Mandarin students to visit Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai on inaugural trip to China

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By Antonio Reyes

Led by Mandarin teacher Michael Mikita, Dean of Men Daniel Annarelli and the Junior Network Administrator David Smith, 19 students will depart for Loyola’s first trip to China on June 10 and will return on June 18. The group will tour the cities of Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai.

“The China trip is a great way to expose the students to the history, culture and art of China,” Mikita said.

To learn about the the history of the Chinese dynasties from the medieval period, the trip will visit historical sites and museums, according to Mikita.

From June 12-14, the group will explore the cultural landmarks in Beijing including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs.

The group will also tour athletic venues from the 2008 Summer Olympics including the Beijing National Stadium, or Bird’s Nest, and the Beijing National Aquatics Center, or Water Cube.

Sophomore Michael Soto said, “I’m looking forward to visiting the Bird’s Nest in Beijing where the 2008 Olympics were held as well as going to the Forbidden City.”

The group will then leave Beijing and travel to Xi’an on Thursday, June 16. The group will visit the Terracotta Warriors Museum, the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, the Ancient City Wall, the Bell and Drum Tower, the Great Mosque and Banpo Village Ruins.  

Junior Trevor Petro said, “I am really excited to see the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall of China, and the numerous great architecture in the big cities.”

In each of the cities, the students and faculty will have the opportunity to experience the Chinese culture by eating various cultural delicacies.

After traveling on the high-speed Shanghai Maglev Train in Shanghai on Friday, June 17, the group will walk through the local Shanghai residential quarter.

To finish the trip, students and chaperones will tour the Yu Yuan Garden, the Jade Buddha Temple and the Tian Hou silk factory in Shanghai.

Mikita said, “This is the best opportunity for Mandarin students to use the language in real world situations and be exposed of the real conditions of spoken China.”

Soto said, “I want to learn about the Chinese culture and expand my horizons also to be open to trying new things that I’ve never done before.”  

In addition to enjoying the cuisine, Mikita said that the Mandarin students will also be able to use their knowledge of the Chinese language and speak to locals during the trip.

Mikita said, “This is the best opportunity for Mandarin students to use the language in real world situations and be exposed of the real conditions of spoken China.”

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