Professor Jeanne Reed posing over River Thames with Big Ben in the skyline.

College taking reservations for May trip to China

Imagine visiting China and witnessing the sweeping changes to a people and culture over 4,000 years in the making. In mid-May, Glen Oaks Community College students and community members will spend 12 days immersing themselves in China’s rich culture. They’ll explore this country of over a billion people and see for themselves China’s growing importance in the modern world.

Jeanne Reed, Professor of Sociology and Study Abroad, will lead the tour along with an bilingual tour director. The tour includes the largest cities, including Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and even Hong Kong. Professor Reed said $3900 is the student rate for the Imperial China tour from Education First Tours. Included is round-trip airfare, 10 overnight stays in hotels with private bathrooms, breakfast and dinners, a full-time EF Tour Director, one visit to a school in China, informative guides and entrance to special attractions on the itinerary.

The Forbidden City
Skyline of the Forbidden City

“We’ve had nine Study Abroad trips and this China trip will be our farthest away ever taken. I expect to have more non-students along because they can take advantage of the lower student rates. Most of our cost is tied up in air fares as we fly to the various locations, but once we get to our destinations the dollar really goes a long way. This is going to be an amazing trip. Personally, I can’t wait to see the famed Museum of the Terracotta Army,” said Professor Reed. The 8,099 painstakingly modeled, life-size warriors and horses (no two are alike) were sculpted to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, founder of the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC) and the first ruler to unify China.

Those wishing to learn more about the Glen Oaks Study Abroad Tour should contact Professor Reed at (269) 294-4257. Professor Reed said people are encouraged to make a decision soon because of several time sensitive factors, including applying for a travel visa.
The tour begins on Day One with an overnight flight to China. The group touches down in Beijing on Day Two and is joined by the EF Tour Director who will remain throughout the stay.

Day Three includes the capital, Tiananmen Square (the largest public square in the world), the Forbidden City and a close-up look at the Imperial Palace. End the day with a special Peking Duck dinner.

Day Four is the excursion to Badaling and the Great Wall of China. The Wall extends across mountains and valleys for more than 3,000 miles (just a tenth of its former length!). The day includes a rickshaw ride in old Beijing and a peek into the life of a typical Chinese family. Some on the tour may choose to see a gravity-defying Kung Fu Show complete with ornate costumes.

Day Five begins with a visit to the Temple of Heaven Park with Ming and Qing relics, followed by the flight to Xi’an, one of China’s most extraordinary cities. Xi’an was once the largest city in the world and the capital of 11 dynasties. That night participants will walk along the ancient City Wall.
Day Six is the tour of Xi’an and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a structure built on the orders of Xuan Zang, the monk who introduced Buddhism to China. Next visitors see the 118-foot-high Bell Tower and the Great Mosque that is one of China’s oldest Muslim temples. At the Museum of the Terracotta Army visitors see the amazing collection of figures discovered by peasants digging for water in 1974. A fascinating 3-D IMAX theatre film depicts the excavation process. The day concludes with an opportunity to see a Tang Dynasty Show and Dinner featuring famous Cantonese cuisine.

Terracotta Warriors
3 of the 8,000 Terracotta Warriors

Day Seven is the trip to Shanghai, China’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. The tour includes the 101-floor Shanghai World Financial Tower, the Bund (Wall Street of the East), and an acrobatics show.

Day Eight includes a guided tour of Shanghai with the famed Yu Yuan Garden, the Nanjing Road, and a local school visit to see what education is really like in China.
Day Nine will find the group flying to Hong Kong for a three-day visit. The former British Colony is a bustling metropolis and important financial center.
Day Ten includes a guided sightseeing tour of Victoria Peak and its breathtaking view of the city, harbor and islands. Next will be Happy Valley, the Royal Yacht Club, and Repulse Bay (Hong Kong’s popular beach) and world famous Aberdeen Harbor with floating restaurants. Visitors will enjoy the local tradition of a Dim Sum Lunch with its diverse range of Chinese culinary specialties.

Day Eleven is a free day in Hong Kong. The Glen Oaks visitors may explore the city, browse for bargains in shops and taste more Chinese cuisine at the farewell dinner. Some on the trip may want to visit Lantau Island and visit the Po Lin Monastery and its 200 ton bronze Buddha.
Day Twelve will find the tour group flying back to the United States.