China

Mandarin Language Intensive (4-Week)

A 4-week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
30 Days
Description

Improve your Mandarin language skills through daily 2:1 instruction, carefully selected home-stays and community mentorship.

Dates

Jun 28 - Jul 28, 2017


Suggested Ages

15-18

Number of Participants

12


Availability

closed

Begins In

9 Weeks

Land Cost

$7,165


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,030

Beijing

Xi'an

Hong Kong

Lashihai

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Kunming

Program Overview

Language in China has always been a dynamic and powerful force.


As we enter a contemporary reality of emerging powers and dominant cultural influence, the voice of this great country speaks louder than ever before. Among the educated classes of Chinese society, the written word is considered a powerful indication of a person’s character. In keeping with Dragons’ approach to authentic interaction and communication between peoples of disparate cultures, we offer a strong and unique approach to language immersion and study in China.

Dragons’ Language-Intensive China Summer Program explores the evolution of Mandarin within historical and cultural contexts, while affording students a unique opportunity to experience both rural and urban Chinese life. Dragons’ Mandarin summer programs are based in southwestern Yunnan Province, a region renowned for its natural beauty and ethnic diversity – home to over 25 ethnic groups, including the Naxi, Tibetan, Yi, Mosuo and Bai peoples. The Dragons China language program is unique in that it offers students…

As we enter a contemporary reality of emerging powers and dominant cultural influence, the voice of this great country speaks louder than ever before. Among the educated classes of Chinese society, the written word is considered a powerful indication of a person’s character. In keeping with Dragons’ approach to authentic interaction and communication between peoples of disparate cultures, we offer a strong and unique approach to language immersion and study in China.

Dragons’ Language-Intensive China Summer Program explores the evolution of Mandarin within historical and cultural contexts, while affording students a unique opportunity to experience both rural and urban Chinese life. Dragons’ Mandarin summer programs are based in southwestern Yunnan Province, a region renowned for its natural beauty and ethnic diversity – home to over 25 ethnic groups, including the Naxi, Tibetan, Yi, Mosuo and Bai peoples. The Dragons China language program is unique in that it offers students opportunities for extended rural home-stays in a village setting, providing unparalleled opportunities for linguistic and cultural immersion by allowing students to experience the joys and hardships of rural Chinese life.

Students spend two weeks living with families in Lashihai, a traditional rural community located near the ancient city of Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the home of the Naxi minority people. Lashihai is a lake situated at the base of the 5596 meter Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, surrounded by forests, rolling hills and picturesque villages. When not in classes or with home-stay families, students engage in a variety of activities that allow them to practice their newfound language skills while exploring the natural and cultural beauty of this fascinating region. Sample activities include organizing a riveting “U.S. vs. China” pick-up soccer or basketball game with village teenagers, foraging for medicinal plants with local medicine men, and biking or trekking to more remote ethnic minority villages. Students have the opportunity to learn traditional Naxi dance, visit Buddhist temples, shop at local markets, participate in workshops at a nearby artist colony, teach English to village children, volunteer at an orphanage, and collaborate with local NGOs on additional volunteer service projects.

In addition to rural home-stays at Lashihai, students also enjoy extended home-stays with urban Chinese families in the modern, cosmopolitan city of Kunming. The urban home-stay experience provides a stunning contrast to the slower-paced, more traditional lifestyle of the villages; these two very different home-stays combine to provide students with a balanced and authentic China experience. While in Kunming, students take advantage of the myriad cultural and educational resources that this dynamic city has to offer. Students meet daily at the Dragons Program House for intensive Mandarin instruction (4 hours per day, with options for additional one-on-one tutoring sessions) and classes with local university professors, NGO workers, business professionals, artists, musicians and practitioners of traditional healing arts. A wide variety of topics are available for ISPs, (independent study projects,) including Chinese cooking, calligraphy, traditional Chinese medicine, political history, martial arts and environmental issues. Students also enjoy opportunities for language exchange with local high school and university students and explore local sights such as The Golden Temple, the Bird and Flower Market, and Green Lake Park.

On Dragons’ Chinese Language-Intensive summer program, we expertly combine in-depth and rigorous language study with out-of-the-classroom experiences. With carefully selected workbooks and texts for both beginning and advanced students of Mandarin, we craft relevant lessons to build upon each student’s personally-defined explorations of the language while placing its meaning in cultural context. Our Mandarin-speaking instructors offer precise, relevant language guidance while also providing a vision that encompasses the broad scope of this course’s ultimate goals of cultural and personal discovery.

Students who desire a travel intensive overview of Chinese culture and tradition are encouraged to apply for our China Comprehensive summer program, while students who want valuable work experience in China should consider the China summer internship offered by Dragons. Our gap year China program runs in the fall and spring. Dragons study abroad in China program offers college credit for those wishing to study Chinese in China for credit. Dragons designs the China programs for Princeton University’s China Bridge Year program, a testament to our deep expertise in China.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

2/5
Comparative Religion

Introduction to Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Confucianism, Marxism, Capitalism.

3/5
Development Studies

Minority issues and status, socio-economic issues, health, land-use and environment, tourism, cultural survival.

3/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Language and culture, ancient, imperial and modern history, political studies, development of market economy, gender and race studies.

4/5
Home Stay

10-day home-stay in Kunming, cultural center of Yunnan Province, 10-day village home-stay in Lashihai with Naxi ethnic minority community.

3/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

ISPs facilitated throughout program: Traditional Chinese Medicine, calligraphy, ink painting, Taijiquan / Wushu, tea ceremony, study of ethnic language / customs.

5/5
Language Study

3-4 hours of daily Mandarin instruction, occasional, rudimentary Tibetan and Cantonese, dependent upon itinerary.

2/5
Learning Service

Service project in cooperation with local community in Lashihai. Approximately 10 hours of service credit earned.

2/5
Rugged Travel

Slightly rugged, train and bus travel, village-stay, bike touring.

2/5
Trekking

Short trek at end of course, options for numerous day hikes.

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