For all UPP students, the last week of March is always exciting, partially because with March Madness, students can have a closer look of American college life. But they will also have an exciting trip all the way east to the Outer Banks. The weather was warm, with a little bit of wind and chill, but still a good time was had by all the students as they hung out at the beach.


All of the [email protected] staff really want to see how our students build individual relationships with [email protected] students. NCSU UPP students did meet some new friends and they all agreed that such events gave students from both universities a valuable opportunity to know more about each other.


“I love to meet more friends, and I hope I can learn more about their experience in Greensboro,” Aurora Yinan Ding said.


When the coach bus departed at 6:00 PM on Friday, the exciting journey for students from both institutions started. Although it was drizzling outside, 4-hour road trip was fun. The coach bus arrived at the hotel around 11:00 PM. Although students all seemed ready to sleep, they didn’t forget to give appreciation to our hard-working bus driver.



On Saturday, our wonderful day began at 6:45 AM, when the sun rose.


“That was gorgeous! I haven’t seen a sunrise at the beach for years!” Simon Chenyang Li said.


“We had a long trip yesterday, and the wind was so strong that morning. However, it was sunny, and watching sunrises can give me energy. The mother nature is always telling us how to cherish our life. That was the first time of my life watching sunrises, and sunrises was grand and peaceful.”  Lorrie Chenlu Hou said.



Students cherished this opportunity, and they really wanted to take pictures to share this moment with friends. After a quick breakfast, students headed to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. A national park, the memorial and museum area commemorates the first successful sustained, powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine. The area’s brochure clearly indicated the places of the four successful experiments. We took a large group photo in front of the memorial, then students spent half an hour walking around the park.


“Thank you Erin, now I can see one of the greatest things that humans did in history. People have been dreaming of flying in the sky for thousands of years, and they fulfilled their dream right here in North Carolina,” Lucas Jingyao Jia said.



Then everyone headed down south to Ocracoke Island. It is one of the most remote islands in the Outer Banks, as it can only be reached by public ferry, private boat, or private plane. During the 45 minutes ferry ride, students could get off the bus and hang out on the deck. It was a warm Saturday, and the students took a lot of photos. Some of the students spotted a dolphin in the sea. Upon arriving at the island, students could choose bike riding, visiting the lighthouse or having a delightful seafood dinner. Ocracoke Lighthouse is situated near Silver Lake and has remained in continuous operation since 1823. Students were amazed by the giant lighthouse.


“When I know it’s still working, it was mind-blowing, and I couldn’t imagine how much effort people put on to make this historical landmark working,” Jia said.



In the meanwhile, another group of students decided to have a feast of seafood. This restaurant is called Dajio, themed in New American fare with lots of Southern seafood in an airy, rambling bistro with an outdoor deck. All of the seafood are freshly made every day, and the atmosphere making the students feeling relaxed, and that’s entirely different their urban college life in Raleigh. Students experienced the value difference between the urban and southern island, and we provide a chance enable students to thrive in a variety of cultural environments.


On the last day of the Spring trip, we visited the Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Students visited the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States. The park is located in Nags Head; it is one of the most significant landmarks on the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Just like the slogan says: “always changing, always beautiful.” Along the trail to sand dunes, lots of information were provided, they explain the formation of sand dunes, how they relevant to biodiversity, and ecology facts. We gave students a chance not only just walk around and experience this natural scenery, but also the knowledge behind.



In their full year’s UPP study, students had a chance to experience both Piedmont and the Atlantic Ocean, and they had a hands-on experience on North Carolina slogan “From the Mountains to the Sea.”


“This trip is memorable, and I’m glad that I have a chance to explore the State of North Carolina deeply,” said Roy Jiacheng Wu.


Yizhuo Wu, a student who made a Vlog and posted it on Youtube. He said “I really want to see how others react when I trying to make a Vlog, so I used my cell phone to record this whole trip. It was a memorable trip, especially I traveled with my best friends, and we experienced and learned together.”



As a student at NC State, we value “THINK AND DO”. This trip provided us an opportunity to explore the dynamic nature environments of North Carolina, an experience to meet local people and aware cultural diversity within the United States, and received New Mind’s designated skill development.