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China Study Abroad Program is Underway in Hangzhou

May 22, 2014

33 TJSL students and three faculty members arrived in Hangzhou, China on Saturday, May 17 for the three week, ABA approved, International and Comparative Law Study Abroad Program. The program began the following day with a guided tour of Hangzhou on Sunday, May 18. Students attended an orientation session on the first day of classes, Monday, May 19, at the Zhejiang University Guanghua College of Law.

This is the eighth year of this program located in one of the most beautiful cities in China and near the famous West Lake. Zhejiang University Guanghua College of Law offers an ideal environment for learning international and comparative law. The China Program is designed to encourage students to experience international law in an international setting, to exchange ideas with students from a different land, and to explore cultural differences that influence international business and legal transactions.

Students in this program are drawn from law schools across the United States and the world. Chinese students fluent in English and currently studying law at the Zhejiang University Guanghua College of Law actively participate in the program. Four Chinese professors teach a course on the Chinese Legal System and Its Reforms in English.

Throughout their stay, student activities include a day in the Chinese Supreme Court in Beijing with discussions about the differences between Chinese and U.S. court procedures; a Brown-bag Luncheon Lecture Series featuring law professors, judges, practitioners and experts in international law; organized weekend trips to other cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai; half-day trips to neighboring scenic sites; and other educational and social events.

Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province and is full of history, art and tourist attractions. Hangzhou is located in Southeast China, less than one hour away from Shanghai, the famous, bustling metropolis that is well-known for its shopping and business opportunities. Visitors to China invariably comment about the extraordinary beauty of Hangzhou. Marco Polo, the noted Italian traveler in the 13th century, described Hangzhou as “the most beautiful and luxurious city in the world.”

A message from Professor Tiefenbrun

Director, China and Nice Study Abroad Programs

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

The China Program 2014 in Hangzhou is enjoying its last week. Our students are absolutely wonderful, and all seem to be having a transformative experience traveling, living, and studying abroad in Asia. Last week we all worked hard in class, went out to dinner every night for delicious Chinese food, learned about the very different types of Chinese cuisine, and prepared for a very special weekend in Beijing. We flew to the capital of China, visited the Chinese Supreme Court, had a tour of this magnificent building all decked out in marble and mahogany wood carvings, and then sat for an informative presentation by two judges and a legal scholar chosen by the senior judge of the Supreme Court. I learned a great deal about Chinese legal reform, especially the role that free trade zones have played in the necessity to reform the Chinese legal system because of the presence of international traders needing legal recourse in China. It was really an event to remember. Then we all went to the Forbidden City and admired the Ming dynasty architecture, the stories about emperors and their many concubines, and we all reveled in the 15th century history that enveloped us in this world wonder. We then went to Tiananmen Square, saw Mao’s tomb, and learned all about human rights and the right to assemble and protest! We then went to the impressive Ming tombs and started to recognize the very elegant Ming dynasty style of architecture. We had a fabulous night at the Kung Fu show. The next day we had a thrilling rick shaw ride like bumper cars, and went through a local courtyard that has not changed in style since 1368, the beginning of the Ming dynasty. We ate delicious peking duck, and some of us went to the Beijing Opera and others went to a death defying acrobat show. We literally did not stop to come up for air. We also walked up the Great Wall, and I can’t forget that. Thanks, special thanks, to Allen Hall who protected me from falling down the Great Wall, and we both made it up to the fourth tower in record time. Not bad, eh! We have all bonded, and I must say I thoroughly enjoy spending quality time with this wonderful group of interesting students and dedicated faculty. Kevin Green and Leah Christensen are doing a superb job and enjoying the students as well. This is really good. Don’t miss this unique experience next year. This is our 8th year in China, and I do believe we will be back again next year with an even bigger and better program for all of you to enjoy  So off to class now. See you soon.