China: Language, Cultures, and Ethnic Minorities
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The China: Language, Cultures, and Ethnic Minorities program includes educational excursions designed to complement and enhance classroom study and field-based activities. These excursions provide students with experiential learning opportunities for a broader and deeper understanding of course content. Such excursions may include:
- A lecture on Islam in China held at a local mosque during Friday prayers
- An introduction to Buddhism given in a Buddhist temple complex
- A discussion of the role of NGOs in China held at the offices of The Nature Conservancy
- An explanation of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Yunnan Provincial Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital
- A talk on China's ethnic minorities and China's minority policies at the Yunnan Nationalities Museum
During excursions, students may witness firsthand a Dongba shaman go into a trance; the agile and fluid motions of a Daoist master; the selfless dedication of workers at a Tibetan orphanage; an audience with a reincarnate Tibetan lama; and choral singing at a Christian Miao (Hmong) minority village. Educational excursions enhance students' understanding of the region by allowing them to directly observe the dynamics affecting ethnic minority communities in China and to apply concepts introduced through their coursework.
Minority Areas Field Excursion
The two-week minority areas excursion includes the Bai areas of Dali, the Naxi ancient town of Lijiang, and the Tibetan areas of northwestern Yunnan. The itinerary changes each semester to include less visited sites and rural areas vital to understanding modern China and its vast inequalities. Students engage with local residents through visits to religious temples and monasteries, nature reserves, local markets, orphanages, schools, and factories. Immediately preceding the Independent Study Project (ISP) period, this excursion forms the core of the travel portion of the program, and exposes students to myriad possibilities and contacts for their ISP.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: China, Kunming
Language Study: Chinese (Mandarin)
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