Students go on a hike in rural China. Photo by Parker Pflaum.

China

The Yangtze River

A 4-week Summer Abroad Program

Enroll
Duration
29 Days
Description

Experience life along Asia’s longest river: live with families on the Tibetan Plateau and learn about interconnected environmental, cultural, and economic realities.

Dates

Jun 28 - Jul 26, 2022


Suggested Ages

16-18

Group Size (4:1 Ratio)

12 Students
3 Instructors


Availability

Open

Begins In

23 Weeks

Tuition

$7,950


Tuition Details

Tuition is all inclusive aside from airfare and insurance fees.

Shanghai

Chongqing

Yunnan

Program Overview

From its upper reaches in the mountains of Yunnan to the delta in Shanghai, this program follows the Yangtze River as it rushes nearly 4,000 miles across southern China.


As of December 2021, travel to China and Taiwan remain effectively closed to foreign travelers. Should travel become feasible over the coming months, Dragons plans to resume our China & Taiwan programs in 2022. However, if travel restrictions do not open up in the region, we ask that you select a back-up Dragons program so we can ensure that you still have an amazing travel experience in 2022.

Asia’s longest river has shaped China’s history, culture and economy like no other feature of the landscape. Students on this course will gain firsthand insight into the lives of the 550 million people who live along the banks of this vital waterway.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the dramatic mountain gorges of the Yangtze’s upper reaches in Yunnan Province
  • Learn about…

As of December 2021, travel to China and Taiwan remain effectively closed to foreign travelers. Should travel become feasible over the coming months, Dragons plans to resume our China & Taiwan programs in 2022. However, if travel restrictions do not open up in the region, we ask that you select a back-up Dragons program so we can ensure that you still have an amazing travel experience in 2022.

Asia’s longest river has shaped China’s history, culture and economy like no other feature of the landscape. Students on this course will gain firsthand insight into the lives of the 550 million people who live along the banks of this vital waterway.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the dramatic mountain gorges of the Yangtze’s upper reaches in Yunnan Province
  • Learn about environmental issues in China and the importance of flood control and irrigation in Chinese history
  • Travel from Tibetan villages in China’s remote southwest to Shanghai, the world’s busiest port

Beginning in Yunnan Province, where the river winds through deep gorges amidst spectacular mountain scenery, we begin our exploration of China’s ethnic and ecological diversity, visiting Tibetan Buddhist monasteries as well as ethnically Lisu, Yi, Naxi and Pumi communities. Our downriver journey takes us next to Chongqing, one of the fastest growing cities in the world. In this “Mountain City”, porters still haul cargo on bamboo shoulder poles amidst a forest of towering new skyscrapers and luxury shopping malls. We learn about the city’s role in modern Chinese history and the devastation of the Japanese invasion during a time when Chongqing was China’s capital. From Chongqing, we travel by boat 360 miles downstream to the world’s largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam, learning about issues related to economic development, environmental destruction, and China’s age-old struggle to control water resources. We also explore the folk stories and poetry that make this area so renowned throughout China.

Continuing east, we conclude our journey in Shanghai, where we explore the vibrant cultural scene and unique history of the world’s busiest port, and reflect on how this river shapes and has been shaped by all of the people who rely on it for food, transportation, power, and inspiration.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

3/5
Religious & Spiritual Traditions

Introduction to Buddhism, Daoism, Confucian thought, and Marxism.

5/5
Social & Environmental Justice

Development, energy and environmental issues, water, land-use and resource management.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Environmental studies, ancient and modern history, political studies, ethnic and regional diversity

3/5
Homestay

Unique rural home-stay (subject to change in the event of government restriction)

1/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Focused on observation/documentation of issues related to the river, place comparisons

2/5
Language Study

We engage in basic Mandarin, Chinese dialect, and Tibetan language study

1/5
Learning Service

Limited service opportunities due to the political climate of many areas we visit

3/5
Rugged Travel

Extensive train and bus travel; domestic flight; hiking; remote village stay

2/5
Trekking

Hiking in Tibetan areas of Sichuan and Yunnan