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Travel Tips for China; Words of Wisdom from our CCI Guest Blogger

by Kate Lapinski, CCI Work and Travel Employer Services Manager and guest blogger

Our colleagues in the Work and Travel department travel to amazing places, and we were lucky to have Kate Lapinski, CCI Work and Travel Employer Services Manager, share a few tips relating to her recent trip to China. Whether you are looking for a bit of travel inspiration for the day, or researching our teaching positions in China or a high school abroad program located in this fascinating country, Kate’s guest blog post offers some great resources.

Ni Hao!

This will be my third time in China. I’m lucky to go to many really cool and fascinating places for work, but I have a little secret for you….. China’s my favorite (Okay. I really loved Jordan too, but I’ve only been there once so it can’t actually be “my favorite.”)  Those traveling to China have a fantastic opportunity to experience a culture filled with a rich history and tradition.

Going to China and being a good (polite, knowledgeable) traveler requires a little background, so here are some resources to help you prepare. Even if you’ve been to China before, it is important to read and do a little background before your flight.

Ni hao (nee how) means hello.   Xie Xie (shay shay) is thank you.   What else do you want to know? Here’s where you’ll find it: http://www.standardmandarin.com/ChinesePhrases

It is always a good idea to have cash.  How many RMB to a dollar? Find out here: http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert/?Amount=1&From=CNY&To=USD  Also, please don’t forget to call your credit card company!

So– what are you going to do on the 14 hour+ plane ride?   I think you should learn a little bit more about where you’re going!  The books I always recommend are:

  • Postcards From Tomorrow Square: Reports from China by James Fallows
  • Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Trost
  • Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates
  • Story of the New China by John Pomfret.

I’ve started on my reading list for this year’s trip and it includes:

  • Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman
  • China in Ten Words by Alan H. Barr and Yu Hua
  • Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love and Language by Deborah Fallows

Did you know the Vice-President of China was just in the United States? Who’s the Chinese-American playing for the Knicks getting all the attention lately?  Speaking of basketball, do you have any idea how popular it is in China?

FIND OUT! The New York Times does amazing subject guides, and you can find a wealth of relevant, well-edited information about China (including articles, searches by topic, and other recommended websites) here:


I’m also excited to see that One Book, One Chicago – a program presented by the Chicago Public Library that inspires and engages its readers to think deeply about a chosen book selection, has highlighted Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. This collection of short stories by Yiyun Li, offers another resource for learning about China.


About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


One thought on “Travel Tips for China; Words of Wisdom from our CCI Guest Blogger

  1. Hello there! This post could not be written much better!
    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He continually kept preaching about this.
    I am going to send this information to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Posted by e2make.com | August 26, 2013, 9:37 am

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