As a participant on the China Liberal Arts Tour of 2009 I found it to be one of the most interesting and enjoyable recruitment trips I have ever taken.
Put together by a wonderful group of liberal arts graduates, the trip was fantastic! The itinerary was well thought out and the few logistic glitches that occurred were dealt with in a creative and professional manner. The enthusiasm of everyone involved was fantastic and I learned so much about China! It was terrific!
I am really looking forward to doing the trip again!
Last year Kenyon College, a very highly selective college in Ohio, participated in the first tour of China dedicated to introducing liberal arts and sciences education to students and families. The liberal arts model encompasses breadth across disciplines such as the arts, sciences, social sciences, and humanities as well depth within one or two major academic interests combined with the development of critical thinking and writing. To quote Christian Hinderer, one of Kenyon‘s graduating seniors who is about to start a MD/PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, "The emphasis on writing taught me how to represent my results well, and the curriculum—more than just facts-based—taught me to think creatively in different fields of research." Until this tour, I did not realize how very different this was from the traditional Chinese educational system which emphasizes testing and placement results.
The tour was very well organized down to the last detail and the leaders proved to be extraordinarily resourceful. We were able to engage in conversation with students about liberal arts and sciences. In light of the “tide of fraud” in undergraduate applications from China, the opportunity to interview students and stress the ethics of the college application process proved invaluable. We were also able to visit several high schools and hear in person about curriculum and reform. All in all, this was also the best tours possible for gaining an insider’s knowledge of educational philosophy in China. There were also opportunities to experience some of the richness of Chinese culture.