travel in Time–Silk Road and China, CRN 40061

Program Syllabus 課程介紹

Summer, 2013

Faculty: Lin Crowley

TESC Library 2506, 867-6239

Course website at:

Program Description

This study-abroad program allows students to experience China and Taiwan and explore the land and sea routes of the “Silk Road”. It will be offered in the summer of 2013. All enrolled students will experience China, the second largest economy in the world, and Taiwan, one of the five tigers in Asia. Students will travel to Beijing, the ancient “Silk Road” region, and Taiwan to experience Chinese culture first hand. Students will witness modern, traditional, urban, suburban and rural life in both Chinese lands on two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Students can also explore the blossoming cultural and economic scenes in many Chinese cities in this international study trip.

China is one of the world’s oldest and richest cultures. It is one of the largest trading partners of the United States. Taiwan has a long connection to the Chinese culture and its seating government a modern democratic entity. This program will be devoted to the learning of the ancient Silk Road and how contemporary Chinese relate to each other and redefine themselves to the world. We will also have a closer look into Chinese ethnic culture, religion, and its people on two Chinese lands.

During the first session of the summer, all students will travel with the class for the study trip. We will experience what life was and is like on the Silk Road. We will travel to Beijing, China, and then to the city of LanZhou, a treasure house of ethnic cultural relics. We will visit and study in Northwest Normal University and LanZhou University for short lecture program to learn of the ancient Silk Road and the ethnic Chinese food and cultural life.  Study tour will include the city of Dunhuang, and a visit to the world renowned Mogao Grottoes, which feature a combination of architecture, sculptures and murals and demonstrate exchanges of eastern and western cultures during a historical periods of Northern Liang, Northern Wei, Western Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui, Tang, Five Dynasties, Song, West Xia and Yuan dynasty. We will visit the capital city of Xinjiang, Urumqi, where the Heavenly Lake resides. For those who want to witness a true nature wonder, see and be amazed by visiting the Thousand Buddha Grottoes and learn about the rich tradition of the mix religions in this area.

Our travel will also include the study in the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts, and visits to the National Palace Museum and Taipei 101, etc.

After traveling with the class, students wishing to continue their studies can enroll for the second session as individual or group contract. Students enrolled for second session will continue to meet on campus during second session to work on their video or photo journals documenting the trip and reflect the learning through seminars, readings, and film discussions about other related topics and issues presented in today’s China, or using on-line resources and communication for continuous Chinese studies.

The specifics of the travel program are proposed as below. Please check with the faculty for the updates and details.

Online supplementary materials available through program website.

See covenant under program’s covenant link.

The course schedule will be updated as more details finalized. Please check back for current update.  (Last updated on 2/13/13)

Text and Program Activities:

As part of this study trip, our class will read “The Silk Road in World History” by Xinru Liu, Oxford University Press, while preparing for our study tour.

The study trip will begin with our group flying to China from Seatac and experience what life was and is like on the Silk Road. We will visit Northwest Normal University and LanZhou University for short lecture program to learn of the ancient Silk Road and the ethnic Chinese food and cultural life. We will then fly to Taipei and stay in one of the most reputable colleges the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts, While there, we will visit the National Palace Museum and Taipei 101, and participate in language and cultural workshops. You will have free time in evening or weekend to do other sight seeing activities or visit local communities, or simply making your documentary.

Specifically, our study trips will include the following highlighted cities:

敦煌  Dunhuang:

Dunhuang Yadin National Geopark. The landmark is 180 kilometers to the northwest of Dunhuang city. So far, it is the largest geopark for viewing the fully developed Yadan features in the world. After the movie “Hero” & “Crouching Tiger” shot here, it has become an attractive tourist attraction famous for its charming landscape.

Mogao Grottoes, listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites ( Also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas–one of the world’s most important sites of ancient Buddhist culture, holding the largest intact artistic treasure in the world. The Mogao Grottoes feature a combination of architecture, sculptures and murals and demonstrate exchanges of eastern and western cultures during a dozen Chinese historical periods from 4th to the 15th centuries. In recent years, there is a renewed international interest to the library holdings of the grottoes.


Lanzhou,also called Jincheng in the ancient time, is the capital city of Gansu Province. It is the communication hub in northwest China. With the Yellow River runs through, the city is an important city on the ancient Silk Road. We will visit The First Yellow River Bridge, Gansu Province Museum, and Yellow River Water Tankers Museum.


Jiayuguang is the western terminus of the Great Wall.  We will visit the Great Wall Museum here.

Urumqi 烏魯木齊

We will visit Urumqi, a far – removed world of the Silk Road, and the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.  We will tour Xinjiang Minority People’s Museum, and visit the Kazakhs traditional yurt.

Turpan 吐魯番

Our excursion will include visits to the Flaming Mountains, Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Grottoes and the amazing ancient Karez system. Bizaklik Thousand Buddha Crottoes stand high on the cliffs of he Flaming Mountains. We will see  57 grottoes, and the murals covering an area over 1200 square meters.  We will see Heavenly Lake, and also have a chance to enjoy a minority dance show and a roast lamb dinner banquet.

Program Cost:

Study trip program fees total approximately $3600, including international and domestic airfare, double occupancy. This includes $1300.00 in land travel, covering most food, lodging (university housing and hotel stays), transportation (train and bus travel within China,) and all admissions to major scenic sights during the trip.

(Program fees do not include personal expenses or tips to travel guide and driver, which average $10 per day during travel. Single occupancy also requires extra. )

Total:  Program fees & TESC tuition for 8 credits 1st session. Program CRN #40061. Students wishing to pursue further research and reflection upon their return to Evergreen after our travels are encouraged to enroll for individual or group learning contracts for second session.

International and inland Airfare: from USA to Beijing, Urumqi, Lanzhou, China, from Lanzhou to Taipei, Taiwan and from Taipei back to the USA:   $2300 and up. You are encouraged to pay full program group rate for best-discounted international airfare. Please contact the faculty immediately or before March 1 to lock in for the group rate.


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