Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing, Kunming
Director Fall 2012: Professor John Crespi, Department of East Asian Languages and Literature
The China Study Group is designed to give Colgate students, particularly those with majors or minors in Chinese or Asian studies, an opportunity to acquire eyewitness knowledge of cultural, social, economic, and political changes in modern China, and to improve proficiency in Chinese language.
By studying in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Kunming, with interspersed field trips, students will obtain a deep sense of changes and continuities between tradition and modernity in Chinese culture, history, and society. This experience will help students understand how China today grapples with diverse issues in its dynamic processes of development.
The program is hosted in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, by SIT World Learning at Yunnan Nationalities University.
Prerequisites include at least one year’s coursework in Modern Standard Chinese, and Core China, Women in China, or another background course on China as approved by the director.
The program equals one semester at Colgate. Students are expected to carry a four-course load. The following are required unless special arrangements are made in advance for independent study:
CHIN 481 China in Transition: Professor J. Crespi
This course focuses on topics central to the social, economic, and political transitions in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to such topics as family and social life, education, ethnic and geographic diversity, ecology, economic growth, political development, and international relations. Issues that are most important to present-day China and its emerging role in the world are explored through readings, videos, guest lectures, and discussions, supplemented by field trips to schools, farms, factories, and other sites. The goal is to arrive at understanding through both analysis and experience. Classes begin in Taiwan and continue in Hong Kong and Beijing.
CHIN 482 Topics in Chinese Culture: Professor J. Crespi
This course takes materials from literature, film, art, music, performance, and various forms of popular culture to focus on the long tradition of Chinese culture as well as the personal experience of people living through the changes and continuities discussed in its companion course, China in Transition. It also focuses on the implications of tradition on China’s most pressing issues and their solutions. Guest lectures, readings and discussion are enriched by visits to museums and temples, attendance at performances, and face-to-face meetings with scholars, artists, performers, and others. The goal is to develop sensitivity and imagination as well as understanding. Classes begin in Taiwan and continue in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Chinese Language: Oral. SIT/Yunnan Nationalities University Faculty
This course emphasizes speaking and listening, through the use of drills, conversation, and audiovisual materials. It meets 10 hours per week.
Chinese Language: Written. SIT/Yunnan Nationalities University Faculty
This course is designed to improve reading and writing skills through textbooks and supplemental reading material. It meets 5 hours per week.
For Chinese language courses, Colgate students are divided into two groups according to their proficiency levels in Chinese.
The Study Group will first fly to Taiwan at the end of August and spend 8-9 days in Taipei and Kaohsiung. In Taipei, the group will learn about the profound changes in Taiwan, especially the process of democratization in a Chinese culture. In Kaohsiung, we are hosted by National Sun Yatsen University’s Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, and will learn about economic changes and visit factories and cultural sites. This will be followed by a bus tour around the island of Taiwan to visit tea plantations and sites of cultural and historical interest. We will then fly to Hong Kong to be briefed by local scholars and to visit cultural and historical institutions through arrangements by the Office of International Student Exchange at the University of Hong Kong. After close to a week in Hong Kong, the next leg is Beijing, where the group will spend a full week visiting sites of historic and cultural interest, attending lectures, and spending a couple of days in a rural village near the Great Wall.
In mid-September the group will fly to Kunming and take classes on the campus of Yunnan Nationalities University until the middle of December. During the stay in Kunming, the group will make a major field trip through ethnic minority regions of Yunnan province. The itinerary, which includes a rural home stay in the historic Tea-Horse Road town of Shaxi, will bring us to the Daoist and Buddhist mountains Weibaoshan and Shibaoshan, the Naxi minority town of Lijiang, and the high-altitude Tibetan region of Zhongdian. We will see and discuss the great internal diversity of China: city and country, north and south, center and periphery, Han majority and ethnic minority, etc. A shorter, three-day field trip will explore the Bai minority area of Yunnan’s Dali and Xizhou. Schedules and itineraries will be finalized in Spring 2012.
In place of Colgate’s week-long mid-term recess, students will have three class days off in early October during China’s National Day Holiday, and two days off in late November during Thanksgiving. Students may choose to travel independently during these breaks.
Planned extracurricular activities
Colgate students will be paired with Chinese conversation partners at Yunnan Nationalities University for language and cultural exchange. Arrangements also will be made for students to meet informally with Chinese people from all walks of life and to visit and stay overnight in the homes of Chinese families in the city and countryside, including a two-week home stay in the city of Kunming.
Except for the period of the home stay, students will be housed in double rooms in foreign student dormitories.
Costs above Colgate’s tuition include room and board, airfare, and necessary out-of-pocket expenses. On the average students can expect to spend $4,000-$5,000 more than a semester on campus. These increased costs are used in calculating the aid packages of students who receive financial aid, provided this is their first study group experience.
Students who are planning extensive personal travel will need to increase their budget accordingly. Estimate of Student Expenses China Study Group
The deadline to apply has already passed.
All inquiries about the Group may be directed to John A. Crespi
General Information East Asian Languages and Literatures Department