Last Day in Dalian

     Breakfast is a part of the fare at the hotel. It's buffet style with numerous choices, most of which we don't recognize. There was bacon, French fried potatoes, a type of scrambled egg, and near the end fried eggs and orange juice. Never was I hungry at breakfast having been fed very well the evening before.

     Mary and I were escorted to an office that supported students who wanted to study overseas with information, applications and visas. This is where Shuai's father worked and we were to meet a couple perspective students. The seemed to have about four employees, some of whom were meeting with students and parents at small tables. We were given a brochure and some explanation about the process. In the process there were explanations of cooperating universities from around the world, including Western Oregon University. Because the cost of WOU is lower than most and because the listed TOEFL scores required by WOU were lower, WOU was a very popular comodity. The staff also showed us a DVD of an interview with Nengy Yang and our former provost. In the wall were posted a collection of visas of students studying aboard. About a third or more indicating that there supporting institution was Western Oregon University.

     Our first client was a grandfather who was inquiring about studying aboard for his granddaughter. Her granddaughter had graduated this past summer. In China a student must take an exam to finish high school and the another to enter a Chinese university or college. If the choose to study aboard they don't take the Chinese college entrance examination but instead they have to meet the requirements of the international school including the TOEFL or IELTS examination. This student's grades looked good with mostly A's and a 5.5 IELTS score. The grandfather was very proud to show us those papers. As he asked questions through a translator, he made notes in his notebook.

     The second student we met was a young man who had also just finished high school and his father. He hadn't taken an English proficiency test and he chose to use an interpreter but I think he understood most all the English. He had applied unsuccessfully to Japanese schools several times and was now considering studying computers in America, specifically at WOU. Both experiences were very enlightening on our part as we noted the questions and concerns the parents and students expressed.

     Shuai and father took us to lunch. We had about 2 hours to kill so we went to a shopping mall, Victory Plaza across from the train station. Then it was on to the airport and a short flight to Beijing. The day was our first overcast besides the smog and when we arrived in Beijing there was our first sign of rain.

     Yulin and Xiaojie met us, drove us to the hotel and took us out to supper. Treats here were a bread that was spread paper thin by swirling it in the air, folded on itself with a filling of our choice (ham, in this case) and fried on a grill. We each had our own pot of boiling broth in which we placed rare paper thin meats and vegetables. One very eloquent and elaborate platter came with rolled up very thin, very red beef which Yulin dipped in a sauce and ate rare. One warning had been to not eat rare meat but each ventured to do one piece without boiling it. The eloquent presentation was on the back of swan carved from green ice.

     Our tour of China is about to come to an end as we return to a hotel for the last time. Tomorrow we returned to America, via San Francisco leaving here at noon and arriving at Portland at 12:30PM the same day. There is a fifteen hour time difference so the trip will be a bit more than 15 hours, not thirty minutes.

Updated August 25, 2007
Denvy Saxowsky©