Like an American campus? Really?

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The SIAS campus is expansive and beautiful.  Many people told me that it was like an American campus—apparently most Chinese universities are just a collection of high-rises.  But I’ve never seen an American campus like this before.  There are several “regional villages” that are like walking through the world village at Epcot.  Right here behind Peter Hall, there is “European Street”… but first let me show you Peter Hall

This is the outside of Peter Hall, the foreign faculty dorms.

This is the outside of Peter Hall, the foreign faculty dorms.

The lobby manages to be expansive and cozy. The Bridge Cafe has European coffee- that costs as much as a meal does down the street. They put TONS of fresh ginger in their ginger tea.

The lobby manages to be expansive and cozy. The Bridge Cafe has European coffee- that costs as much as a meal does down the street. They put TONS of fresh ginger in their ginger tea.

Reasonable enough.  This looks like an American campus, true.  The streets are lined with trees and it’s clear that the gardening staff is plentiful and takes great pride in their work.

Taken from Peter Hall towards the Administration building

Taken from Peter Hall towards the Administration building

This is looking back at Peter Hall on the way to the Administration Building

This is looking back at Peter Hall on the way to the Administration Building

All very campus-like.  Even the Administration building- with its classic Western architecture on one side and Chinese on the other wouldn’t be too extraordinary on an American campus.  Very nice, but not completely out of the ordinary.

The campus side of the administration building

The campus side of the administration building

There is an ampitheatre

Ampitheatre

Basketball courts and recreational space that is absolutely busting at the seams in the evening

Basketball courts

There’s a pagoda on the hill that I would expect to see on a Chinese campus

The steps are killing me. Seriously.

The steps are killing me. Seriously.

You can see the pagoda lights in the basketball picture above.  Many features have dramatic night lighting.  With the summer being as hot and muggy as it is, when the sun goes down, life begins—and the city and campus reflect that.

There are a few ponds on campus. This one is just to the left of the Administration building.  Having a pond really takes the campus to a new level- more like a park.

Gazebo

Then there’s the waterfall in the stairs leading down to European street.  Now we’re moving beyond park to something quite different.  Very nice office complexes sometimes have features like this.  It makes me wish stairs weren’t such a place of torture for me right now.

Waterfall

Once you’re at the bottom of the stairs, you find yourself in the middle of a European-style piazza

Piazza

Where businesses and students have set up shop in the piazza as well as in the spaces in the lower level of the buildings themselves.

Lower level buildings

The first piazza goes under a breezeway and lets out into European Street

European street

Which lets out into another section of street.  Again, there are shops and restaurants in the lower level.  Student housing is above.

Student housing above

Shops and restaurants

At one end of European Street, there is a university gate and the city of Xinzheng is just beyond.  On the other side of European street, there is SIAS Castle.

SIAS castle

There’s a food court in the lower level of the castle.  Again, student housing is above.  Its lit up magnificently at night.

Turning to your left, there’s this:

Cliff with stairs

Cliff waterfall

And this

Rocks

And in the distance past the stadium…

Past stadium

Which looks like this closer up

Closer up

Which has another piazza, more water features, and a fountain like I have never seen on a college campus.

Fountain

Following the water feature down, there are more student dorms and classrooms

Student dorms and classrooms

Did a panorama of the piazza

Did a panorama of the piazza

Color me mind blown.  Standing in this piazza as the sun rose up, I was absolutely amazed at the vision of the SIAS President.  This was just an idea once.  He built this.  He had this vision of a campus, and this is what he built.  He had to have had people tell him he was insane.  How did he even get people to know what he was talking about?  I suppose its not that different than what I’m doing now in my classes, or what I do with my coaching and training work, I suppose… but this feels so… incredible.  Literally incredible.  If someone told me about a guy having an idea to build something like this, I’d LOVE it, but I don’t know that I’d believe he’d ever get backing for it.

But he did.  I’m standing here.  And there’s still so much more… there’s the opera building, a few other little burros. Classrooms, the library- I haven’t even shown you half of it, and they’re still building! The air was thick with dust tonight that the breeze kicked up.  SIAS is celebrating its 15th anniversary this May, so there’s all the frenzy to get ready that you’d expect of a new campus.

It has to be incredibly inspiring to study business on a campus like this.  To study anything on a campus like this— talk about the medium IS the message… and the message is “Dream Big”

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