China Language Program Photo by Morgan Peirce

Study Abroad China

Summer Language & Cultural Exploration

A 4-Week Summer College Study Abroad Program

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Duration
30 Days
Description

Experience life in rural and urban China while you dramatically improve your Mandarin language skills, engage in multiple homestays, and examine complex cultural issues.

Dates

Jul 10 - Aug 8, 2020


Suggested Ages

College students

Number of Participants

12


Availability

Open

Begins In

43 Weeks

Land Cost

$6,950


Bangdong

Beijing

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Xi'an

Kunming

Program Overview

Language is key to understanding the diversity of China's people and cultural traditions.


In keeping with Dragons’ approach to authentic interaction and communication between peoples of disparate cultures, college students on this program engage in a unique approach to language study in China. On this month-long summer program, we explore the evolution of Mandarin within historical and cultural contexts, while also experiencing both rural and urban Chinese homestays. These experiences provide unparalleled opportunities for linguistic and cultural immersion in multiple Chinese communities.

We spend nearly two weeks living with families in Bangdong, an ethnically Han village about three hours by road from the small city of Lincang. Located in western central Yunnan Province, this village and is a quiet farming community in the hills above the Lancang (Mekong) River. Most of the residents of Bangdong grow and process tea, a product with a long history in Yunnan, with some now shifting their attention to coffee beans. While in Bangdong, we live with homestay families (one student…

In keeping with Dragons’ approach to authentic interaction and communication between peoples of disparate cultures, college students on this program engage in a unique approach to language study in China. On this month-long summer program, we explore the evolution of Mandarin within historical and cultural contexts, while also experiencing both rural and urban Chinese homestays. These experiences provide unparalleled opportunities for linguistic and cultural immersion in multiple Chinese communities.

We spend nearly two weeks living with families in Bangdong, an ethnically Han village about three hours by road from the small city of Lincang. Located in western central Yunnan Province, this village and is a quiet farming community in the hills above the Lancang (Mekong) River. Most of the residents of Bangdong grow and process tea, a product with a long history in Yunnan, with some now shifting their attention to coffee beans. While in Bangdong, we live with homestay families (one student per home), help with household chores and tea production, and join in the routines of the village. During this first portion of the program, our group learn about regional economy, impacts on the local environment, and contemporary social issues like rural-to-urban migration. This learning comes alive through experiencing and observing village life. Our schedule includes daily Mandarin classes (3-4 hours of instruction per day), with classes often held outdoors or in the courtyards of village homes.

In addition, we also will dive into extended homestays with urban Chinese families in the accessible, dynamic city of Kunming. The urban homestay experience provides a stunning contrast to the slower-paced, more traditional lifestyle of the villages; these two very different homestays combine to provide us with a balanced and authentic China experience. While in Kunming, we take advantage of the myriad cultural and educational resources that this dynamic city has to offer. We meet daily at the Dragons Program House for continued Mandarin instruction and classes with local professors, NGO workers, business professionals, artists, musicians and practitioners of traditional healing arts.

On this language program, we combine in-depth and rigorous language study with out-of-the-classroom experiential activities. With carefully selected Mandarin language resources, teachers craft relevant lessons to build upon each student’s individual explorations of the language while placing the meaning of language in cultural context. Our instructors offer precise, relevant language guidance while also providing a vision that encompasses the broad scope of this program’s ultimate goals of linguistic, cultural, and personal discovery.

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Eligibility

Students who participate on a Dragons Study Abroad Program come from all different backgrounds, universities/colleges, and areas of interest. Eligible participants should have completed at least one semester of post-secondary study, be 18 years or older, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale), and be interested in taking part in an experiential semester abroad.  For more information please see our Frequently Asked Questions.


Costs

Tuition and Fees

Type                        Tuition/Fee
Tuition $6,010
Room & Board                   $940
TOTAL $6,950
Tuition and Fees Include:

  • 4 credits and other educational costs
  • All program-organized travel and excursions
  • Pre-departure preparation and in-country orientation
  • All accommodations and meals (excluding personal travel)
  • Supplementary lectures and special events

Note: Tuition and fees are based on current circumstances and are subject to change.

Personal Expenses (Estimated)

Expenses that are not accounted for in tuition and fees may include flight costs, personal local transportation, immunizations, academic books and supplies (e.g. for ISP), some meals, visa, ISOS evacuation insurance, medical insurance and expenses, and other personal expenses. Included below are some estimated personal expenses. Some expenses are discretionary and vary based on individual student preferences.

Personal Expense       Type
$800 Transcript Fee (School of Record Transcript)*
$250 ISOS Evacuation Insurance*
$50/month Medical Insurance*
$30 Academic Books and Supplies (Varies)
$1,500 Flight Cost (Varies)
$200 Personal Expenses (Varies)

*These expenses will be included on your Program Invoice and are not optional.

Scholarships

Dragons is committed to making College Study Abroad programs financially accessible through the offering of scholarships. For more information on scholarships, please visit our Scholarships page.


Faculty & Instructors

College Study Abroad Programs are staffed by both instructors and faculty. All share one similar quality: the desire to provide students with the most complete and exceptional educational experience possible.

Instructors are hired for their in-depth knowledge of a country’s customs and traditions. We strive to have a 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio. As a result, no other study abroad program approaches the level of personal attention and mentorship available on a Dragons program. Our instructors challenge students academically and physically, draw them into an unsurpassed community of curious peers, and carefully guide participants through experiences that enliven and inform academic pursuits.College Study Abroad Programs are also staffed with faculty who teach for-credit college courses. These faculty are either Dragons instructors who are present throughout the term or a visiting faculty member who teaches intensive courses. Dragons faculty possess a rich blend of academic training, instructional experience, and field-based skills. Most of our faculty possess a PhD, or in some cases a MA combined with extensive experience – both practical and instructional. In addition to faculty, we also work with local experts such as experienced language teachers, Independent Study Project mentors, and local guest lecturers.

 

Academics

On this College Study Abroad program in China, students enroll in a language course worth 4 semester credits. In addition to work done in the classroom, Dragons College Study Abroad summer programs are designed to provide students with the experiential opportunities to develop language competence, regional knowledge, and cultural competency.Naropa University Logo

Dragons has partnered with Naropa University to offer courses for credit which focus on building important skills, fostering a concern for global issues, expanding self-awareness and gaining an understanding of pertinent issues in each program area. Our approach is both experiential and conventional, using local resources, expert guest lecturers, excursions, pertinent readings, multi-media, and immersion to provide an intimate, well-rounded and powerful learning experience.

Course options include:

  • Mandarin Language Study Level I, II & III (CHIN 150/250/350; 4 credits) 
    • CHIN 150: Mandarin I 
      (Chinese Language 150; 4 credits) This course introduces students to standard Mandarin Chinese language and is designed for students with no or minimal previous background in spoken or written Mandarin. Students in this course focus on learning essential vocabulary, practicing pronunciation, and understanding simple grammatical structures. This knowledge prepares students to effectively communicate in Mandarin on a limited range of topics related to everyday situations. Students practice listening and speaking in real-life situations, learn to read and write Chinese characters, and examine how culture and language interact in China. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the oral proficiency and confidence necessary to initiate simple conversations. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.
    • CHIN 250: Mandarin II 
      (Chinese Language 250; 4 credits) This course introduces students to more challenging standard Mandarin Chinese language material in order to establish a solid foundation for the use of the language. Students in this course focus on building on past language exposure to improve speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students expand their oral expression abilities by increasing vocabulary, improving understanding of grammar concepts, strengthening pronunciation abilities, focusing on listening comprehension, and building on previously studied Chinese characters. This course introduces new language concepts to allow students to speak about topics pertaining to their daily lives and also focuses on deepening knowledge of Chinese culture and customs. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to engage in basic daily conversations, read simple texts, and write for daily needs. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the ability to appropriately use language and improve proficiency. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.
    • CHIN 350: Mandarin III 
      (Chinese Language 350; 4 credits) This course is designed to develop advanced skills in standard Mandarin Chinese language and is intended for students with extensive prior exposure to the language. This course focuses on consolidating linguistic knowledge and development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students in this course will develop advanced comprehension of and competence in using spoken Mandarin in a wide-variety of experiences. Grammatical functions will be reviewed and incorporated as they relate to particular communication needs. A mix of communicative and interactive methods are used to develop advanced proficiency and materials are drawn from a variety of media sources and texts. In addition, students develop their understanding of the relationship between the Chinese language and culture. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to express sophisticated and nuanced ideas both orally and in writing.  Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.

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Program Components

2/5
Comparative Religion

Introduction to Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Confucianism, and/or Marxism.

4/5
Development Studies

Examine pressing development issues such as cultural survival, socio-economic issues, land-use, minority issues, and environment.

3/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Throughout the summer explore language and culture, ancient, imperial and modern history, political studies, and gender issues.

5/5
Homestay

Participate in a 10-day homestay in Kunming, cultural center of Yunnan Province, and a 10-day village homestay in Bangdong, an ethnically Han village.

2/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

ISPs could include Traditional Chinese Medicine, calligraphy, ink painting, Taijiquan / Wushu, tea ceremony, study of ethnic language / customs.

5/5
Language Study

Study the Mandarin Chinese language intensively for 3-4 hours per day throughout the program. In addition to the 60 contact hours, students have additional opportunities for language immersion throughout the program.

2/5
Learning Service

Learn about the people we visit through a learning service in cooperation with a rural community.

2/5
Rugged Travel

Moderately rugged experiences including extended train and bus travel and a village homestay.

2/5
Trekking

Short trek or day hikes in rural areas of China.