Walking a Global City: Beijing - Spring Break 2019

Learn more about Walking a Global City: Beijing

  • Program Dates

    Study in Beijing will take place March 9-17, 2019.

    Please note that this program includes a spring semester course that will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays on campus.

  • Information Sessions

    September 18, 2018



    Global & International Studies Building, Room 3067

    September 26, 2018



    Hutton Honors College Great Room

    October 2, 2018

    Hutton International Night


    Hutton Honors College Great Room

  • Course information

    Course Title: HON-H251: Global City Forms: High-Rises, Slums, and Refugee Camps

    Academic Director & Instructor: Edgar Illas

    Syllabus Description: The course explores the spatial forms of the global city. This task faces a fundamental challenge. On the one hand, global cities are precisely known for lacking clear and distinct forms. Many terms highlight the unprecedented amorphousness and dispersion of today’s cities: “megalopolis,” “metapolis,” “ex-urbs,” “informational city,” “technoburb,” “in-between city,” or “exopolis,” to name a few. On the other hand, however, the singular notion of city and the need to identify a form, a “good city form,” continue to be necessary to understand the urban conditions of globalization.

    Rather than studying the city from strictly urbanist or architectural approaches, the course examines a variety of theoretical texts that reflect on the city as a place but also as a question. We will begin by drawing a historical genealogy of the Greek polis, the Italian city-state, the modern metropolis, the colonial city, and the global megacity. The central part of the course will consist in a critical map of continental urban typologies: the European city transformed by tourism and the culture industry; the American city made of suburbanization and ghettoization; the Asian city of endless series of unconnected buildings; and the African city of creative chaos and informal disorder. The last section will focus on the more dramatic aspects of global urban formlessness: the so-called instant city of refugee camps, and the city in ruins of permanent war zones, particularly in the Middle East.

    The Spring Break international component in Beijing, China will complement the on campus course by offering a direct, first-hand experience of urban space in a foreign and yet fully globalized city. Five thematic walks focused on History, Finance, Religion, Knowledge, Sport and Art will organize the content and schedule of the group's time abroad.

  • Program Excursions
    • Daily thematic "walks" to different areas of the city, including:
      • Finance and Architecture: Chaoyang District, China Central Television Headquarters, Taikoo Li Shopping Mall and Galaxy SoHo
      • History and Politics: Tiananman Square, Forbidden City, National Centre for Performing Arts and Wangfujing Street
      • Praying for Prosperity: Shopping and Religion: Dashilanr Street, Hutong and Temple of Heaven
      • The Economy of Knowledge: Summer Palace, Tsinghua University, Haidian District and Zhongguancun
      • Olympic Marketing and Artistic Gentrification: Olympic Park, National Stadium, National Aquatics, Caochangdi Village, 798 Art Zone
    • Attend a performance of the Beijing Opera at the Liyuan Theatre
    • Day trip to the Great Wall of China
  • Accommodations

    Program participants will stay in a hotel in central Beijing, China. The hotel is conveniently located in the city center near shopping malls, public transit, and several excursion sites, including the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. 

  • Costs and Scholarships

    Program Fee - $2550*

    The program fee includes roundtrip transportation from Bloomington to the airport, roundtrip international flights, airport transfers in country, accommodations in Beijing, all breakfasts, some lunches and dinners, transportation to and from all excursion sites, entry fees to all museums and historical sites, student travel insurance, China visa fees, and administrative fees.

    *Program fee is subject to change due to unforeseeable circumstances.

    IUB Tuition

    If you are enrolled as a full-time student during the spring semester and enroll in HON-H251 as part of your block credits, there is no additional tuition cost to participate in Walking a Global City: Beijing.

    Additional Variable Costs

    Variable costs are paid before and after you arrive in China as you pay for meals not covered by the program, snacks, souvenirs, and other personal expenses. You are advised to budget approximately $30 per day to cover these costs.

    Note: The program fee will appear on your bursar bill and is paid directly to IU. See the program fee sheet for more details.


    All admitted program participants are awarded an automatic HIEP Hutton Honors Study Abroad Scholarship of $750 applied directly to the program fee. No separate application is required.

    Note: Program participants are not eligible to apply for the HIEP Grant.

    Please see the IU Office of Overseas Study website for more information on other available scholarships and financial aid opportunities.

  • Resources