Experiences from Sichuan: Guest post by painting and drawing student, Ed Archer

March 14 2019

My name is Ed Archer. I am a student in the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah with my emphasis in painting and drawing. In the summer of 2018 (July 8 – 21), I attended the University Immersion Program at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.

Chengdu is a large, vibrant, modern city in central China. There were international students from throughout the world attending various areas of focus (law, engineering, medicine, etc.) at the University Immersion Program.

I was part of the group attached to The Art College of Sichuan University. In my group there were 12 students from around the world. Together we studied traditional Chinese painting, calligraphy, Chinese art and culture, visited the Panda Base and explored Chengdu.

We were accompanied by 13 volunteers who are students at The Art College of Sichuan University. The volunteers were so kind and made the experience memorable. On a rotating basis, the volunteers took us on tours, helped us as needed, and most importantly made us feel welcome. In time we all became friends and these friendships continue to this day.

The students in my group stayed at a hotel within walking distance to Jiangan Campus which is where The Art College is located. The Jiangan Campus is beautiful and modern. It is the kind of campus that invites you to walk and explore. Sichuan University is large and consists of three campuses. It can be hot, humid and rainy in Chengdu in the summer so be prepared.

Thankfully, speaking Chinese is not a requirement to attend the Immersion Program at Sichuan University.

I have many great highlights from this trip. Some of my favorites included the Opening Ceremony which included traditional Chinese dance and music, the workshops on traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, visiting the Panda Base, exploring Wang’jiang Park, visiting local museums, the trip to Wenshu Monastery and eating hot pot (spicy!!).

The Opening Ceremony, which happened on the first day, made me understand that the University Immersion Program at Sichuan University was a really big deal. There were thousands of attendees and nonstop entertainment at the ceremony which was held in a large auditorium on the Jiangan Campus. Each day included a different activity that was coordinated by the volunteers from The Art College at Sichuan University.

At the end of the Immersion Program I received a diploma from the Dean of The Art College, and my fellow students and volunteers shared a lot of difficult goodbyes. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the University Immersion Program at Sichuan University…the memories will stay with me forever.