Century College and the Great Wall

Our adventures today took us outside of downtown Beijing to Century College, located in the Yanquing District (about an hour away, with traffic). Part of the Bohua group, this college focuses on telecommunication and digital media. We were greeted with a welcome sign in the foyer of one of their buildings and were able to meet with the College President Li Jie and several administrators and faculty members to discuss new partnerships with them, including a potential student exchange and a 3+1 or 2+2 agreement (meaning their students would study for 2 or 3 years in China, and then travel to the U.S. to finish their remaining 2 or 1 years of education, allowing the student to graduate with degrees from both institutions).

Following successful collaboration talks, we were able to take a tour of the college’s very cool digital media labs–they boast a motion capture lab, 3-D lab, and sound synchronization lab, just to name a few. We were also able to view some of the students’ excellent projects, on display in a beautiful gallery space.

We were treated to yet another fabulous lunch, this time at a nearby spot called Wild Duck Lake. More amazing food and abundant toasting, and many wishes for our continued good collaboration.

Century College is fairly close to a section of the Great Wall, so following our lunch, we were able to view this wondrous site. It’s an understatement to say that we were pretty exhausted, what with the jet lag and all the work and walking we’d done so far, so we cheated a bit and took a gondola from the base of Badaling Mountain up to the Great Wall. Once there, though, we still had a bit of a climb to get to one of the high points. The view: incredible. Knowing that we were walking on the Great Wall: priceless!

For our efforts, we were rewarded with dinner at a pretty exclusive restaurant at the base of Badaling–again a private room with a traditional round Chinese dinner table, and again, more food than we could possibly hope to eat. This would be our final meal together with Xue Li before our departure to Xi’an the next day, so there were many toasts thanking us for making the trip and visiting with many educational officials, and wishing us well on the next leg of our journey.

One last item of business for President Schott, Dr. Rice and Dr. Lu–another interview with a Chinese high school student considering attending UMPI next fall. The days couldn’t be more packed, and the meetings in person, we are told, are extremely helpful to the parents and the students who are making college plans. We are delighted to have had the chance to visit with so many and look forward to more opportunities in Xi’an to talk with students, parents and educational officials about bringing more students to our campus.