Dalian Summer School 2016

Dalian Summer School (Entrepreneurship & Product Innovation)

By way of our first summer school, we are pleased to announce we will be offering a four week school on entrepreneurship and product innovation in Dalian, China.  Dalian (meaning “great connection”) is located in North East China which occupies a strategically important area in Asia, known as the ‘Bohai Ocean Economic Circle’, that includes parts of Russia, Japan & Korea making it one of China’s most thriving industrial and tourist centres. As such, Dalian is a financial centre for the region with the status of a ‘Special Economic Zone’ (focusing on high technology) that boasts one of the busiest ports in China and is frequently listed in China’s top three cities for tourism. Dalian is also regarded as one of the five most internationalised cities in China.

The aim of the summer school will be to combine a sight-seeing holiday, sport and making new friends with some valuable education, imparting valuable skills on Chinese culture, creative thinking and maker capabilities. These are all described below but let’s start with an overview of the city you will be visiting.

The Host Venue –  Dalian City

Typing into Google “Dalian  Top  Sights” will reveal Dalian to be an exceptionally beautiful city, most deserving of its number one tourism rating in China. To get a quick overview of Dalian watch this video, “I love Dalian, never leave“, which will reveal just what an interesting and beautiful place Dalian is. Below is a montage of some of the sights in Dalian, but you will find many more beautiful pictures by searching the web.

Dalian Collage

As can be seen from the images above, Dalian’s is a stunning position; located on a peninsula that is mostly surrounded by water with some of the most beautiful scenery in China, making it a popular tourist destination. On top of that, Dalian is at the heart of the Bohai Ocean Economic Rim which includes China, Korea and Japan making it a place of considerable importance for the future of China. Because of its excellent location, Dalian has enjoyed a fascinating history having had spells hosting the  British, then Japanese and finally the Russians before returning back to China, all of which is reflected in the varied architectural found in Dalian. As such Dalian is a place where you can find spectacular natural scenes, stylish architecture, and prosperous businesses existing in harmony. Its a with full of surprises such as Xinghai Square that covers an area of 45,000 square meters making it the biggest municipal square in Asia and nearly three times larger than Tiananmen Square! However, apart from the impressive built environment, Dalian has some of the best natural scenery in China on its doorstep and if you have time to browse the web try looking up Bingyu Valley,Tiger Beach, Bangchui Island, Baiyunshan Park, Fujia Village and Xinghai Park,  Lushunkou. Taiyanggou (Sun Valley), Baiyu Mount (White Jade Mount), Snake Island, Sea Cat Island or the Golden Pebble Beach. We have selected a set of places that we will take you, which are described in the following section but, of course, you will have free time at the weekend and you might consider some extra activities such as more sightseeing or perhaps shopping.

Tourism and Cultural Visits

Dalian is one of of the top tourist destinations in China because it has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, as the pictures below will illustrate.Apart from scenery, Dalian is a meeting place of the Chinese, Russian and Japanese worlds and, as such offers some of the best shopping opportunities in China. We will organise ample  sight-seeing and shopping trips and, of course, you will be free to organise your own. Each week we will will take you on the following cultural or shopping visits:

Week 1 – Golden Beach (1 day tour)

Golden Beach

Dalian Golden Beach is located in the Yellow Sea in the northeast of Dalian. The beach and climate is amongst the best throughout the country offering fresh air, clean sea water and a beach that extends more four kilometers (2.5 miles) with stunning views. The most splendid view is focused on the eastern peninsula, where geological wonders that formed 600,000 to 300,000 years ago extend along the 8-kilometers-long coast line where rocks of various shapes, some resembling monkeys, dinosaurs and other animals lead it to be called ‘the solidified animal world’. Apart from enjoying the beautiful beach you will get some great pictures!

Week 1 – Dalian Night Tour (1 night tour)

Dalian at night

Dalian is a thriving city with a population of slightly over 6 million people. It has one of China’s largest ports and a thriving economy. Because of its beaches and warmer climate it is a favourite tourist destination. Like all large Chinese cities it has a colourful and active nightlife,glittering in a blaze of electrified light at night, so seeing Dalian is a tour not to be missed!

Week 2- Lüshun City Tour (1 day tour)

Lüshun City

Lüshun, formerly known as Port Arthur, has a rich and colourful history, most notoriously in the twentieth century when in 1904 it became a major battlefield during the Russo-Japanese War, resulting in Lushan enduring more than 40 years of Japanese. It was not until the Soviet Union disarmed the Japanese at the end of the 2nd World War, that Lushun was returned to China. As a result of this cruel history, Lushen now houses an impressive museum that that stands a memorial to that bloody period of history and makes a fascinating and informative spectacle for visitors. Although Lushun is now a district of Dalian, that has only been the case since 1950 when the two cities were amalgamated to form the city of Lüda which, in 1981, was renamed Dalian. Apart from its fascinating history Lushen has some spectacular vistas and attractions that will fill your day.

Week 3 – Dalian North Pole Aquarium (1 day tour)

North PoleAquarium 2

Dalian North Pole Aquarium is currently the largest polar aquarium in the world with collections of polar bears, polar belugas, sea elephants penguins, dolphins, sharks, and many other types of animals, birds and fishes, mostly from the very cold parts of the world and, as a result, visitors find themselves in a ice-snow world all year.

North Pole Aquarium

It is truly massive with 153 polar animals (11 species), around 3,000 fish and over 300 sharks . There are regular performances by dolphins and people are allowed to touch some of the animals such as fur seals, sea dogs and sea lions. The Aquarium was awarded a top 5A (five star) award by the National Tourism Administration. You will have a great day there!

Week 4 – Shopping Tour (1 day tour)

Dalian Shopping

As Dalian occupies a strategic trading position (the ‘Bohai Ocean Economic Circle’) joining the markets of Russia, Japan, Korea and China it provides some of the best shopping opportunities in the world ranging from street markets to  skyscraping shopping malls and stores that you can wander around at your leisure, searching for bargains! Interestingly, Dalian is known as Fashion City, hosting the annual Dalian International Fashion festival each September, which is renowned in the Far East. China is also renowned as being the factory of the world, producing every conceivable gadget that are all available to buy somewhere in this magical city. Thus, as you will discover Dalian is veritable paradise for those wishing to find bargains to take home, so come with plenty of space in your suitcases!

All Weeks – Technology Experience (various visits)

Dalian Software Park

China is at the forefront of technology production and consumption, so we aim to give you a taste of this by taking you to a leading science park (The Dalian Software Park) and high-tech entertainment centre (The Dalian Wanda IMAX Film Theatre).

The Dalian Software Park is part of the Dalian Hi-Tech Zone that was created in 1998 on the western suburbs of Dalian which, because of the strategic location of Dalian, attracts key companies from Japan, Korea, Russia and China. As a consequence, it’s also the place that many western companies chose to be. Dalian is one of China’s eleven “National Software Industry Bases” and one of five “National Software Export Bases“. There are over  500 enterprises operating out of the Dalian Software Park, 41 percent of which are foreign-funded, including around 40 ‘Fortune 500’ companies such as IBM, HP,  Sony, Hitachi, NTT, Oracle, Panasonic, NEC, Accenture, and British Telecom etc.

The Dalian Wanda IMAX Film Theatre (Cinema) is part of a small network of film theatres that seek to increase the visual impact of cinema by creating ultra-high resolution film, allowing massive screens (or allowing  the viewer to sit much closer to the screen), providing a stunning experience (IMAX is an acronym for Image MAXimum),.A standard IMAX screen is 22m × 16.1m  but can be significantly larger (for those of you with a technical appetite, IMAX uses 70mm film with equivalent of 18,000 lines of  horizontal digital resolution, compared to normal cinema that uses 35mm film with only 6000 lines of resolution. Currently (2014), there are only  934 IMAX theatres in the entire world with China (the second largest base after USA) having 25 IMAX film theatres. The Chinese venture is a collaboration between the  IMAX Corporation (the Canadian developers) and Wanda  (the largest cinema chain in China). Anyway apart from the impressive technology, we hope your visit to the Dalian Wanda IMAX Film Theatre will be a memorable and fun experience!


The Dalian summer school is a 4 week residential course based around 3 modules; Entrepreneurship, Product Innovation and Making (organized around Intel’s revolutionary SFP approach). The lectures are structured into two blocks; the first two weeks provide the business theory and principles of entrepreneurship while the second two weeks teaches students Intel’s science-fiction prototyping methodology and how to make working product prototypes( based on ‘maker activities‘). Class exercises will be built into the lectures to develop critical analytical and problem solving skills which will include case studies, brain-storming and practical construction giving students key creative skills to excel in education and business. Self-study periods will occur after formal learning hours and will aim to enable students to review lectures, complete supporting work (using worksheets) or deal with any student-centred learning issues that may arise. Classes will comprise 3 hours per day from Monday to Thursday, with Friday being used for business and cultural visits, providing a total 48 concrete learning hours  for this four week school programme. The final day of the school be set aside for students to present their overall achievements from the course in the form of a presentation and demonstration of their work which will be assessed by a panel of judges who will award prizes and certificates. This is intended to contribute to the student’s motivation, feedback and fun.

In more detail the course has the following structure:

  • BLOCK A – Entrepreneurship (weeks 1 & 2)
  • BLOCK B – Maker Workshop (week 3 & 4)

Week 1 & 2, is especially suitable for science and engineering students who have an interest in business as it will  introduce students to entrepreneurship, opportunity identification, idea-generation, feasibility-analysis, financing and business planning. It also includes an insight into the Chinese business environment  and will include external entrepreneur speaker sessions from successful Chinese entrepreneurs. Week 3 is aimed at anyone with an interest in developing their creative skills as it introduces Intel’s Science-Fiction Prototyping product innovation methodology (which can be use for almost any kind of innovation). Week 4 should interest anyone wishing to gain a basic understanding  about technology (including students with no prior knowledge of computing or electronics) through introducing the ‘Maker Movement’ and walking  participants through the process of creating a smart-phone application (App) which they may take away from the class. If you have questions about your suitability for any of these modules, please email our ‘Dalian-School-Adviser‘.

The participant’s learning experience also will be built upon the quality of a strong academic team of internationally renowned experts. Teaching is fully informed by the research interests of the lecturers to ensure the connections to up-to-date knowledge coping with constant changing trends of business environment worldwide. All lecturers have professional experience gained in the UK, Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

Fees (in American Dollars)

You can chose to attend for the whole 4 weeks (2 blocks), or just 2 weeks (1 block). The cost is $1,799  (approx £1,190 GBP, or 28,000 MXN Pesos) per block (2 weeks) or $2,999 (approx £1,980 GBP, or 46,690 MXN Pesos) for 2 blocks (4 weeks); the latter includes a $600 discount for taking both blocks. Note, the costs are given in US dollars. These charges are inclusive of all activities in China (including course fees, social outings, accommodation, food and transfer from/to Dalian airport) but excludes the cost of your travel to/from Dalian. We trust you will find these costs to be exceptional value for a 2-4 week educational holiday in China.

Liaoning Normal University (LNNU)

LNU Campus

Liaoning Normal University (LNU) is located in Dalian, one of the most beautiful coastal cities in China. It can trace its roots back to1951 as one of the first teachers colleges in new China. In 1983 it became Liaoning Normal University, having 11 departments which have now grown into  21 schools, colleges offering118 disciplines for mater degree, 27 disciplines for master degree and a graduate school with 5 post-doctoral research centres offering, 32 disciplines. Over the past 62 years, the university has marched together with the motherland,  graduating over 200,000 students. It currently consists of 1876 staff, teaching 15,000 full-time undergraduates and more than 5,000 postgraduates. As one might expect of a coastal University it has a highly regarded marine departments such as the bio-pharmaceutical engineering technology research center. Of  particular relevance to this summer course, LNU boasts 17 entrepreneurship and innovation projects on the national level, and 60 on the provincial level. The university is proud of its international outlook having established ties with some 85 overseas universities and research institutions in 16 countries and will be especially pleased to welcome overseas students to this summer course.

Supporting Activities

Dali Cashmere

While staying in Dalian students will receive invited lectures by Chinese entrepreneurs, visit several representative Chinese firms and have opportunity to explore the rich Chinese cultural heritage. For example, one Chinese firm you will visit is Dali Cashmere (see above picture), which manufactures high quality cashmere based on an innovative manufacturing facility inspired by the SciFi film, Transformers.

And Finally ….

Finally we hope you will find this programme of sightseeing, social events and education attractive. The course involves various activities that attract prizes and certificates that we will distribute at a closing ceremony which will include a small ‘farewell party‘. We hope this will provide a fun and fitting end to what will have been a memorable summer school 🙂