Student Experience Blog

You want some history credits? Go sleep on a mountain in China.

These are my boots.They’re firm, comfortable, and just reliable.

In about 9 months, they’ll be in the mountain mud of Yunnan Province in China.

Last Thursday I took a break from homework to go see a presentation by Ed Grumbine.

Grumbine is a recognized environmental scientist, and during the past few years, he has worked in conjunction with the Chinese government in their efforts to create and maintain “protected zones” (areas of natural conservation within their territory).

Grumbine talked about his work in conservation in China, and we watched a video concerning the wildlife of Yunnan.

It got me super excited considering what I’m going to be doing this summer. Last year, I put down a deposit to guarantee a spot for me to travel with two C of I professors and around 10 other students to China for 9 upper division credits in History and Political Economy.

We’ll be leaving almost immediately after the Seniors graduate, where we’ll fly from Boise and through a series of connections, eventually land in Kunming city in central Yunnan. The objective of the trip is to study the ancient tea-horse road, where traders moved tea, horses, and other commodities from China proper to northern and western locations. We’ll follow the road into Lhasa in Tibet (assuming our Travel Visas are cleared) where we’ll take a monorail back to Beijing. Ultimately roads have had an enormous impact upon China’s history as an economic power and after the trip’s conclusion we’ll be asked to write a paper on our observations.

This won’t be the most plush vacation- for the majority of the trip we’ll be walking on a path that was designed for mules and people on foot.

But that hasn’t deterred me the least. I didn’t need testimonials from former students to tell me that this will be one of the most amazing trips I’ll ever take.

It’s really amazing to think that I’ll be doing this. I’ve been talking to one of my friends since Freshman year, Natasha, who I took HIS-210 (Modern East Asia) with. Professor Jeff Snyder-Reinke, who spearheads this trip every few years, introduced this idea to us in his class.

It almost seemed like something we could have dismissed as freshmen. Daydreamed about before going back to our reading, and yet here we are. I’ll have three of my best friends flying with me to Yunnan this June, with the possibility of meeting another who has been studying in Beijing.

I’ve wanted to see Asia since I was 10 years old. I certainly didn’t expect that I’d be going there for college credit. Can’t wait for that passport stamp.