China Gap Semester – Yunnan Province
- Daily Mandarin Language Classes & Immersion
- Living with Host Families
- Fieldwork with Local Experts
- Academic Study
- Independent Travel in China
Each gap year program group consists of 18 students and 3 Program Leaders.
Airfare: $1,500 (varies based on itineraries and fuel costs)
2014 Fall Semester: Sept 7th to Dec 7th, 2014
2015 Spring Semester: Feb 26th to May 28th, 2015
Itinerary – 13 weeks:
Orientation in Kunming – 1 week
Unit 1: Sustainable Agriculture – 5 weeks
Unit 2: Public Health & Traditional Medicine – 5 weeks
Enrichment: Independent – 1 week
Culmination in Washington, D.C. – 1 week
You’ll acclimate to China among the temples and parks of Kunming, the city of eternal spring. You’ll learn to travel with cultural sensitivity and start Chinese classes. You’ll hold the first discussions of the curriculum and meet with your mentor to set your goals for the semester. You’ll complete health and safety training and team building activities that unite your group. Together, you’ll explore the temples dotting the mountain sides in the Western Hills, play mahjong at Green Lake Park, and learn to confidently explore the city.
Unit 1: Sustainable Agriculture in Rural Yunnan
Tremendous population increases over the past 60 years have pushed us to develop ways to create huge increases in food production. Farmers use technology to increase crop yields, but these often bring pollution, impoverish small farmers, and threaten food safety. Your group will investigate how farmers, government, and businesses cooperate to balance demand for food with the ecosystem in Yunnan province. You’ll live with a rural farming family to see the path from field to plate in a country with over 8000 years of agricultural history.
Unit 2: Public Health & Traditional Chinese Medicine
Meeting the health needs of 1.3 billion people is challenging. Cultural diversity, geographical variation from mountain peaks to coastal floodplains, and a wide range of diseases compound this task. You’ll live in the city of Kunming and investigate how a country with thousands of years of medical knowledge meets the health needs of its citizens while respecting its past.
Enrichment: Independent Travel
You will use the language and cultural adaptation skills gained from the first two units of the program to independently explore the highlights of Yunnan province. With the support of the Program Leaders, you and a small group of your peers could explore Shangri-La and trek the Tiger Leaping Gorge along the upper Yangtze River. You could travel up into the eastern edge of the Himalayas to visit the 400 year old Ganden Sumtseling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. Or, you can head south and explore the tropical Xishuangbanna and its wealth of ethnic diversity.
Culmination in Washington, D.C.
While traveling the world teaches many things, the greatest lessons are those we learn about ourselves. You’ll explore the relationship between the US and the rest of the world. You’ll meet representatives from the World Bank, Congress, and NGOs to discuss international development. You’ll reflect to bring together your learning and experiences into powerful conclusions in a final project to raise awareness about critical global issues. You’ll celebrate your accomplishments.
Gap Year Alumnus Karl L. Explores His Role as Teacher
Our Program Partners: Yunnan Center for Cultural Learning and Development (YCCLD)
TBB’s gap year programs are different from all the others. Follow the link to learn how.