BCA’s Dalian resident director usually arranges three excursions per semester: one day excursion, one overnight trip, and one weekend excursion.
For single-day excursions, students typically leave Dalian early in the morning and return in the early evening. In previous years, students have gone to Dandong, China. In this border town, you’ll have the chance go on a boat ride on the Yalu River between the border of China and North Korea. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit a Korean War museum, which typically follows with a group discussion on the Chinese perspective of the war.
Prior students have participated in a variety of overnight trips, including those outlined below:
- Three Gorges – River Cruise: Three Gorges is one of the most breathtaking sights in China and where the controversial Three Gorges Dam has been built. On this trip, you can see ancient towns (i.e. Fengdu) and go on some side excursions, off the main ship, exploring some of the tributaries and local minority cultures that live there. This region of China was home to some of the oldest Chinese civilizations, and thus, there are remnants that can still be seen. You may also visit the Three Gorges Dam site and discuss some of the issues related to the environment, energy, and development related to this project and China as a whole.
- Ningxia: You’ll have the chance to visit some ancient ruins (Chinese pyramids), Tibetan monasteries, walk on ruins of the Great Wall literally rising out of the desert, visit the desert and ride camels all while talking about China’s historical relationship with the steppes.
- Mt. Tai: Mt. Tai is one of the five holy Daoist mountains of China. As a multi-day trip, students may be able to stay overnight on the summit and watch the sunrise the following morning.
- Shanghai and Suzhou: Shanghai is China’s financial capital and it’s neighboring Suzhou, so you can also visit one of southern China’s historic cities with lots of gardens.
- Xi’an: This trip enables you to see Terra Cotta warriors and the Panda refuge as well as visit the city of Xi’an, known as one of the gateways to China’s northwest. Xi’an has a very old Muslim population and has a vibrant Muslim quarters and a large mosque built during the Tang with distinctive Chinese-style architecture.
Some excursions require more extensive travels and therefore encompass a full weekend. Students typically go to Beijing for their weekend trip. BCA has taken students to a remote section of the wall that still has large, unrestored sections and is unknown by most tourists. You may also have the opportunity to eat a meal prepared by a local farm guesthouse and visit the other standard sites in Beijing.