YSU Professor Taking Students to China in 2017

By Adrianna Lamonge

Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer is planning his next trip to China for Youngstown State students in the spring of 2017, where they will learn about the environment’s geology and culture in the country. Tibet

Students will fly to China on June 1, arriving at Beijing Capital International Airport on June 2.  Once students arrive, they will spend thirty days in China and some time travelling to Tibet by train through the Himalaya Mountains.

Beiersdorfer, professor of geology,, is excited for the students’ opportunity to learn about different cultures in China.

“The main thing about the trip is to learn about the geology and environment of China and Tibet, but the trip will be a great mix of geology, art, history, environmental studies and culture,” Beiersdorfer said.

The trip is open to students from any major who are interested in travelling to China and Tibet.

The cost of the trip is $3,930. Beiersdorfer is hoping for a scholarship to help some of the students with the costs. According to Beiersdorfer, the cost of travelling to Tibet has risen since last year.

The agenda for the trip is packed with a variety of activities that will appeal to different students from multiple disciplines. According to Beiersdorfer, students will have the opportunity to walk the Great Wall, volunteer at a panda reserve where they will hand-feed pandas, and view the Terra Cotta Warriors. Tibet2

The students will also venture to the base camp of Mt. Everest in the Himalaya Mountains. They couldn’t visit during the 2015 trip because it was off limits to tourists after the Nepal Earthquakes.

Students will also get the opportunity to visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, two famous attractions in China.

Beiersdorfer is aiming to take 15 students on the trip. They will be staying five days longer this year than they did in 2015.

Beiersdorfer has taken students to China before, but this year there will be two classes offered to students. Beiersdorfer will be teaching his class, while Professor Dana Sperry will be teaching a special topics art course focusing on cultural appropriation.

Taking two classes while in China is an option Beiersdorfer and Sperry believe will appeal to student’s both financially and academically.

Sperry said the historical landscape of China makes it the perfect place to learn about cultural appropriation, which is the adoption of elements from one culture that are used by members of another culture. The class will focus on how this concept affects inspiration and art.

“The various elements will help frame a lot of what we see,” Sperry said. “Thinking about all different things simultaneously.”

Sperry’s class is open to any of the students who join Beiersdorfer in June. Sperry said it is not necessary for students to have a background in art to take the course.

If any student wishes to obtain more information about the upcoming trip, they can contact Beiersdorfer at [email protected] or (330) 941-1753.


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