W&M at Tsinghua

The rest of the W&M group to China arrived on Thursday and had time to rest, buy food, and settle in. But the faculty at Tsinghua were planning a huge welcome for us. On Friday morning, we were invited to an orientation by the teachers who will be teaching us throughout the summer. They introduced us to the college, the campus, and even treated us to a special lunch.

At the orientation, we were given goodie bags of Tsinghua branded items: a bag, a t-shirt, and a map. We all smiled with glee as we received these presents from our hosts. We then went to a restaurant for a very succulent lunch with the Tsinghua faculty. The food was served in many courses and shared communally on a turn table in the middle. The first course is made of cold dishes containing of vegetables and light sauce for taste. The next course is made up of small dishes with slightly more flavoring. For beverages, we were served plum juice and jasmine tea. The last course is made up of heavy dishes of duck and fish. My favorite dishes at the lunch were 地三鲜 (disanxian) made up of eggplant, potatoes, and green pepper and 金沙玉米 (jinsha yumi or Goldsands corn) which was corn kernels in egg yolks, deep fried. Jinsha Yumi is very popular in the Yunnan province.

After eating to our heart’s content, we were taken on a long bike ride for a campus tour around to the popular sites at Tsinghua. Here are a couple pictures from the tour.

IMG_4340

The whole group in front of the Grand Auditorium. The building has a very Jeffersonian style about it- reminds me of UVA’s rotunda.

IMG_4409

The whole group in front of the old gate, which is often seen as the symbol of Tsinghua University. Built originally in 1909, it was the official entrance for the school. It was later torn down and rebuilt in 1991 with the help of the alumni. With the expansion of the campus, this is now called Er Xiao Men meaning, second school gate.