2016 Social Sciences Program: Quarter Recap

  • Students pose at the Temple of Heaven

  • Photo opt at the offices of the National Commission on Health and Family Planning Services

June 30, 2016

For the fourth year in a row, a group of undergraduate students participated in the UChicago Social Sciences Study Abroad Program based at The University of Chicago Center in Beijing. Over the Ten-Week Program, students learned about Chinese history, sociology and economics from University of Chicago Professors Dali Yang (Department of Political Science) and Victor Lima (Senior Lecturer in Economics and the College), as well as Renmin University Professor Tao Ran (UChicago Ph.D.; Professor of Economics, Renmin University of China). During their time in Beijing, the students also went on weekly excursions to sites around the city in order to enhance their in-classroom learning experience.

The program began with a three-week intensive course taught by the Beijing Center Faculty Director Dali Yang entitled "Politics and Public Policy in China." During the course, students visited a number of historical sites with Professor Yang including Beijing’s Ming Tombs, Jingshan Park and the National Museum and Railway Museum. Professor Yang also took the students to the offices of the National Commission on Health and Family Planning Services, where students got an opportunity to learn about family planning regulations in China.

Students also went on a number of curriculum-related excursions that were off the beaten path. Early in the quarter, they toured the Shougang Corporation factory Beijing campus, home to one of China’s largest state owned enterprises. Later on, they visited Guajiayu Village, a “model village” located on the outskirts of Beijing. There they had an opportunity to learn about the area’s economic transformation.

During the last six weeks, Professor Tao Ran taught a class entitled “China’s Economic Development and Transition.” Students also took an economics course with Professor Victor Lima.  Over the Ten-Week Program, students attended daily Chinese language classes taught by Renmin University language instructors along with their regular courses.