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The China Experience

Program History

11th Annual Summer Law Program in China

About the Program

Getting to know China is no simple matter. Geographically it is the size of a continent and one region or city can be very different from others. Legally, it is a nation in which law is of growing importance, but enacted laws are still eclipsed at times by social or political forces. Touro’s summer program faces these challenges by bringing students to three distinctive areas of China and by offering courses that address not only Chinese statutes but also the philosophical and cultural contexts in which they operate. The academic program also draws on resources from two outstanding Chinese law schools with very different traditions.

The program begins in Hong Kong, a pulsing metropolis and tourist’s delight whose British heritage remains obvious. Students begin their studies with a day at the University of Hong Kong; there is also time to explore the city. Everyone then flies to Xiamen, a small city by Chinese standards, but a magnet for domestic tourism, where all further academic instruction occurs. The program is based in a hotel adjacent to the campus of Xiamen University and across a highway from a bay shore beach. Xiamen law student volunteers join the group for meals and other functions, assist students with language and other issues, and participate in some courses. A distinguishing feature of the program is that American law students are paired with Chinese law students; these peers act as interpreters and guides, adding tremendously to the experience of living abroad. Additionally, Xiamen faculty deliver guest lectures in some courses. There are visits to local courts and law firms and opportunities to interact with local resident foreigners.

Everyone also journeys to Beijing to see the nearby Great Wall and the world-class tourist sites in the city, especially the Imperial Forbidden City. Optional tours are facilitated to other major tourist destinations such as Shanghai, the megalopolis built by westerners and transformed by the Chinese, and nearby Suzhou, as well as Xian, the first capital and home of the army of “terra cotta warriors.” Students who do not opt to pay for these extra tours are offered free regional tours, including a day trip from Xiamen to Quanzhou, from which the great 15th Century Chinese fleet sailed and to a nearby walled city with a distinctive culture that also features a dramatic seaside sculpture garden.

The program is divided into two sessions of about two weeks each. In each session students can choose one of two courses for three credits. Classes will be in the mornings each weekday. Students can come for one or two sessions, earning three or six credits. Only the first session incorporates a Hong Kong stay, but Beijing-area tours are offered to all students. Enrollment will be limited to 35 students. For an expansive view of China and its legal environment, join us this summer.

Touro Law Center reserves the right to modify or cancel a program for reasonable cause, including but not limited to insufficient enrollment, severe political instability, or any serious condition that may threaten the safety of the students. If a program is cancelled, any money paid to Touro by a program participant will be fully refunded within 20 days, except for room and board and transportation payments utilized prior to the date of cancellation; Touro will endeavor to help each enrolled student attend a similar program, if the student so desires.