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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2007


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Following are sample itineraries for our 2008 "China Cultural," "The Modern Miracle," and "China Rugged" programs, which we have developed to better represent the array of goals and interests amongst our China students. In order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, all of these itineraries remain subject to change. Please keep an eye on the Yak board as the spring progresses for additional itinerary-related postings and updates.

CHINA CULTURAL - Sample Itinerary 2008

Week One:

Orientation in L.A. Fly to Beijing: Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven. Begin study of Mandarin Chinese. Hike and camp along the Great Wall. Wander through traditional hutong neighborhoods and speed though modern subways. Marvel at the Beijing acrobats; discuss the legacy of the nomads from the steppe lands with traditional Mongolian BBQ; feast on Beijing Duck; begin survey of political history; meet with academics, business executives and advocates for labor and minority groups. Train to Xian: Terra-cotta Warriors; ponder over ancient history and the unification of China in 221 BC, ideas of national identity, and principles and systems of government. Decide on Independent Study Project topics.


Week Two:

Train to Chengdu: Visit China’s foremost Panda Breeding Center; discuss land use and conservation issues; lessons on Sichuan cooking; Sichuan opera and cultural show; explore Chinese artistic traditions and teahouse culture. Rugged travel to Northwest Yunnan Province: Examine traditional architecture and construction; witness the conflict between rural development issues and tourism, and environmental stresses based on development and consumption. Introduction to Naxi culture and discussion of minority issues. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.


Weeks Three - Four:

Kunming: Urban home-stay with local Chinese families. Visit local NGOs and survey development work in China. Intensive work on Independent Study Projects. Daily language lessons, cultural presentations and seminars at the Dragons Program House. Explore Traditional Chinese Medicine and massage, instruction in Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi), calligraphy, painting and traditional Chinese music.


Weeks Five:
Train and bus to Guangxi, a province that remains dramatically underdeveloped and rich in minority culture: Rural home-stay in the Longji rice terraces; service project addressing environmental conservation and resource use regarding water, non-biodegradable trash and waste disposal; learn about rice farming and sweet potato cultivation. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.

Week Six:
Train to Hong Kong with a quick dash through the karst landscape of Yangshuo. Introduction to the cultural, political and economic differences of China's Cantonese-speaking people; the Chinese Diaspora; the history of Imperialism and Colonialism, as manifested in the Opium Wars; and China's reluctant opening to the West. Discussion on "One Country-Two Systems"; explore the British legacy by visiting Victoria Peak, Victoria Harbor and the infamous Star Ferry; press through the crowds at the Temple Street Night Markets and in hi-tech Mongkok; be overwhelmed at the unbridled conspicuous consumption that makes Hong Kong property the most expensive in the world. Wrap up Mandarin study and present on Independent Study Projects.

(Want to learn more about our China Cultural program? my.wheretherebedragons.com/yakyak.php?source=admin_category&action=display&blogID=657&year=2008&month=03)

THE MODERN MIRACLE - Sample Itinerary 2008

Week One:

Orientation in L.A. Fly to Shanghai. Begin study of Mandarin Chinese. Explore this booming, ultra-modern mega-city. Meet with business professionals, journalists and development workers and learn about the ins and outs of doing business in China’s turbo-charged economy. Tour factories, ports and local businesses. Attend classes in Chinese history, politics, economics. Discuss the implications of China’s rapid economic growth for China, the U.S. and the world. Visit cutting-edge art galleries. Explore the colonial-era architecture of the French Concession and The Bund and discuss the often tumultuous relationship between China and the West. Possible participation in a service project at a school for the children of impoverished migrant workers. Decide on Independent Study Project topics.

Week Two:

Anhui and Jiangxi Provinces. Travel to Anhui, one of China’s poorest provinces that supplies the booming east coast cities with large quantities of domestic helpers and migrant workers. Visit villages where many of the young people have migrated to the cities and explore relevant socio-economic issues. Visit historic villages along the border of Anhui and Jiangxi, some of which date back to over 1,000 years ago. Learn about ancient Chinese history, traditional Chinese architecture and fengshui. Hike a traditional Buddhist or Daoist peak such as Jiuhuashan or Qiyunshan. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.

Week Three:

Travel to Guangxi Province. Explore the stunning limestone karst forests, rice paddies and river valleys of Yangshuo. Hike and bike amongst picturesque rural villages and enjoy a float trip on the scenic Yulong River. Visit night markets and sample local delicacies such as silk worms or bamboo rat—if you dare! Attend classes in Chinese arts and culture. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.

Week Four:

Travel to Yunnan, a province that remains dramatically undeveloped and is a hotspot for environmental and ethnic minority issues. Home-stay with farming families in a rural, ethnic minority village. Service project in collaboration with a local NGO. Continue exploration of issues of socio-economic inequality. Survey of environmental issues and ethnic minority issues. Trek in the foothills of the Himalayas. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.

Week Five:

Overnight bus to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province. Urban home-stay with local Chinese families. Visit local NGOs and survey development work in China. Possible educational tour of a state-owned enterprise (SOE) factory that has recently been privatized. Possible visit to a drop-in center for sex workers and intravenous drug users. Intensive work on Independent Study Projects. Daily language lessons and discussion regarding history and social issues at the Dragons Program House. Explore Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi) and calligraphy. Enjoy traditional musical performances.

Week Six:

Train to Guangdong province. Introduction to the cultural, political and economic differences of China's Cantonese-speaking people, the history of imperialism, and China's opening to the West. Visit the booming Pearl River Delta region and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of Guangzhou and Shenzhen where goods are manufactured and shipped to the West. Meet with business and development professionals. Educational tours of factories and ports. Train to Hong Kong. See the sites of Hong Kong. Wrap up Mandarin study and present on Independent Study Projects.

CHINA RUGGED - Sample Itinerary 2008

Please note that this particular itinerary may change quite a bit if we determine that it is safe to push farther into Tibetan regions and introduce students to the rich cultural and trekking opportunities that these regions have to offer.

Week One:

Orientation in L.A. Fly to Beijing. Begin study of Mandarin Chinese. Visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. Hike and camp along a remote section of the Great Wall. Visit avant-garde art galleries and attend musical and acrobatic performances. Enjoy traditional feast meals, including the famous Peking Duck. Guest lectures with local journalists, business professionals and development workers. Introduction to human rights issues and imperial Chinese history. Visit Olympic sites and discuss issues surrounding the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Decide on Independent Study Project topics.

Week Two:

Train to Hubei. Hike Wudangshan, birthplace of many key forms of Chinese martial arts and an important Daoist pilgrimage site. Daoist monastery stay. Lessons in Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi), kung fu, Daoist arts and philosophy. Explore the wild and beautiful Shennongjia District of northwestern Hubei, known for its old growth forests, medicinal plants and endangered species such as the Golden Monkey (also rumored to be home to the elusive yeti)! Introduction to wilderness safety, expedition planning and leadership. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.

Weeks Three- Four:

Guangxi and Guizhou Provinces. Train to Guizhou, aprovince that remains dramatically undeveloped and is home to several of China’s most interesting ethnic minority groups. Multi-day village-to-village trek through ethnic Miao and Dong communities. Unique village home-stays. Opportunities to participate in local festivals and visit open-air markets. Trek into neighboring Guangxi Province and visit Yangshuo. Hike and bike amongst picturesque rural villages and stunning limestone karst forests; enjoy a float trip on the scenic Yulong River. Visit night markets and sample local delicacies such as silk worms or bamboo rat—if you dare! Learn about rural development issues and Han/minority relations. Continue with language instruction and Independent Study Projects.

Week Five:

Train to Yunnan Province. Visit Zhongdian (recently renamed “Shangri-la”), home to a large community of Tibetans. Trek from Shudu Lake to a remote Tibetan village and enjoy home-stays with Tibetan families. Camp with nomads on yak pastures in the mountains. Visit a major Tibetan Buddhist monastery and teach English to Tibetan children at a local school. Introduction to Tibetan culture, Buddhism and China's political history. Continue with language study and Independent Study Projects.

Week Six:

Travel to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province. Urban home-stay with local Chinese families. Visit local NGOs. Survey of environmental and development issues in China. Intensive work on Independent Study Projects. Daily language lessons, anddiscussion ofhistory and social issues at the Dragons Program House. Explore Traditional Chinese Medicine, practiceTai Ji Quan (Tai Chi)and calligraphy and learn to cook some famous Chinese dishes. Collaborate with a local NGO on a service project. Final banquet with home-stay families. Wrap up Mandarin study and present on Independent Study Projects.

CHINA: A COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY - Sample Itinerary 2007

Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons' China Comprehensive Summer Program 2007. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, future itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course's Yak board for additional itinerary-related postings and updates.

Week One:

Orientation in L.A.; Fly to Beijing: Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, hike and camp along Great Wall. Evening acrobats, traditional feast meals; begin language study and survey of political history; meet with academics, business executives and advocates for labor and minority groups. Visit Olympic sites, and discuss China’s developing status as a first-world power.

Week Two:

Train to Xian: Terra-cotta Soldiers, ancient history, ideas of national identity, further consideration of ethnic minority issues. Train to Chengdu: visit China’s foremost Panda Breeding Center, land use and conservation issues; lessons on Sichuan cooking; exploration of Chinese artistic traditions.

Weeks Three - Four:

Northwest Yunnan Province: Rural village life, quality of life issues contrasting urban and rural populations. Introduction to Tibetan culture, monastery stay, Buddhist studies, minority and human rights issues, camp with Tibetan nomads, community service project.

Week Five:

Kunming: Urban home-stay with local Chinese families. Visit local NGOs, survey development work in China. Daily lessons in Chinese history and social issues at the Dragons Program House. Explore traditional Chinese medicine, instruction in TaiJi Quan (Tai Chi), and calligraphy.

Week Six:

Train to Guizhou, a province that remains dramatically underdeveloped and rich in minority culture: service opportunity and village-stay; meet with local development organizations and entrepreneurs; open-air markets. Travel on to Hong Kong: Travel on to Hong Kong: Introduction to cultural, political and economic differences of China's Cantonese speaking people, the history of imperialism and China's opening to the West. Sites of Hong Kong.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2007

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China Comprehensive: Sample Itineraries 2008

Dragons Administration,China Comprehensive Survey, Group "A", Summer 2007

Description

Following are sample itineraries for our 2008 "China Cultural," "The Modern Miracle," and "China Rugged" programs, which we have developed to better represent the array of goals and interests amongst our China students. In order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, all of these itineraries […]

Posted On

04/10/08

Author

Dragons Administration