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by Elese Cartledge
The Deakin Law School’s Chinese Commercial Law Tour, held in the mid-year break was an educational, culturally enriching and rewarding experience.
I chose to go on the tour in my final year of my Arts/Law degree as the idea of going to a corner of the world I had never previously visited, whilst gaining university credit sounded too good to be true.
The Study Tour comprised of a mixture of lectures, sightseeing and socialising. The lectures were delivered by a different lecturer on a different topic each day, ranging from Chinese contract law to the laws on foreign trade.
We learnt a lot in a condensed amount of time but it was always interesting due to the varied expertise of the lecturers, as well as the diverse perspectives about aspects of Chinese Law that each of them introduced to the group. The lectures were always held in the morning whilst the afternoons and weekends were reserved for sightseeing.
Examples of the daily field trips included a visit to the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Summer Palace to name a few.
Of particular interest to many (and one of the highlights of my trip) were the huge indoor markets. It was at the markets that we could all test our bargaining skills which led to us testing the limits of what our suitcases could actually hold.
The markets were particularly fascinating as we were able to contextualise what we had learnt in classes and on Intellectual Property-related field trips. Whilst many students bought some ‘designer’ items, they were a stark reminder of the fact that whilst Chinese laws are growing in scope and effectiveness, the enforcement of such laws still have a long way to go.
There was also some spare time available to us to explore Beijing at our own pace. Many students went to see the pandas at the zoo and to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors.
We were able to sample the local food, immerse ourselves in the vibrant nightlife and soak up the culture: from loud karaoke on the street to watching the amazing Chinese Acrobats at the theatre. The McDonalds delivery service was also a perk.In a nutshell, the China Study Tour was a terrific experience: one that I would recommend to any student. The tour gives students the opportunity to travel to another country, see amazing sights, experience another culture, and make some great friends, all whilst gaining credit towards your degree
Students at Bei Park