TCD Students and Faculty Participate in First China Study Tour

TCD Students and Faculty Participate in First China Study Tour

16 Aug 2010    

TCD China Study Tour Participants with Apparel and Textile Students from Donghua University, Shanghai

Thirty UNL students, most from the Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design, and six faculty returned on May 27 from a twelve day trip to Shanghai and neighboring textile and apparel production centers in Suzhou and Wuxi. The trip was one of three 2010 UNL Global Gateways projects, with underwriting provided through the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs that supported twenty student scholars and three faculty fellows.

The study tour was led by Drs. Yiqi Yang, Barbara Trout and Department Chair Michael James. Faculty fellows included Associate Professor Amy Struthers of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Dr. Richard Bischoff from the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, and Professor Wendy Weiss from TCD. Over the course of the Spring 2010 semester these faculty and the student participants joined in a reading seminar aimed at preparing them to better understand the destination country and its culture and people. Four monthly meetings provided the opportunity to read and discuss Rob Gifford’s CHINA ROAD and complementary readings selected by the faculty, view the documentary film China Blue about the lives of denim factory workers in one Chinese industrial center, participate in online discussion boards, and share information about traveling generally and about traveling in China specifically.


China Study Tour participants gathered for a group photo after touring Donglong Inc. in Shanghai.

With help from colleagues at Donghua University in Shanghai and Jiangnan University in Wuxi, Dr. Yang put together an intensive twelve-day schedule that offered visits to several textile and apparel production facilities and factories, including Wuxi Fuji Fashion Wear Co., Ltd. and Heilan Group Inc., the largest wool suiting manufacturer in China. Tour participants also had the opportunity to visit World Expo 2010; the 7th Annual Shanghai Apparel Mart’s International Apparel Fair; Shanghai Donglong, a manufacturer of down apparel and products; the Shanghai and Suzhou Museums, homes to many of China’s most important cultural and artistic artifacts; several famed traditional gardens including Yu Yuan Gardens in Shanghai and the Humble Administrator’s Garden in Suzhou; the Imperial Temple in Wuxi, a compound of Buddhist temples and sub-temples parts of which date back 1500 years; and many other businesses and historic sites. The highlight of the visit to Jiangnan University in Wuxi was a joint UNL-Jiangnan student runway show, during which UNL students modeled garments designed and made by TCD majors alongside Jiangnan students and their creations. The exchange also offered the students the opportunity to meet one-on-one and share their experiences as textile and apparel majors in their respective universities.

Jiangnan runway finale

TCD students on the runway of Jiangnan University for the finale of their joint runway show

“I was very proud of our UNL undergraduates and how they conducted themselves throughout the tour,” said Dr. Yang as the students were about to depart Shanghai Pudong Airport for their return to the US. “They knew how to present themselves professionally and were great ambassadors for the university.” The TCD China Study Tour was the department’s first to Asia, and it hopes in the future to expand the destinations to Japan and Korea which, like China, are major Pacific Rim textile and apparel production centers.

at Naivee

Lindsay Sterns and Amanda Bohr review Naivee Company's current catalogue in the design firm's production studio in Shanghai near the beginning of the twelve day study tour

Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design