China

The Yangtze River

A 4-week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
31 Days
Description

Experience life along Asia’s longest river: live with families on the Tibetan Plateau, learn about interconnected environmental realities at the Three Gorges Dam, explore the world’s largest port.

Dates

Jun 28 - Jul 28, 2020


Suggested Ages

16-18

Number of Participants

12


Availability

Open

Begins In

50 Weeks

Land Cost

$7,390


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,010

Shanghai

Chongqing

Yunnan

Program Overview

From its headwaters in the highlands of Tibet to the delta in Shanghai, this program follows the Yangtze River as it rushes nearly 4,000 miles across southern China.


Asia’s longest river has shaped China’s cultural traditions, agricultural practices, regional politics and industrial development for thousands of years. Students on this course will gain firsthand insight into the lives of the estimated 550 million people who live along the banks of this vital waterway.

Our course begins in the northwest corner of Yunnan Province, where the river winds through deep gorges amidst spectacular mountain scenery. In Yunnan, we begin to get a sense of China’s ethnic and ecological diversity, visiting Tibetan Buddhist monasteries as well as Lisu, Yi, Naxi and Pumi communities. From Yunnan, we journey north into Sichuan Province, meeting with farmers and environmental activists in this renowned “Land of Abundance”.

Our downriver journey takes us to Chongqing, a booming industrial city of 10 million, situated at the confluence of the blue Jialing River and the golden Yangtze. Sitting on the banks, we watch as porters haul cargo on bamboo shoulder poles,…

Asia’s longest river has shaped China’s cultural traditions, agricultural practices, regional politics and industrial development for thousands of years. Students on this course will gain firsthand insight into the lives of the estimated 550 million people who live along the banks of this vital waterway.

Our course begins in the northwest corner of Yunnan Province, where the river winds through deep gorges amidst spectacular mountain scenery. In Yunnan, we begin to get a sense of China’s ethnic and ecological diversity, visiting Tibetan Buddhist monasteries as well as Lisu, Yi, Naxi and Pumi communities. From Yunnan, we journey north into Sichuan Province, meeting with farmers and environmental activists in this renowned “Land of Abundance”.

Our downriver journey takes us to Chongqing, a booming industrial city of 10 million, situated at the confluence of the blue Jialing River and the golden Yangtze. Sitting on the banks, we watch as porters haul cargo on bamboo shoulder poles, shrimp fisherman cast their nets, and monks ascend to a Daoist monastery overlooking one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

Taking a break from the intensity of urban life in China today, we retreat to a historic Buddhist monastery outside the city and adopt the daily routine of the monks who live there during our stay. Then, rejoining the masses, 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.

Continuing east, we arrive eventually in Shanghai, where we explore the city’s vibrant cultural scene and unique history. Standing on the docks of the world’s busiest port, we reflect on all we’ve learned about how this river shapes and has been shaped by the millions of people who rely on it for food, transportation, power and inspiration.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

3/5
Comparative Religion

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

5/5
Development Studies

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