Hosted by BLCU, the tour was designed as a combination of Putonghua study and cultural exchange. The Putonghua lessons emphasized practicality and were taught by top-class teachers, who encouraged students to interact by forming interesting discussion topics acquired from actual events in the trip.
Lessons were diversified and extended from language to cultural lessons. The teacher in Chinese calligraphy presented in a professional and innovative way. Students were invited to demonstrate their handwriting in front of the class, to compete for the straightest stroke, and even to draw on xuan paper. Amazed by a new way to experience Chinese calligraphy, they enjoyed the lesson a lot and learnt to appreciate a living art that embodies ancient cultures. In another class, they learnt to hand-make a kite and to fly it in the field, which was a great way to experience the relaxing lifestyle of rural China.
There were a lot of sight-seeing events to locations of historical and cultural significance. Participants were impressed with the wisdom of traditional Chinese architecture through visits to the Palace Museum, the Mutianyu Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Prince Gong Mansion, and Qianmen Street, to name only a few. Students also visited some modern buildings of Beijing, such as the Beijing National Stadium, the Beijing National Aquatics Center, and the Beijing 798 Art Zone. Apart from sight-seeing, students experienced Chinese culture through watching the acrobatics show of Chaoyang Theatre and a show of Chinese Opera at the Mei Lanfang Grand Theatre.
Overall, the journey was educational and eye-opening. Participants improved their Putonghua speaking skills, and also gained a better understanding of both the traditional and modern sides of China.