A Trip to Shanghai Anyone?


 “Absorb, soak in, and explore one of the most really enduring civilizations in the history of humanity.”

                                                                                          ~ Dr. Seidman


Dr. Derek Seidman, an Assistant History Professor here at D’Youville College, is coordinating a trip to China! Graduating with his Ph.D. at Brown University, Seidman has joined the college in the fall of 2013 and has been enjoying his time here since. Taking a step further in his teaching career, he is now planning a faculty-led trip to Shanghai and Beijing at the end of spring 2017.

For those who do not know what a faculty-led trip entails, let us explain a little. In comparison to the Study Abroad program, a faculty-led trip is hosted by an actual faculty member. Study abroad students go for an entire semester (or summer) through a separate institution, while a faculty-led trip is only for a few weeks at most. The faculty member will be with you the whole time in order to help organize the trip and teach students along the way. Though this is just some detail on the trip, you can always learn more about our faculty-led trips and study abroad program HERE.

In addition to this being a new and exciting experience for all students alike, Dr. Seidman is getting the firsthand experience himself. That’s right people; this will be his FIRST faculty-led trip along with his FIRST time traveling to China! When asked why he chose China out of all places, his fascination with the culture is what motivates him to take this on. Likewise, Dr. Seidman will be teaching a class during the spring that compares the history between China and Japan in association with the trip as well. He also mentions that it’s even better that the relationship between DYC, CAPA, and China has already been established.

If you are wondering “How would he lecture us along the trip?” have no worries. During the time away, Dr. Seidman wants everyone to see as much of China as they can and to have a very fulfilling time. He wants the students to learn on their own, as well as gaining their own personal experiences. Most of the classroom teaching will be before going on the trip as one of its prerequisites. “Everybody that would be going on the trip would either be taking History 309 with me, or a directed study in which they will learn about Chinese history.” Dr. Seidman clarifies that what will be taught and learned during the course, will be related to the things students will be doing in China. Not to mention, there will be some guest speakers along the trip that will give more insight on the city itself. Some classroom time will be reserved there, but only for a couple hours out of the whole three weeks. How exciting! Although it is an educational experience, students will be doing some writing in a journal. As the aim of the trip is geared towards PERSONAL GROWTH.

Generally speaking, the trip is about three weeks long, with most of its time spent in Shanghai. Reason being is that it might be more of an interest to students and it is China’s “Showcase City”. There will be a few days dedicated to Beijing as well to see how the old China meets the new, more modern age China. Students will see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and other important historical sites. In relation to just spending the time and enjoying the trip however, Seidman feels that Shanghai will be much more amusing. Though there will be enough time in Beijing to enjoy as well.

If you are still wondering whether you are interested in going, just keep in mind that there is something for everyone! If you have an interest in the vibrant dynamics of China with its society and infrastructure of the buildings, Shanghai is where it’s at. Students will get to see the Pearl Tower, walk down Nanjing Road where all the shops are, and pick up some pretty neat souvenirs. If you are more interested in the older historical outlook of China, then there’s Beijing. Though, students will also get a lot of history in Shanghai too with all its temples and gardens. If you are a history buff like Dr. Seidman himself, there will be a lot of trips to various museums (Shanghai history, Urban Planning, Art museum, Propaganda museum, etc.). There’s a little bit of everything for all those interested!

If that’s not convincing enough, Dr. Seidman urges students to keep in mind that an important part of any college experience is about exploring your interests. Trying to receive some training or discipline in a certain career you are into is just half of it; the other half is about self discovery. What are your morals? What are your ethics and values? Who are you and how do you become the person you want to be? Experiences like traveling would help you go through this process as you are being exposed to another culture; reflecting upon your own outlook on the world. Take it from someone who regrets not studying abroad as an undergrad himself, Seidman believes it is an important aspect of college to have this deeper knowledge of who the students will like to become in life. BUT….it’s also just going to be an awesome trip to learn about China.

Want more information? Just click on the link below or email Dr. Seidman himself! Hope to see you all in China!


Dr. Derek Seidman

Email: Seidmand@dyc.edu

Office: SASE 255

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