Study Abroad China

South of the Clouds

A 3-Month College Study Abroad Program

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Duration
83 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

Feb 7 - May 1, 2018


Spring Availability

closed

Fall Dates

Sep 15 - Dec 6, 2017


Fall Availability

closed

Number of Participants

12


Suggested Ages

College students

Spring Begins In

37 Weeks

Fall Begins In

16 Weeks

Land Cost

$14,325


Estimated Flight Cost

$1,750

Kunming

Beijing

Xi'an

Chengdu

Xiahe

Program Overview

China. Few countries evoke the same curiosity and intense fascination.


With 5,000 years of history and an expansive tapestry of cultures, China generously presents our College Study Abroad students with a fascinating semester experience. Dragons College Study Abroad semester in China does more than introduce the contemporary China that is seen in the country’s burgeoning cities; our course takes us deep among this country’s various faces and across disparate urban and rural landscapes. Exploring little-seen sides of this vast land, we challenge many preconceived Western notions about this country. We venture into remote areas where China is still dramatically underdeveloped. We explore regions of extraordinary natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Inventive travel experiences are balanced with a strong language curriculum and a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary exploration of Modern Chinese history and economic development, society, and cultural tradition.

Kunming – southeast of the Tibetan Plateau, within a few days’ reach of either Myanmar…

With 5,000 years of history and an expansive tapestry of cultures, China generously presents our College Study Abroad students with a fascinating semester experience. Dragons College Study Abroad semester in China does more than introduce the contemporary China that is seen in the country’s burgeoning cities; our course takes us deep among this country’s various faces and across disparate urban and rural landscapes. Exploring little-seen sides of this vast land, we challenge many preconceived Western notions about this country. We venture into remote areas where China is still dramatically underdeveloped. We explore regions of extraordinary natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Inventive travel experiences are balanced with a strong language curriculum and a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary exploration of Modern Chinese history and economic development, society, and cultural tradition.

Kunming – southeast of the Tibetan Plateau, within a few days’ reach of either Myanmar or Laos – is our home for six weeks of the program. In this “city of eternal spring,” we engage in more traditional academic learning, with daily classes and lectures from Dragons instructors, local professors, and community activists. We’ll study Han Chinese/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. In Kunming, students live independently with Chinese host families, many of whom represent the “new class” within contemporary society. At the Dragons Program House, we gather for Chinese language study, work on Independent Study Projects, hear from visiting scholars, and cook traditional meals with fresh foods purchased at the local market.

Two travel segments bookend our Kunming experience, with options to sink deep into Central Asian culture in China’s Northwestern Provinces, or traverse the dramatic valleys of the Hengduan Mountains in Northwestern Yunnan, or connect lost and forgotten 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 undeveloped 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

This program is currently offered during fall semesters only. 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, the 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. Special guests enhance formal classes by guiding students in lessons in various Chinese arts and pastimes, such as calligraphy, martial arts, ink painting and culinary design. Each hands-on experience addresses the importance of these art forms in modern Chinese society. 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)– The process of understanding self in relation to others in our globalized world is essential in the 21st century. The purpose of this course is to carefully examine who we are through the experience of living, learning and engaging in an international context. Students examine global citizenship, develop, examine global citizenship, develop effective leadership skills in intercultural communication and explore the depths of their internal landscape in relationship to the outside world.
  • Independent Study Project (ISP) (ISP 325; 4 credits) This course offers each student the opportunity to conduct in-depth study on a subject of his or her choice with the support of an academic advisor and a local mentor. Typical ISP projects include: research on water issues in Southwest China, the role of women in modern China, comparative medicine, or an intensive focus on the arts: calligraphy, martial arts, photography, for example.
  • Mandarin Language Study Level I, II & III (CHIN 150/250/350; 4 credits) 
    • CHIN 150 Mandarin I – Students participate in daily formal Mandarin lessons for approximately two hours per day while traveling and during extended home-stays with Chinese families. Classes 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. There will be additional opportunities for supplementary one-on-one tutoring sessions with course instructors or local teachers. Students interested in studying Chinese characters intensively may do so outside of class with instructor support.
    • 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 daily formal Mandarin lessons for approximately two hours per day while traveling and during extended home-stays with Chinese families. Classes 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 necessary to converse with native speakers. Experiential activities such as field trips to markets or temples and guided interaction with native speakers will 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 daily formal Mandarin lessons for approximately two hours per day while traveling and during extended home-stays with Chinese families. Classes 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 that will give them the opportunity to practice their language skills and develop the oral proficiency necessary to converse with native speakers.

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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