Photo by Parker Pflaum, China Semester.

Study Abroad China

Mountains, Deserts & Megacities

A 3-Month College Study Abroad Program

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Duration
105 Days
Description

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture and develop a broad understanding of the drivers and challenges confronting the world’s second largest economy.

Spring Dates

Jan 24 - May 9, 2018


Spring Availability

closed

Fall Dates

Aug 29 - Dec 12, 2018


Fall Availability

open

Number of Participants

12


Suggested Ages

College students

Spring Begins In

15 Weeks

Fall Begins In

46 Weeks

Land Cost

$14,325


Estimated Flight Cost

$1,750

Kunming

Beijing

Xi'an

Chengdu

Xiahe

Program Overview

Engage in a semester abroad to EXPLORE THIS DYNAMIC AND EVER-CHANGING LANDSCAPE.


Dragons College Study Abroad semester in China does more than introduce the contemporary China that is seen in the country’s burgeoning cities; our program takes us deep among this country’s various demographics, allowing us to learn across disparate landscapes. Strong language curriculum and a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary exploration of modern Chinese history and economic development, society, and cultural tradition are combined with travel and wilderness exploration opportunities around the country.

Located southeast of the Tibetan Plateau, Kunming serves as our home for a significant portion of the program. From this “city of eternal spring,” we engage in  academic learning, with daily classes and lectures from Dragons instructors, local professors, and community activists. We’ll study minority relations, economic reforms and development, environmental concerns, and China’s rich history. In addition to lectures, our stay in Kunming features discussions and mentored…

Dragons College Study Abroad semester in China does more than introduce the contemporary China that is seen in the country’s burgeoning cities; our program takes us deep among this country’s various demographics, allowing us to learn across disparate landscapes. Strong language curriculum and a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary exploration of modern Chinese history and economic development, society, and cultural tradition are combined with travel and wilderness exploration opportunities around the country.

Located southeast of the Tibetan Plateau, Kunming serves as our home for a significant portion of the program. From this “city of eternal spring,” we engage in  academic learning, with daily classes and lectures from Dragons instructors, local professors, and community activists. We’ll study minority relations, economic reforms and development, environmental concerns, and China’s rich history. In addition to lectures, our stay in Kunming features discussions and mentored community-engagement, exploring traditional Chinese approaches to healing, cooking, body discipline, art and music. While in Kunming, students live with Chinese host families, many of whom represent the “new class” within contemporary society. Students gather daily at the Dragons Program House for Chinese language study and to participate in lectures given by visiting scholars.

In addition to our time in Kunming, the College Study Abroad semester includes travel segments, with options to sink deep into Central Asian culture in China’s northwestern provinces, traverse the dramatic valleys of the Hengduan Mountains in Northwestern Yunnan, connect with lost Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries, or cross ancient stone bridges to link Southeastern villages. With a broad curriculum and an itinerary designed to explore both thriving urban centers and rural villages, our China College Study Abroad semester offers an unparalleled comprehensive overview of today’s China.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Student Profile

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

Students can take 12-16 credits during the semester abroad.  The total program cost varies based on the number of credits students choose to enroll in during the term. The tuition and fees listed below are inclusive of land cost and tuition costs.

Tuition and Fees

Land Cost Additional Tuition Cost Total Cost
$14,325 $3,600 (12 credits) $17,925
$14,325 $4,800 (16 credits) $19,125


Tuition and Fees Include:

  • 12-16 credits and a transcript from Dragons School of Record
  • All program-organized travel and excursions
  • Pre-departure preparation and in-country orientation
  • All accommodations and most meals
  • Supplementary lectures and special events

Note: Tuition and fees are made based on current circumstances in the host country but are subject to change.

Personal Expenses (Estimated)

Some expenses are discretionary and vary based on individual student preferences. Expenses that are not accounted for in tuition and fees may include flight costs (estimated at $1,750), personal local transportation, immunizations, academic and ISP supplies, some meals, visa, medical insurance and expenses, and other personal expenses.

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

Dragons faculty possess a rich blend of extensive academic training, unique life experience, and field-based teaching skills. Whether working for local and transnational NGOs, conducting primary field research in remote communities, or founding their own organization abroad, all share one similar quality: the desire to provide students with the most complete and exceptional educational experience possible.

With a 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio, no other study abroad program approaches the level of personal attention and mentorship available on a Dragons program. Our faculty challenge you academically and physically, draw you into an unsurpassed community of curious peers, and carefully guide you through transformative experiences that enliven and inform your academic career at your home institution.

Academics

On this College Study Abroad program in China, students have the opportunity to enroll in 12-16 semester credits. This program offers four college-level courses (4 credits each). In addition to work done in the classroom, Dragons College Study Abroad semesters are designed to provide students with the experiential opportunities to develop language competence, regional knowledge, intercultural leadership abilities, and research skills.Naropa University Logo

Dragons has partnered with Naropa University to offer four interdisciplinary courses for credit that extend from our Core Curriculum. The for-credit college courses we offer 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:

  • Regional Seminar – China in Transition (ANTH 250; 4 credits) –This course provides students with a solid background in modern Chinese history, setting the stage for a grounded understanding of the myriad social issues that China faces today. This course surveys issues related to education, public health, environment, civil society, economic development, law, gender, ethnic minorities, human rights, and popular culture. Taught by faculty and guest lecturers, students engage local experts in discussion, including local professors, development workers, business professionals, health care practitioners, scholars and artists. Lectures are supplemented with readings, films and field trip to schools, health clinics, and local non-governmental organization (NGO) project sites. In addition, our travels in China take us to communities where these issues are vividly displayed, providing invaluable opportunities for study and reflection.
  • Contemplative Intercultural Development and Leadership (ANTH 211; 4 credits)–Drawing from culturally diverse models of leadership and epistemology, this course examines topics such as intercultural communication skills, various leadership styles, and the roles and responsibilities of global citizenship.
  • Independent Study Project (ISP) (ISP 325; 4 credits)Each student conducts an in-depth study on a subject of their choice with the support of an academic advisor and local mentor. Students build key ethnographic research skills and practice working in cross-cultural partnerships. Typical ISP projects include: research on water issues in Southwest China, the role of women in modern China, comparative medicine, or a focus on the arts.
  • Mandarin Language Study Level I, II & III (CHIN 150/250/350; 4 credits) 
    • CHIN 150 Mandarin I -Students participate in regular formal Mandarin lessons which focus on increasing vocabulary, improving grammar and pronunciation, and learning to read and write Chinese characters. Additionally, students are assigned customized language projects that give them the opportunity to practice their language skills and develop the oral proficiency necessary to converse with native speakers. Experiential activities such as field trips to markets or temples and guided interaction with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction.
    • CHIN 250 Mandarin II -The four language skills – speaking, listening, reading, and writing – introduced in CHIN150 are reinforced. Students in this course develop language skills in a linguistically appropriate manner. Students participate in formal Mandarin lessons which focus on increasing vocabulary, improving grammar and pronunciation, as well as building on previously studied Chinese characters. Additionally, students are assigned customized language projects that give them the opportunity to practice their language skills and develop the oral proficiency. As with other Mandarin courses, experiential activities supplement formal classroom instruction.
    • CHIN 350 Mandarin III – This course is designed to develop advanced comprehension skills as well as advanced competence in spoken Chinese through exercises, drills, and conversation in class. Students continue their study of the written language by reading extended dialogues on various topics in class, as well as completing a number of written assignments, including short essays on aspects of daily life. Students participate in formal Mandarin lessons which focus on increasing vocabulary, improving grammar and pronunciation, as well as building on previously studied Chinese characters. Additionally, students will be assigned customized language projects to further develop oral proficiency necessary to converse with native speakers. As with other Mandarin courses, experiential activities supplement formal classroom instruction.

Click on the download button below to view course syllabi.

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Program Components

3/5
Comparative Religion

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

5/5
Development Studies

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

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Ancient, imperial and modern history, political studies, social issues in modern China, development of market economy, gender and race studies, cultural and environmental preservation, Chinese philosophy.

5/5
Home Stay

5-6 weeks of urban home-stay in Kunming, one or two rural home-stays in Yunnan, Guizhou or Sichuan villages.

3/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

ISPs facilitated throughout program: Traditional Chinese Medicine, calligraphy, ink painting, environmental issues, Tai Ji Quan (Tai chi)/martial arts, tea ceremony, ethnic minority studies, internships with local businesses, NGOs or English schools.

4/5
Language Study

Intensive daily Mandarin Chinese instruction, options for additional one-on-one tutoring sessions and opportunities for language immersion throughout.

2/5
Learning Service

Small volunteer project in cooperation with Yunnan or Sichuan-based NGOs.

3/5
Rugged Travel

Moderately rugged: extended train and bus travel, village home-stays, bike touring, limited camping.

2/5
Trekking

5 to 7-day trek in foothills of Tibetan Plateau, 2-day Great Wall hiking and camping, options for numerous day hikes and/or additional multi-day treks depending on student interest.

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