Off the beaten path: Hanyuan, Sichuan

This past December, we took a group of economics students to Hanyuan, a small township 3 hour away from Chengdu in Sichuan province. The students loved it, why? Besides the first-tier city Shanghai and a second-tier provincial capital Chengdu, they got to experience what 90% of China is actually like, closely and safely.

Throughout the trip, the students researched and surveyed the locals on a variety of topics such as business, government’s role, environment, demographic change, quality of life, education, income inequality, and corruption.

They interviewed farmers working in the fields, visited families in the local village, had some in depth “close-the-door-behind” conversations, had dinner with local businessman and government officials (not the super high-ranking ones but you actually learn more from these people), checked out the local waste water treatment facility and a small hydraulic generator deep in the mountain.

They were also rejected at the door to enter a mountain factory. You would find it fascinating to know why.

The ultimate goal of this trip was to give students the opportunity to compare these various aspects in very distinct locations such as Shanghai, Chengdu and this local town.

Nick accompanied the group to facilitate logistics, translation, and ensure service quality and help achieve the educational goals.

If you are interested in knowing more about this trip, please feel free to contact us :




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