This program immerses students in the bustling crowds of China's two largest cities, Beijing and Shanghai. Students can choose from several courses offered by MSU and our host, Beihang University, to earn 6 MSU credits. All participants will take "Introduction to Chinese Culture" taught by the accompanying MSU faculty member, with coursework either in English or in Chinese depending on the level of previous study. Students choose a second course in either Chinese language (Beginning or Intermediate) or 20th Century Literature in Translation, allowing a broader understanding of contemporary China.
In Beijing, the program is based at Montclair's partner institution, Beihang University. Since its founding, Beihang University has been one of the key universities given priority for development. In the new century and millennium, BUAA was officially listed in China's Action Plan for the Revitalization of Education in the 21st Century. Situated in the capital in the center of Zhongguancun Science Park, next to China' s National Olympic Center, with an area of over 100 hectares, BUAA is China' s first university of aeronautical and astronautical engineering.
Participants will experience the bullet train that connects China's two major cities of Beijing- China's capital city and a center of both culture, business and history and Shanghai--the enormous international business center. They will see the tranquility of Summer Palace, the grandeur of the Great Wall, and the solemnness of the Forbidden City. Moreover, students will have opportunities to blend into the crowds as people lead their everyday life--visiting the most modernized sectors and the enclaves of tradition in Beijing; exploring the 15 subway lines in Beijing that lead to the farthest corners of a fast growing city; and, of course, enjoying Chinese food with uncompromised authenticity.
Academics: All participants will register for one Chinese culture course:
CHIN-203 Introduction to Chinese Culture
CHEN 367 Selected Topics in Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Culture
This seminar will be conducted in English, with reading and writing practice in Chinese for students in CHIN 203. Topics will include an introduction to the major humanities traditions of China through an examination of representative works drawn from literature, aesthetics, philosophy, religion, and historical writing. An introduction to the history of Chinese ethical thought will examine perspectives on human nature, historical writing, religious options, and aesthetic implications, particularly as formulated in the great traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Participants will explore Chinese poetry, fiction, prose, and drama and discuss the influence of the West on Chinese literature in modern times with selected works from major poets in the genres of shih, tz'u and ch'u. Participants registering for the course as CHIN 203 (Prerequisite CHIN 132) will have reading selections in Chinese including original poems, newspaper articles and modern documents, and will analyze structural patterns, practice writing and translation. Meets the World Languages and Cultures Requirement - World Languages.
Elective Course: All participants choose one of the following courses taught by Beihang University faculty.
CHIN 375 Beginning or Intermediate Chinese Language
CHEN 367 Chinese Literature in Translation: 20th Century Literary Transitions
CHIN 375 Chinese Language
This course is an introduction to study of the Chinese (Mandarin) language, focusing mainly on speaking and comprehension, with secondary emphasis on reading and writing. Meets the World Languages and Cultures Requirement - World Languages. Students will receive a credit adjustment for CHIN 101, 112, 121, or 132 at the end of the program.
CHEN 375 Chinese Literature in Translation: 20th Century Literary Transitions
This course will focus on literature from 1919 to 1949. This period has been regarded as a golden age in terms of creativity and social responsibility. Writers explored the creative use of the vernacular language and vocabulary, with many new words borrowed from the west, thought (democracy, science, freedom, politics), and style. The literature also reflects the deep concern about social problems and upheavals that China was undergoing during that transition period. Students will read English translations of the literature in this period, supplemented by history to get a better understanding of modern China. English majors may wish to request a credit adjustment for the approved substitution for ENGL 150.
There will be a minimum of five students per elective course- participants should indicate their first and second choices on the pre-enrollment form.
Field Trips and Optional Activities
The program will include faculty led field trips each week to The Summer Palace, The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, Hou Hai, the Royal Park, Yuan Ming Yuan, the Bell (Drum Tower, the 798 Art Zone and other places of interest. In Beijing, there will be a full-day field trip each Friday and a half-day trip each Saturday. The program will include three days in Shanghai, with visits to the Bund--a legacy of the colonial and early industrial era, and Pudong--the landmark of China's recent economic "miracle," and a possible trip to Suzhou (less than an hour from Shanghai by train) where students can visit China's most exquisite Ming and Qing gardens.
The Beihang University campus offers recreational facilities such as basketball, tennis, volleyball, as well as a music hall and a museum of aeronautical and astronautical sciences. Students will be paired with Beihang University students for optional activities and informal cross-cultural communication.