Trips to Asia

Bates College enhances the academic experiences of its students by providing them with opportunities to experience Asia first-hand through a series of academic trips.

Bates Semester in Japan
Fall 2007, Professors Sarah Strong and Helen Boucher

This program featured a cultural psychology course, a course on nature and culture in Japan, Japanese language study at all levels, and field trips to various sites in Japan.  The program was open to all classes with no previous language study or study of Japan required.

Bates Semester in Nanjing, China
Fall 2006. Professors Shuhui Yang and Maggie Maurer-Fazio

During the fall semester 2006, Bates students, including entering first-year students, studied Chinese language, culture, and economics in Nanjing, China. Nanjing served as China’s capital for six dynasties and has a recorded history dating back to the Warring States Period (476–221 B.C.E.) Today Nanjing is a modern metropolis of 6 million people, and one of China’s major cultural centers. In addition to course work, the program included travel to Shanghai, Beijing, the Silk Road of northwest China, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, and Tibetan counties in western Sichuan. No prior experience with Chinese language was required.

The program began in late August with one-week orientation on the Bates campus, which provided information on social conditions in China, taught basic Mandarin sentence patterns and phrases, and prepared students to get along in Chinese society. Between September and December, students continued language instruction in Nanjing, and took two courses taught by Bates faculty. Students live at Nanjing University.

Bates Semester in Kanazawa, Japan
Fall 2004. Professors Sarah Strong and Trian Nguyen

Zen art, Zen practice, landscapes of ancient cedars, and the layout of traditional gardens were the focus of study on the Fall Semester Program to Kanazawa.  But so did topics from today’s Japan: the anime films of the Miyazaki Hayao, and critical, current environmental problems.

The program was located in Kanazawa on Japan’s western coast, two hours by train from Osaka and four from Tokyo.  Kanazawa’s contemporary vibrancy as well as its rich cultural past and proximity to some of the most famous landscape gardens and Zen temples in Japan, offered an ideal setting for the three-month program.

The FSA included Japanese language study at the Ishikawa Japanese Studies Center, homestay with a local Kanazawa family, a Zen meditation retreat, and two weeks of travel through Japan.  The semester was led by Sarah Strong, Associate Professor of Japanese, and Trian Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Asian Art.  Students new to the study of Japanese were welcomed to apply.  In addition to a two-credit course of language study at the student’s level of ability, students took one course in Zen art with Professor Nguyen and one on nature and the environment in Japanese culture with Professor Strong.

EC/ES S27  Sustaining the Masses
Short Term 2004. Professors James Hughes and Margaret Maurer-Fazio

This Short-Term Unit was taught in China. The attention was focused on 5 different regions in China with traveling fairly extensively within each region. As learned from the past two offerings of this Short-Term Unit, this was an ambitious course.  The goal was to engage the students with the promise as well as the difficulties facing China as it tries to simultaneously promote growth and environmental protection.  Like earlier trips, this unit was not for the casual tourist, nor for the faint of heart. We have gained access to environmentally interesting sites, many in remote areas.  Through these visits, we exposed our students to how the consequences of economic development are affecting the lives of ordinary Chinese people.  We also showed students how China is addressing these problems, and how much remains to be done. This unit will be most meaningful to students with serious interests in environmental issues and economic development. Enrollment was limited to 10.  Catalog description of EC/ES 27.

Bates Semester in Nanjing, China
Fall 2003.  Professors Margaret Maurer-Fazio and Shuhui Yang

During the fall semester 2003 Bates College sponsored a semester-abroad program in Nanjing, China where enrolled students and entering first-year students studied Chinese language, culture, and economics. No prior experience with Chinese language was required. Please refer to the Nanjing 2003 Brochure for more information.