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The Great Wall of China

May Term Spotlight: China

The Great Wall of China


By: Ryan Hiller  Confucius once said, “Study the past if you would define the future.” Aurora University students will have the opportunity to study China hands on during May term 2013 by taking History 3880: China- Past, Present, Future.

Assistant Professor of History Mark Soderstrom, Ph. D. will lead students through China with an eye on the future. The course will meet for a week on campus before embarking on a ten day trip to China. In China the group will travel to historic Beijing, the modern city of Shanghai, the Great Wall, explore the Forbidden City and visit the 2,200 year old Terra Cotta Army at the ancient capital of Xi’an.

The course will meet on campus from May 7-10 from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The class will travel to China from May 13 through May 23. The trip will cost approximately $2,700 which covers roundtrip airfare, lodging, ground transportation and food. An additional $1,960 is required for May term tuition. A deposit will be required in early January 2013. The course will fulfill the General Education Knowing Ourselves and Others B requirement as well as the non-Western course requirement for History majors.

Eight to nine students minimum are needed for the trip. Seniors who graduate in May are able to audit the course at a discounted tuition fee. A passport and visa is required to travel to China. Students need to get the passport on their own however Dr. Soderstrom will help them apply for their visa during an information session in early 2013.

Dr. Soderstrom has previously visited China and has an appreciation for the diversity of its people. “In terms of a foreign country it’s one of the friendliest places I’ve been,” he said.  Local guides will assist in leading the group around the local sites. There will be a substantial amount of walking that students must take into consideration.

China is vastly growing and currently has 1.3 billion people. Dr. Soderstrom hopes that students who participate will gain perspective. “China is such a different place and it is fully disconnected from the western tradition that we grew up with. It has come into contact with us over the last couple hundred years.” The trip will offer students an understanding of the Chinese people and the impact that China is having on the current and future global community.

Interested students can contact Dr. Soderstrom at msoderst@aurora.edu