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Summer Program

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The Chinese civilization is famous for its long history and its rich culture. The Silk Road, winding across the western part of China, is the legendary overland trade route from China to the capital of Romeempire. It connects two very contrasting worlds - East and West: the two cultures of Asia and Europe. It is an important passage for cultural and trade exchange between China and western society and constitutes the most ancient and the splendid cultural way of communication among human beings. As witness of history, there are many historical and cultural sites on the Silk Road, which has created the marvelous culture of the Silk Road and has become the great heritage of mankind. Travel along the ancient Silk Road, discover the mysterious and historical Silk Road, explore Islamic and Buddhist civilizations and see the ruins and the classical architectures, history will come to life.
 
Gansu province, the birthplace of the Chinese nationality and great Chinese culture, lies in the golden section of the Silk Road. Within the boundaries of the province, one can find a great variety of valuable historical and cultural heritages: the ancient great wall and passes, towers, pagodas and steles, along with the splendid grottoes, temples and rich historical relics. Apart from the unique cultural resources of the ethnic groups (Tibetan, Hui, Yugu, Baoan and Sala), the marvelous landscape attracts a flow of tourists from home and abroad.
 
In order to provide an opportunity for the Chinese learners from abroad to have first-hand experience on the scene and acquire a life time experience of understanding the charm of the Chinese language and culture while at the same time explore the wonderful Silk Road as it is, we have launched the project of “Summer Exploration in the Northwest of China”.
 
 
 
 
1.Introduction
With the opportunity to
?  Get access to the rich and colourful cultures of the north-western Chinese people including Tibetans and many other minorities.
?  Seek life-long friendship with young people from different parts of the world.
?  Enjoy the unique experience of living in a harmonious multi-cultural society.
?  Acquire a better understanding of China and its earthshaking changes.
?  Travel along the Silk Road and visit famous Mogao Grottoes
 
 “Summer Exploration in the Northwest of China” is a specially-designed program which aims, by combining both on-campus Chinese language training and field trips in the cultural and historical sites along the world-famous Silk Road, to provide a unique life time experience in the summer holidays for anyone who would like to take the advantage of the great landscapes and the cultural resources of the ethnic groups within the boundaries of Gansu Province, the birthplace of the Chinese nationality and the great Chinese culture.
 
With the focus on the great historical and cultural tradition of China and its West, the School of International Cultural Exchange, Lanzhou University intends to launch this project by providing more opportunities to get access to the mysterious realm of Chinese Language and to obtain a better understanding of Chinese culture instead of what are usually involved in the regular knowledge-based courses, which will definitely differ the program from others held on the campus.
 
The 3-week summer program is planned to start from the mid of July and ends at early August, which consists of 2-week (30-hours) intensive Chinese language training, including classroom teaching, English lectures given by professors and scholars on the various topics about the rich cultural legacy of Chinese West, and the various extracurricular activities around the neighboring areas of Lanzhou city, as well as 1-week field trip along the 1,200-mile Hexi Corridor , the golden section of the Silk Road, to visit the ancient great wall and passes, towers, pagodas and steles, along with the splendid grottoes, temples and rich historical relics which attract flows of tourists from home and abroad.
2.Course description
The 30-hour language courses offers the training of the most essential and useful part of language skills and the easily-understood knowledge of Chinese grammar, such as “Greetings, family and shopping”, etc. By integrating both communicative function in the life-like language environment and the student-centered group practices, our teachers would like to help students take the elementary command of the basic vocabulary and to carry on the simple conversations with them, which would lay a good foundation for their language awareness and on-going further study.
3.Lodging
The International Guest House of Lanzhou University located on the main campus, which provides quiet living environment and easy access to the downtown area. Any applicants for the program may choose to live in a double-room or a single room with bathroom, attached telephone, TV, etc. Internet Service is also available. 
 
4.Field Trips and Activities
 
In the following we have the list, for your reference, of all the field trips and activities in or around Lanzhou, as well as for the language and cultural lectures we can arrange on the campus, which brings rich options for any participant and may be available depending on the demand.
 
Field Trips and Activities in Lanzhou (selective)
1.  Five Spring Park
2. White Pagoda Hill Park
3. Water Wheel Park
4. Zhongshan Iron Bridge
5. The Statue of Yellow River Mother
6.  Gansu Provincial Museum, Museums of Lanzhou University, Gansu Provincial Numismatic Museum
7.  Mt. Xinglong 
8.  Lutusi Manor
9.  Sheepskin rafts
10. Calabash paintings
11.  Muslim Monarch
12.  Huang Temple
13.  Antique Market – Art City
14.   Flower & Bird Market
15.   Eastern Wholesale Market
16.   Clothing Market
17.   Local Cuisine
·  Dumplings
·  Lanzhou Beef Noodles
18.   Watch Local Performances: Feitian Dance or acrobat
19.   Paper cutting
20.   Chinese Kongfu – taijiquan
21.   Watch Chinese movies
22.   Badminton, Pingpang, etc.
23.   Visiting Muslim Mosque.
24.   Visiting Farmer’s house in the neighboring area
25.   Meeting with undergraduates or post graduates on campus
 
※Language lectures (incorporated into the regular teaching):
1.      How to Use Chinese Dictionary
2.      Chinese Idioms and Stories or Poems
3.      Chinese Characters and its stories
 
※Culture Sessions (selective):
1.      Chinese History- watch videos
2.      Chinese Tourism- watch videos
3.      Chinese Folk Music and Gansu Folklore
4.      An Introduction to the Ethnic Groups in the Northwest of China (lecture)
5.      Buddhism Art in the Northwest (lecture)
6.      An introduction to the Silk Road (lecture)
 
※Field Trip
(6 days, round trip, by train and by coach)
Lanzhou-Wuwei-Zhangye-Jiuquan-Jia Yuguan-Duanhuang
 
 
 
 
5. Introduction to part of The Scenic Spots involved
 
The Silk Road
The “Silk Road,” a 4000 mile-long network of interconnecting roads, or caravan tracts, served from ca. 500 BC to 1500 A.D. as the major highway for transporting material goods and knowledge between Europe, the Near East, India, and China — the four major centers of civilization at the time. Over this period of almost 2000 years, exotic and commercial goods, skills, knowledge, and religion — as well as silk — crisscrossed the Eurasian continent, and shaped the course of European and Asian history and culture.
 
This ancient trade in Chinastarts in the old capitals of Luoyang and Xi’an, reaches the Yellow River at Lanzhou, follows along the 'Hexi Corridor' and stretches along the edge of deserts and mountains. The trade route was never known as the Silk Road historically. It was given the name by a German geographer Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen. Today it has been replaced in China with the railway line Lanzhou-Hami-Urumqi. Many fantastic touring sites are located along this ancient route inChina.
 
Crescent Lake
Just as oil and water don't mix, so do springs and deserts. But Crescent Spring is an exception. About 6 kilometers (3.73 miles) south of Dunhuang city, and surrounded by the Echoing-Sand Mountain, Crescent Spring can be called a natural wonder in the Gobi Desert. Spring water trickles up into a depression between huge sand dunes, forming a crescent-shaped pond
Out here the recreational activities include the predictable camel rides, the more novel 'dune surfing' (sand sliding) and paragliding (jumping off the top of high dunes with a chute on your back). There is also a tow-gliding operation closer to the entry gate: continue past it if you want to jump off a dune.
 
Echoing-Sand Mountain
Located 6 kilometers (3.73 miles) south of Dunhuang city, Echoing-Sand Mountain which is also known as the sand dunes of Mingsha, offers superb picture-book desert scenery. The dune, surrounded by rolling ridges and precipitous cliffs, reaches a relative height of 250 meters (820 feet).
 
The climb to the top of the dunes is sweaty work, but the dramatic view back across the rolling desert sands towards the oasis makes the effort worthwhile. Descending the dunes is quite simple - slide down the dune to the sound of 'rumbling sands' or the sound of thunder or a drum-roll as the wind sweeps across the sands. The thunder-like sound produced when sliding down along the sands is tremendous!
 
Mogao Caves
The Mogao Caves, also known as the Mogao Grottoes or the Caves of A Thousand Buddhas, are set into a cliff wall of Echoing Sand Mountain about 25km southeast of Dunhuang, the oasis city in the Gobi desert. This honeycomb of caves was constructed over a millennium, from the 4th to the 14th centuries, and represents the height of Buddhist art and the world's richest treasure house of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures. During its heyday, the cave complex had thousands of caves, and today, despite the ravages of time and of the winds and sand, a total of 492 grottoes, 45,000 square-metres of murals, 2,400 painted statues and over 250 residential caves remains. They were listed as one of the world's cultural heritages in 1987 by UNESCO.
 
A gigantic, elegant palace of art, the whole grotto complex is regarded as the world's largest and best-preserved treasure house of Buddhist scriptures, murals, and architectural designs. The rich culture and art unearthed in the caves has even given birth to a new field of study, called 'Dunhuangology'!

Maiji Mountain Grottoes
Maiji Mountain Grottoes, as one of the four large grotto groups inChina, is located in the Maiji Mountain 45 kilometers southeast of Tianshui city, Gansu province. With a height of 142 meters, this mountain looks like a wheat stack. Hence the name Maiji Mountain(wheat stack mountain).
 
There are extant 194 grottoes, including more than 7,200 clay and stone statues and frescoes with an area of 1,300 square meters, which are retained from the 4th to 19th century. The sculptures show the development of the Chinese clay sculpture art. The high-relief pieces and round pieces on and off the walls illustrate fine artistic accomplishment. One of the remarkable characteristics of MaijiMountain lies in that the locations of the grottoes are very breath-taking, as most of them are chiseled on cliffs and people can only access the grottoes through the overhanging plank roads among the grottoes.

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