In 1984, at the behest of Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang, Sidwell Friends students, teachers, and administrators traveled to China for the first of several summer trips to the country. Presently, the Program offers students regular summer trips to China. Groups usually visit traditional areas of China as well as the large, modern cities of Beijing and Shanghai, where they meet with students and teachers from Sidwell's sister schools. In addition, faculty and staff occasionally travel to China to enhance their awareness and knowledge of Chinese culture. Trips such as these can dramatically raise the consciousness of the School community to Chinese concerns, deepening the commitment of students studying Chinese language and history.