Our Host Village: Xizhou

Microcampus students are very fortunate to call Xizhou their home during the Microcampus experience. Located just 20 minutes north of Dali Old Town in Yunnan Province, China, Xizhou has a long tradition as a warm, welcoming place for guests to settle in.

Yunnan Province is known as the most ethnically diverse areas of China, and Xizhou is no exception. Most of the village population consider themselves Bai Minority (白族), with significant Hui (Muslim) and Zang (Tibetan) presence in the nearby villages. Given its location along the historic Tea Horse Trail trade route, the idea of "outsiders" passing through is a normal part of everyday life--just as it has been for centuries. The relationship among these ethnic groups--and their comfort level with interacting with guests--is viewed by local people as something that makes their community a better place.

Xizhou is a long way away from the students' home in Shanghai in so many ways. In addition to being 2000 kilometers from Shanghai, the natural environment contrasts with student experiences in China in every possible way: clean air, interesting scenery, blue skies, dry, crisp air, hundreds of bright stars at night. With the perfect conjunction of high altitude (2000 meters/6600 feet above sea leve)l and low latitude, Xizhou enjoys beautiful year-round weather.

How wonderful to have such an amazing place to become immersed in "real China" . . .