China Travel 2019

TRVL 300
Professors Ben Kahn and Tom Whalen
Travel dates (subject to change): March 14-24, 2019


This three (3) credit Travel Course: China, Corporate and Cultural Study Tour, is offering the opportunity to study through travel. China was once deemed a sleeping giant. That giant has now awaken and its economy will soon be the largest in the world. China is one of the world’s oldest civilizations going back 5000 years. She has transformed herself into a 21st century global economic leader. This course insures that students are exposed to China’s history and culture, while providing them with the knowledge and experience to perform in the global economy. This course experience includes tours of multi-national corporations in Shanghai, the center of China’s economic resurgence, and culture exchanges in Xi’an and Beijing.


  1. Have an appreciation and understanding of Chinese history, culture, the structure of its political and economic system, its social structure, business tradition, conventions and social ethics.
  2. Discuss the role that China plays in the global world arena.
  3. Understand the interdependence of countries in the 21st Century.
  4. Be able to explain points of similarity and difference in their experiences in China and the United States.
  5. Think critically about the economic and social impacts of China’s economic reforms, and impact of globalization.
  6. Be able to situate the value of their travel within their larger college experience.


Prior to and after the trip, students will have weekly meetings with Professors Kahn and Whalen, the faculty leaders of the trip, to discuss issues relating to Chinese history, culture, society, and economy. Students will be required to finish assigned readings and submit assignments. During the trip, Professors Kahn and Whalen and other guides will give on-site talks and tours, and students will be required to keep a journal. After the trip, students will complete a project based on their knowledge of, and experience in China.


Students will be evaluated on the following: attendance at class meetings, participation in discussions, written tests, in-class presentations, written assignments on course readings, a final reflective project on the knowledge and experience gained in the course, and behavior on the travel portion of the course.


Beijing 北京

ChinaIn addition to being the People’s Republic of China’s capital, Beijing is one of the world's leading centers for politics, economy and business, finance, education, culture, innovation and technology, architecture, language, and diplomacy. It is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's political, cultural, and educational center. It is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest
state-owned companies and houses the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world, as well as the world's four biggest financial institutions. It is also a major hub for the national highway, expressway, railway, and high-speed rail networks.

Combining both modern and traditional architecture, Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich history dating back three millennia. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for most of the past eight centuries, and was the largest city in the world by population for much of the second millennium A.D. Encyclopædia Britannica notes that "few cities in the world have served for so long as the political headquarters and cultural center of an area as immense as China." With mountains surrounding the inland city on three sides, in addition to the old inner and outer city walls, Beijing was strategically poised and developed to be the residence of the emperor and thus was the perfect location for the imperial capital. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls and gates. We will be visiting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and the Great Wall. Additionally we will see the National People’s Congress, Tiananmen Square, and the 2008 Olympic Complex.

Xi’an 西安

XianXi'an is the capital of Shaanxi Province. It sits on the Guanzhong Plain in northwestern China. It is one of the oldest cities in China, and the oldest of the Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui, and Tang. Xi'an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

Shanghai 上海

ChinaShanghai is the largest city in China by population, and the second most populous city in the world, with a population of more than 24 million as of 2017. It is a global financial center and transport hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the East China coast. Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to trade and recognition of its favorable port location and economic potential. The city then flourished as a center of commerce between China and other parts of the world. It became the primary financial hub of the Asia-Pacific region in the 1930s. In recent years, the government has introduced economic reforms which resulted in an intense redevelopment of the city, including the return of finance and foreign investment. It is a hub for international trade and finance; it is the home of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, one of the world's largest.

TRIP PARTICULARS (subject to change)

Cost: $3,300 per person

Additional costs: Chinese visa – good for 10 years ($140 required)

All inclusive features include:

  • Round Trip transportation from Albany, NY to China by United Airlines
  • High Speed Train from Beijing to Xian; and
  • Air Transportation from Xian to Shanghai by China Air
  • 4 or 5 Star Hotel Accommodations Double Occupancy (Single Room Supplement: $600 per person)
  • All Meals, Entrance fees to Historical and Cultural sights and museums.

Payment schedule:
$300 due on enrollment
$500 due on October 1
$700 due on November 1
$800 due on February 1

ITINERARY, MARCH 14-24, 2019 (subject to change)

Thursday, March 14 – Depart North Adams. Fly via United to Beijing via Albany and Chicago.

3 Days in Beijing – The Capital of The People’s Republic of China

  • National People’s Congress
  • Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City
  • The Great Wall
  • Beijing 2008 Olympic Complex
  • Summer Palace
  • Temple of the Heavens

Travel via high speed train from Beijing to Xi’an

2 Day in Xi’an – One of the 4 great ancient capitals of China

  • Terracotta Warriors
  • The Shaanxi Provincial Museum

Travel via China Air from Xi’an to Shanghai

4 Days in and around Shanghai – Examine a hybrid socialist – capitalist system

  • Shanghai University of International Business and Economics (SUIBE)
  • Corporate tour of General Motors and Volkswagen in Suzhou
  • Shanghai Stock Market
  • Tour of the World Trade Organization Center in Shanghai
  • Cultural Tours of Shanghai

Sunday, March 24—Fly from via United from Shanghai to Albany via Chicago

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Tom Whalen
Department of Business Administration and Economics
Phone: 413.662.5317
Murdock 102i

Professor Ben Kahn
Department of Business Administration and Economics
Phone: 413.662.5304
Venable G-09