Columbia SIPA Students Experiences Sichuan Culture


The China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) recently welcomed the first U.S. student delegation of the year to China. Twenty-nine graduate students from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) visited Beijing, Chengdu and Shenzhen from January 3 to 12, marking the 45th anniversary of normalization of China-U.S. diplomatic ties.

Chengdu was the students’ second stop. During their four days in the city, they visited the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Sanxingdui Museum, Dujiangyan Water Conservancy Project, Tieniu Village, and the State Key Laboratory of Traction Power at Southwest Jiaotong University.

(The students attended the "China-U.S. Youth Gala Dinner" in Chengdu on the evening of Jan 7, 2024. Source: GO CHENGDU)

(The delegation watched face-changing performances — a classic element of Sichuan opera. Source: GO CHENGDU)

(Students learned to make intangible cultural heritage artworks. Source: GO CHENGDU)

At a China-U.S. youth exchange party held in Chengdu, the Columbia delegation interacted with local students and Columbia alumni. Highlights included food tasting and a face-changing performance—a classic element of Sichuan opera.

(Chinese students and Columbia students gathered together and sang "Auld Lang Syne". Source: GO CHENGDU)

(Source: GO CHENGDU)

Patrick Fitz from SIPA said: “It’s important that we the youth take on that responsibility of learning more about each other, and finding ways to work together, even in times of difficulty or when maybe we don't agree. And really, I think an exchange like this is the first opportunity to do that, and to start forming those relationships and forming those bonds."