europe

A Tale of Two Cities: London to Paris

18 Days. Immerse yourself in England and France, two of Europe’s most iconic countries. Visit London’s famous landmarks, discover Shakespeare in his birthplace, and take to the water at the UK Sailing Academy. Pay your respects at Normandy, and experience the incomparable art, culture and cuisine of Paris.

Program Details

Day to Day

Seattle, WA

Depart USA

Day 1

Meet your delegation and board your overnight flight to China.

Beijing, China

Arrive in Beijing

Day 2

Beijing has been China’s capital for seven centuries and the cultural heart of China for over 3,000 years. Today, Beijing is home to more than 20 million people, as well as the center of the nation’s government and economic life. Meet your experienced local Delegation Manager upon touching in down in Beijing. Settle in for a good night’s rest.

People to People Moment

Local Connection - Banquet Dinner
Beijing, China

Tiananmen Square

Day 3

Begin your introduction of the city with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the world. Your journey continues as you explore the Forbidden City. Built between 1406-1420 AD, it is the world’s largest and most well-preserved Imperial Palace. This evening, you will be honored at a banquet where you will be served Peking duck, a traditional Northern Chinese delicacy.

Beijing, China

The Great Wall of China

Day 4

Journey to the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall. The Great Wall of China is one of history’s most remarkable accomplishments and extends more than 3,000 miles over the Chinese landscape. Next, journey to the Summer Palace, an immense imperial garden dotted with Qing architecture. Enjoy the grounds during a boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake.

People to People Moment

People to People Connections - Visit with a Local Family
Luoyang, China

Meet a Chinese Family

Day 5

Share a rickshaw with one of your fellow students and navigate through the narrow residential streets of old Beijing, also known as the Hutongs. You will have the unique opportunity to meet a family living in the Beijing’s Hutongs, and tour their home. This afternoon, board high speed train to Luoyang.

Luoyang, China

Inside Chinese Martial Arts

Day 6

In early Chinese history, Luoyang is the only city whose fame is parallel to Chang’an. Luoyang was frequently referred to as the East Capital while Chang’an being the West Capital during the flourishing Han and Tang Dynasty as well as the chaotic barbarian invasion period. Today you will visit the Shaolin Temple, the most famous Buddhist Temple in China and the origin of Chinese martial art. The pagoda forest is the resting place of the high monks of Shaolin Temple. The Song Yue Pagoda has been standing for more than 1400 years and is one of the earliest pagodas in China.

Xi'an, China

Luoyang to Xi'an

Day 7

Discover the Longmen Grottoes. The Longmen Grottoes was considered one of the top 4 Grottoes of China. A total of 2345 shrines and 100,000 statues were carved out of a cliff over 400 years from the North Wei Dynasty to Song Dynasty. The earliest carving was dated to 493 A.D. Return to the city and explore the old town in Luoyang before boarding a high speed train to Xi’an.

People to People Moment

Outdoor Adventure - Take a Bike Ride on The Ming Dynasty City Wall
Xi'an, China

Perpetual Peace

Day 8

Explore Xi’an, China’s capital city through 13 dynasties, including the Tang Dynasty.  In ancient times, this great city was called Chang’an, or “Perpetual Peace”. Enjoy a fantastically scenic bike ride on top the city wall originally built in the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century.  Spend a magical evening enjoying a traditional Tang Dynasty show and dumpling banquet.

People to People Moment

People to People Connection - Meet a Local Villager who discovered the Terracotta Warriors
Xi'an, China

Terracotta Warriors

Day 9

Delve into Xi’an’s history as you discover the museum of the famous Terracotta Warriors, 8,000 life-size figures discovered by chance in 1974. Take part in a fascinating workshop that replicates the technique used in their production before gaining exclusive access to one of the villagers who discovered the warriors.
Get an up-close view of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, originally built during the 7th century Tang Dynasty to hold breath-taking sutras and figurines of Buddha brought as gifts from India by a famed translator and traveler. Learn about ancient Chinese traditional painting during a unique insight into an ancient cultural practice that survives to this day.
Guilin, China

Xi'an to Guilin

Day 10

This morning, fly to Guilin, a picturesque small city located in southern China, known for its natural beauty and stunning landscape. Immerse yourself in the magic of the area as you take in its famous lake views and limestone karst hills. Explore one of the famous caves of Guilin on a tour with a difference. Take rail carts, boats and even elevators to navigate the vast underground tunnels. Study the unique rock formations with expert assistance as you uncover the secrets of this natural wonder. Get some well-earned rest, as tomorrow you’ll begin your once in a lifetime experience staying with a Chinese family.

People to People Moment

Exclusive People to People Host Family
Hongyan Village, China

Authentic Homestay Experience

Day 11

Visit a local tea plantation to learn how Chinese tea is made, a staple of Chinese life. Set sail down the picturesque Yulong River on a bamboo raft and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area before arriving in Hongyan Village to be welcomed with open arms by your home stay family.

Hongyan Village, China

The Art of Nuo

Day 12

Visit the world renowned Confucius Temple, named after one of the most famous thinkers and educators in Chinese history, places a huge importance on values of education and respect. While visiting the temple, study a unique folk ceremony called Nuo Mask Dancing, with the help of an expert master artist. The art of Nuo Mask consists of special dancing performed during worshiping or celebrations–they are truly moving experiences.
Shanghai, China

Birds-Eye View of Shanghai

Day 13

Fly to Shanghai and immerse yourself in the wonders of a truly global city where commerce, culture, finance, media, fashion, technology, and transportation come together in exciting and intriguing ways. Soak up the atmosphere in a city that seems to seamlessly blend Eastern and Western culture. Visit the Bund waterfront, the instantly recognizable European style landmarks and buildings situated along the banks of the river that reflect the colonial past of the city. Take in a breathtaking, birds-eye view of Shanghai from the summit of the Shanghai Center. Spend your first evening in the city attending a thrilling acrobatic show.
Shanghai, China

Experience Shanghai

Day 14

Walk through a local silk reeling factory and see the finished works of local artisans before visiting a Shanghai folk music instrument factory to learn how these traditional Chinese instruments are used and made.

People to People Moment

Interactive Learning Experience - Calligraphy Lesson
Suzhou, China

Venice of the Orient

Day 15

Journey to Suzhou, a city located in the middle of the Yangtze River Delta. As over 40% of the city is covered in water it is aptly referred to as the ‘Venice of the Orient’. Stop off at the Panmen Gate to fly kites before an insightful Chinese Calligraphy lesson at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Yipu Garden. Spend the afternoon at a Ping Pong academy.
Suzhou, China

Kun Opera Experience

Day 16

Visit the Kun Opera Museum and learn about the origins of this traditional Chinese performing art from the experts. Following lunch, cruise through the ancient canal system that winds its way around the city. Away from the hustle and bustle of the streets you can enjoy spectacular views of the real the Suzhou. Return to Shanghai in the afternoon and try out your bargaining skills at the famous local bazaar. Grab some last minute souvenirs as a memento for your time spent in China.
Shanghai, China

Zàijiàn China!

Day 17

Look back on a spectacular seventeen days and reflect on how your understanding of Chinese culture has changed. Return home with expanded horizons and a wealth of new friends and experiences that will better prepare you further education and rewarding vocations.