U.S.-China Institute at Bryant University

Sophomore International Experience: China

The Sophomore International Experience is a special two week study abroad trip led by Bryant University. The U.S.-China Institute offers trips to China during winter and summer sessions.

Students can earn three academic credits and spend 12 to 14 days overseas to learn about Chinese culture and how businesses operate globally.

This international education program is geared specifically toward students in their sophomore academic year. All students must be in both good academic and disciplinary standing at the time of application and departure.

For information of application, eligibility, credit, and cost, please visit the Study Abroad Office .

For information about course and trip details, please contact:
Kongli Liu
Assistant Director for Academic Programs
U.S.-China Institute
Email: kliu1@bryant.edu
Phone: 401-232-6566

2011 Trip Highlights

Great Wall, Lenovo/IBM plant, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Business College of Beijing Union University, Olympic Park, Beijing City Planning Museum, Dandelion School for Migrant Children, Imperial Banquet, Chinese Acrobatics Show, Silk Market

Yangshuo, Guilin
Biking along the Li River, Cave exploration, Cooking class at local home, Hiking and picnic, River boat tour, Presentation on foreign business in China, Local fishing show

West lake, China National Tea Museum, Thunder Pogada

Meeting with CEO of AIG (Shanghai) and Bryant alum, Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, Visiting a textile factory owned by parents of Bryant student, Fabric Market, Group Exploration Day, River Cruise, Farewell Banquet

Here's what past participants had to say...

"Overall my experience with going to China with SIE is probably the most exciting, exhausting, and most memorable thing I have ever accomplished. Not only was I challenged physically, but also culturally by experiencing a completely new culture consisting of different foods to different traffic laws.Megan and I are actually planning on studying in Shanghai next fall. Fudan University seemed like our best option because of its location and classes offered. I was excited to ask Kongli if we could visit the school for the day. When he said we could go, both of us were happy to see the campus before attending. Not many people can say that they visited the school they wanted to go abroad at; especially not school in China."
Alexa McIsaac

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"Upon arriving at the Wall and seeing its magnificent structure I was in awe at its massive size. It is hard to believe that the Great Wall was manmade over many years and dynasties. I had been worrying about traveling so far away to a place with a culture and a language with which I was not familiar. I was nervous about eating the food and flying for such a long period of time. So far the food has been delicious with a wide variety to choose from at every meal. The experiences that I have had in Beijing have been amazing. Taking part in the Sophomore International Experience to China was one of the best decisions that I have made"
Caitlin Allen

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"The school was also one of my favorite places because we got the opportunity to interact with Chinese students. The students impressed me because they were very outgoing; they sang in class, made a dance and asked us questions. As we left the school the small kids passing through the hallway waved at us and smiled. It was a great experience also to learn how a Chinese school operates; we met with the principal of the school and were allowed to ask him questions."
Carolina Corripio

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"Our day today started off with an enjoyable bike ride. We started out in the city and it seemed like the ride would be an easy one. However, the road quickly turned into rocks, which then turned into dirt and mud. The scenery was incredible no matter where we were.This trip to China has broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to the rest of the world. I already considered myself an open-minded individual having been born in Europe and having seen other parts of the world besides America. However, China is different from anything I have known before and it was enlightening to be able to experience a completely different culture from my own."
Emilia Dragowska

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"Throughout the trip I found myself comparing my own experiences at home with those of the Chinese people. For example my lacrosse team of 21 players cannot run one lap around our field in two straight lines, but I watched an entire schoolyard of little children run in perfect lines, in a much more complicated formation. Traveling to China has been so far the most educational and enjoyable experience of my life. It took things I learned in the classroom and made them real. Seeing the caves was like a geology class, only so much better. Bryant did an amazing job organizing and packing the trip with activities that are all enjoyable and worthwhile. I don’t think I would have gotten nearly as much out of the trip if I had traveled without Bryant. I highly recommend that everyone choose China and am so thankful for my own experience there."
Emily Bogan

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"As a whole, we have learned a lot about the structure of china, especially within Beijing. I am fascinated by the incredible organizational planning that went into constructing such an enormous city. Each detail was carefully planned, even down to creating the proper feng shui with a body of water in the front and mountains lying behind the city. The Chinese truly value this and have often constructed manmade lakes and mountains to accommodate this custom. The architecture is also beautiful beyond words. From the ancient buildings of the Forbidden City to the newly erected Olympic Nest and Water Cube, the Chinese have produced some of the most innovative and influential builds of all time. Beijing was a city filled with beauty from edge to edge.
Mary Kate Lapham

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"It is amazing to see the sites that China has to offer, so few people get the opportunity to see them. Hopefully in the future will become more of a tourist destination, it has the perfect blend of rich history with the commodities of the present sprinkled with a glimpse of the future.

This trip has enhanced my educational experience by helping me to realize that my education to take my anywhere and everywhere. By seeing the world that is so different from the world I am use to it helped me realized the education is so important.

I would absolutely recommend this trip to future students. Many other went to Italy or Germany, but it is so easy to travel to Europe and you can do that almost anytime. China is a once in a lifetime experience and to go when we did, when the country is developing so rapidly is truly amazing."
Mike Moalli

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"We went on a bike ride through the countryside. It was really tough to ride through the dirt roads and rocks compared to just riding on a flat pavement, but I enjoyed it a lot. I especially liked the city of Yangshuo and I plan on going back to China to revisit. The setup of Yangshuo was very charming and I liked that it was possible to bike or walk anywhere. My favorite activity in Yangshuo was the bike ride and viewing the residences, fields, mountains, and river while on bike. It was liberating to be on bike instead of in a bus just looking out the window. I was able to absorb the environment around me and be active."
Molly Tower

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"I thought that the visit to the Lenovo manufacturing plant and the research and development department was great, since usually the assembly lines are not shown to the public. However, being walked through the assembly and development process of software and hardware step by step has really increased my understanding of how personal computers can be assembled and further processed at such a low cost per product. What has impressed me the most so far has been to see the incredible discipline that the Chinese have in everything they construct. In every historical monument and every manmade project you reconcile with how much precision and detail the Chinese deliver their work.

I think that the SIE-China is in general a very friendly, but also professional way to explore China for everyone."
Pieter Niesten

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2010 Trip Highlights

2009 Trip Highlights (web page created by participating students)

2008 Trip Highlights

SIE China 2008 Documentary

Produced by
Alberto De Coste Calla '10 (Riverside, RI)
Adam Noga '10 (Southbridge, MA)
Michael Ostrander '10 (Yarmouthport, MA)

Watch it online (only available on Bryant campus): log in with your standard Bryant user name and password (same as what is used for e-mail). The site may prompt you to install some browser plug-in- these must be installed for the videos to play back correctly. If there is any question about these there is a "Need Help - Click Here!" link to a document on the login page, that describes everything in detail. Once logged in click on the tab at the top "Video Library" and then click on the folder that says "Bryant_Self_Produced." Then click "SIE 2008" and you will see "SIE08_China.mpg".