Tours and Field Studies for Shanghai, China
USAC encourages every student to participate in these tours; however, they are optional and have an additional fee. You will sign up for the tour or register for the field study on your course and tour selection form. This fee includes bus transportation, boat ride, guide, breakfast, lunch, dinner, room and entrance fees to parks. Offerings vary from semester to semester and summer session to summer session; common destinations follow below. Check the calendar and course listings for your specific term to determine what is being offered.
USAC arranges the Beijing tour for you to explore the many historical and modern sites of Beijing. We will visit the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square and more. You will also have time to explore the narrow streets of the Old Quarter Hutongs and discover the many wonderful shopping options. The immensity of Beijing, you will discover, is overwhelming. In size alone, it is larger than all of Switzerland, and it takes more than three hours to drive from one side of the city to the other. The Resident Director will make one-way flight and train reservations (included in the tour fees) for travel between Beijing and Shanghai. For students attending both summer sessions, the cost of the additional one-way ticket back to Shanghai will be added to your USAC balance.
Xi’an Field Study
Xi’an is the capital city of Shanxi Province. It is full of historical ruins and cultural relics and it was the eastern terminus of the Silk Road. The tour includes a visit to the famous Terracotta Soldiers, tomb of Emperor Gaozng and the Huaqing Hot Springs. Enrollment in the 1-credit field study course is necessary to participate on the tour itself.
Hong Kong and Macau Tour
Known for its expansive skyline and lively harbor, Hong Kong is one of the world’s most iconic cities. Having more skyscrapers than any other city, it is located on the coast of Southern China, allowing it to be a gateway between the East and the West. It’s surrounded by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, creating a long and irregular coastline full of beaches, bays and harbors. Being returned to China by British government in 1997, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. This let Hong Kong become one of the three cities under the “One country, two systems” idea and maintain its capitalist system, independent judiciary and rule of law, free trade, and freedom of speech. The city has become one of the most important financial and trading centers and is now the fourth largest financial center in the world. It’s known as a vertical city because of its amount of skyscrapers, modern architecture and economic stature but despite the urbanization, most of the area is classified as country parks and nature reserves, so there is still natural beauty found within the city limits.
Across the Pearl River is Macau, a small city with the population of 550,000. It was once a territory of Portugal and, like Hong Kong, is now a Special Administrative Region. Though it is so close to Hong Kong, it offers its own unique charm and culture. Recently Macau has become Asia’s most popular gambling destination, taking in even more revenue than Las Vegas. Though, it’s famous for its flashy and lavish casinos, Macau also claims a multitude of other attractions including churches, temples, fortresses and other buildings containing a mix of Portuguese and Chinese characteristics. A large area of the Macau peninsula has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site with 25 buildings and sites within the area have been deemed to have cultural and historic significance.
If you choose to participate in this optional tour, you will fly into Hong Kong. The Resident Director will make flight reservations for the tour group to fly together to Chengdu at the conclusion of the tour. The cost of the second flight to the program site will be added to your USAC balance once you’ve signed up for the tour.