Photo by Shelby Marcus (2014 Summer Photo Contest Finalist), China Comprehensive Summer Program.

China

Change and Tradition

A 6-week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
42 Days
Description

Experience urban and rural realities in today’s China: explore mega-cities and remote mountain villages; discover the ethnic tapestry that is modern China.

Dates

Jun 28 - Aug 8, 2020


Suggested Ages

15-17

Number of Participants

12


Availability

Closed

Begins In

41 Weeks

Land Cost

$7,410


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,010

Beijing

Xi'an

Chengdu

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Guizhou

Program Overview

When you visit China for the first time, it doesn’t take long to realize that everything is changing at warp speed.


Old neighborhoods of wooden houses are demolished to make way for 80-story buildings. Streets once filled with bicycles are now jammed with shiny new cars. Buddhist monks read ancient sutras from iPads, and millions of rural farmers move between home and work in the city to support their families. New highways, rail lines and airports are underway virtually everywhere, in a race to keep up with 1.4 billion people on the move. If you want to understand the world we live in, there’s no way to ignore China. On the Change and Tradition summer program, we travel to remote communities where ethnic minorities strive to balance traditions with new opportunities. We visit dense urban neighborhoods where demolition is underway and learn about how life is changing as developers move in and residents relocate. As we travel across China by foot, train, bus and boat, we learn just how diverse it is. We witness the amazing capacity of people in China to adjust and adapt, and with each new experience…

Old neighborhoods of wooden houses are demolished to make way for 80-story buildings. Streets once filled with bicycles are now jammed with shiny new cars. Buddhist monks read ancient sutras from iPads, and millions of rural farmers move between home and work in the city to support their families. New highways, rail lines and airports are underway virtually everywhere, in a race to keep up with 1.4 billion people on the move. If you want to understand the world we live in, there’s no way to ignore China. On the Change and Tradition summer program, we travel to remote communities where ethnic minorities strive to balance traditions with new opportunities. We visit dense urban neighborhoods where demolition is underway and learn about how life is changing as developers move in and residents relocate. As we travel across China by foot, train, bus and boat, we learn just how diverse it is. We witness the amazing capacity of people in China to adjust and adapt, and with each new experience we take on, we challenge ourselves to do the same.

This program is Dragons version of an “Introduction to China” and part of what makes it unique is that our journey changes each year as we encourage our instructors to explore new areas and teach to their passions and interests with their intrepid students. Past Change and Tradition groups have hiked to mountain villages in Guizhou to learn how bamboo is harvested, bonded with Tibetan host families amidst the stark beauty of Qinghai Province, lived like monks at a historic Buddhist monastery in Chongqing, journeyed into the Gobi Desert, rehearsed Beijing Opera postures with a master performer, and worked on an ecological farm in Sichuan.

Each summer’s program has some important things in common: We travel through several provinces with a very ambitious goal: trying to get a sense of China as a whole. We spend time in some of the most remote corners of China, hiking beyond roads and learning about life for people on the periphery. We spend time living with rural host families, following the daily routines of farmers and herders. We visit cities of millions still unknown to many Americans, learning about the massive economic and social changes that have taken place over the last few decades. We meet artists, environmentalists, researchers and entrepreneurs, school children and migrant workers. On this journey we get to know an incredible variety of places and people, with outlooks and experiences very different from one another and from our own. By the time we head home, having made friends, asked questions, and embraced so much that is new, it’s not the differences that stick with us, but all of the things we have in common.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

3/5
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, human rights issues, cultural survival.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Ancient, imperial and modern history, political studies, development of market economy, gender and race studies, cultural and environmental preservation, and applied Buddhism.

2/5
Homestay

Unique homestay in Qinghai Tibetan village or Guizhou village.

2/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

ISPs facilitated throughout program. Past students have focused on Traditional Chinese Medicine, calligraphy, ink painting, Taijiquan / Wushu, tea ceremony, study of ethnic language / customs.

3/5
Language Study

Instruction in practical Mandarin, occasional, rudimentary Tibetan or other minority languages, dependent upon itinerary.

2/5
Learning Service

Join in work initiated by communities in Qinghai, Chongqing and Yunnan. Approximately 20 hours of service credit earned.

3/5
Rugged Travel

Moderately rugged, extended train and bus travel, village homestay, Buddhist monastery-stay

2/5
Trekking

3 to 4-day trek in foothills of Tibetan Plateau, bamboo forests of Guizhou, options for numerous day hikes.