Study various aspects of contemporary China since 1978, focusing on social and cultural development in mega-cities like Chengdu and a culturally diverse Western frontier region like Sichuan province. The program will be comprised of two parts: Firstly lectures focusing on Modern China and research methodology, team dynamics, surveys, interviews, participate observations, research report writing and presentations. Secondly, experiential learning, specifically focused on rural education and urban culture. You will also participate in interesting cultural immersion activities not often encountered by tourists or pedestrian learners, such as Chinese church services, environmental studies, minority cultural preservation, and migrant labor studies. In addition, you will encounter various service learning opportunities, such as teaching English in rural elementary schools.
The 5-week intensive course will be offerred in a team format. Undergraduate students will be able to take the course for 6 semester credit hours, encompassing both classroom learning and field work. In addition to written exams, students will be required to submit team reports, individual essays and oral presentations on what they have learned. High school seniors may take the course either for-credit OR participate with less in-depth reading and report writing to earn a certificate of participation issued by g-MEO in conjunction with Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Beginning language students who desire to acquire an introductional level of Mandarin language skills have the option to sign up for a 3-week, non-credit program prior to the beginning of the course.
Standard double occupancy rooms for international students at the Chengdu American Center on the campus of Sichuan University. Single occupancy rooms are available at extra cost. Please reserve early to secure your room.
$5500 for the regular program, $7000 for the combined regular program and 3-week short language-course. Click here for what is included, and additional expenses, including meals, airfare and miscellaneous. Program fee is $400 less for students who do not require housing in 5-week program and $600 less for students in 8-week program.
Deadline for Summer 2014 is April 30th.
Chengdu has a population of over 14 million, and is a booming economic center. China's "Go West" policy aims to build Chengdu into a financial and cultural center on par with Beijing and Shanghai. It abounds with urban energy and entrepreneurial dynamism; its new subway system opened in 2010. Yet with a balmy, sub-tropical climate and a slower pace than Beijing or Shanghai, Chengdu is known for its quality of life. It is famous for its world-class cuisine, leisurely tea houses, local opera and historic temples.
Chengdu is a regional transportation, logistics and export hub, and has five industrial and high-tech zones, which are home to more than 160 Fortune 500 companies. The IT sector, including software and semiconductors, has grown particularly rapidly. Other industries include automobile manufacturing, aviation, petrochemicals, new energy, new materials and bio-pharmaceuticals. These close-by industrial zones offer opportunities for internships and hands-on experiences.
It is also easy to escape Chengdu to hike or cycle through timeless rural villages, Buddhist and Taoist temples and monasteries, and mountain preserves. For those interested in wildlife and biodiversity, Chengdu is close to the Giant Panda Breeding Center and the Wolong Nature Reserve. There are two recently excavated archeological sites - Sanxingdui rivals the terracotta warriors of Xian in importance, with breathtaking bronze objects over 4,900 years old. These nearby sites can also form part of your studies.
Further afield in Sichuan, to the north, there's the Jiuzhaigou Valley, a national park with breathtaking blue lakes, waterfalls, forests, and snow-covered mountains. To the south, Emei Shan, one of China's four most famous Buddhist mountains. To the west there are the high-grasslands and the Himalayas, home to ethnic Tibetans. And Chengdu is a perfect launch pad for trips further afield to Guangxi and Yunnan, home to more minority peoples.
You can visit the Giant Panda Breeding Center and the Wolong Nature Reserve, and the recently excavated Sanxingdui archeological site. You can also spend a day on the trails at Qingcheng Shan, a holy Taoist mountain. Outdoor activities abound – nearby rural villages, the spectacular Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park and Emei Mountain, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. You will also spend one week visiting other cities in China.
Summer 2014: July 1st - August 2nd for the regular program, June 10th - August 2nd for the combined regular program and 3-week short language-course.