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A student practices working the fields with a water buffalo. Photo by Ming-Jiu-Li, China Summer Program.

Introduction of instructor Tingting Xu

Hello Dragons,

Welcome to our big traveling family! My name is Tingting, you might know my famous Belgian brother TinTin from his series of adventures! (Just kidding! Haha), I’m so happy to be one of your instructors along with Zack and Jonas!

I’m currently based in California at the University of San Diego, working on my MBA thesis. I’ve been here since January studying art and business. One of my most memorable experiences here has been teaching business foundations to elementary school kids, I’ve loved working with those kids! Last year I was lucky enough to be nominated by Fudan University to participate in an exchange in Norway. During that experience I was also able to travel to Athens, Venice and Kassel with other artists. Traveling is a passion of mine. In the past I traveled with a dear friend and fellow Dragons instructor named Shuier (who will be instructing the Silk Road Program) to places like England and Egypt.

I was born and raised in the southwest China, where some of the very first Dragons trips started many years ago. My time in college and my job as a facilitator of art projects brought me to some interesting places in China. Currently my home base is Shanghai, where we will have our orientation and feel out the vibes of a rapidly growing city and experience its uniqueness. Chongqing, also on our itinerary, is my second hometown, where I spent 4 years as an art student. I am excited to share with you some of the memories, experiences and contacts I have from these cities!

As a native Chinese speaker, I understand several of the dialects we’ll encounter in China. One of the things I am the most excited about in this travel focused course is getting to chat with different people all along our journey. In this trip we will pass through at least three unique dialects and my expectation is that you should be able to speak at least two of them (just kidding!). While one of my goals is to help you learn my native language know that I will be here to help you communicate with the locals! And Jonas will surely come in handy when it comes to the Tibetan dialect!

One thing I really like to do while traveling is to keep a visual diary. I bring blank postcards, pens and water color paint, then when the moment is right, I try to catch said moment within a drawing or painting. Do you do journal? I highly encourage you to find a medium for capturing the memories we’ll make together on this trip. I’m so excited to paint, draw and explore different forms of art with you all. Another thing I love is looking for post offices and collecting interesting stamps. What are your hobbies and passions? If some of you enjoy drawing and making doodles, definitely reach out to me!

In the attached photo you can see me waving to you all from the Parthenon in Greece! I had the opportunity to travel there last year! There’s always so much fun and learning to be had on the road! To get everything ready for our adventure, I’ll fly to Shanghai a few days before you meet Jonas and Zack in Los Angeles. So, although I won’t be on the group flight with you all, I will be waiting to give you all great, big hugs at the Shanghai airport and then we’ll start our epic adventure together.