US students moved by Beijing's fusion of ancient, modern

By Zhao Yimeng | | Updated: 2024-05-21 14:17
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Students from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the United States visit the Forbidden City in Beijing on May 17, 2024. [Photo by Zou Hong/]

College students from the United States said they were impressed by the ancient architecture in the Forbidden City and how it sits with Beijing's modern landscape during a recent visit.

Dozens of American students from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the eastern US embarked on a two-week journey in Beijing and Hangzhou, flying more than 20 hours to discover China on their own.

Most of them have never been to an Asian country before and expressed their curiosity about the different architectural styles in China.

Kamir Walton, a software engineering student at the university, said the "sheer size" of Forbidden City was mind-boggling. "As a young country, we don't have ancient structures in the US. It's amazing that one emperor lived in a place literally the size of a city."

Kayla Kristchil, who has traveled to some European countries, a region known for its historic monuments, was impressed by the combination of modern and ancient landscapes in Beijing.

She took a picture in the Forbidden City, with the palace and distant skyscrapers, such as China Zun, in the background.

Walton was touched by the ancient way of hosting a class when visiting the Temple of Confucius in Beijing. The education that brings the teacher and students together as a group can benefit both teachers and students, he said.

Organized by Beijing Foreign Studies University, the program aims to open a window for regular American university students to experience a real China.

As the first session of Discover China, the program includes expert lectures covering various fields such as the Chinese economy and Sino-US relations.

It provides college students from China and the US with opportunities for discussions and interactions, as well as practical research and exchange activities, according to the university.

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