Learn or improve your Chinese while exploring bustling cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Explore the Great Wall and Forbidden City. Experience rural China through homestays.
July 4, 2018APPLY NOW
This Experiment takes you from vibrant Beijing to the grasslands of inner China. In Beijing, you will deepen your understanding of China’s history through visits to important cultural sites such as Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Great Wall. You’ll have the opportunity to mingle with locals, sharpen your Chinese language skills through formal classes, check out folk music and acrobatic performances, taste fresh foods in local markets, and prepare a typical Chinese meal. You’ll learn even more about China through close interaction with Chinese peers who will join you for part of the program.
Travel by overnight train to inner China, also known as Inner Mongolia, where you’ll see the sun rise over the grasslands, meet herdsmen, taste Mongolian food, and learn about Mongolian culture. Your Experiment continues in the city of Chengde, where you will take Chinese (Mandarin) lessons and bike to nearby palaces and temples during your homestay.
Practice your Chinese language skills during your stay in the Han rural village, Buyang-zhuang, accompanied by your Chinese peers. Together, you will hike scenic mountains and visit the historic city of Qufu, the hometown of Confucius. The program concludes with three days of exploration and reflection in Shanghai, where you will visit sites such as the nearly 500-year-old Yuyuan Garden, Old City, Longhua Buddhist Temple, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
At the conclusion of this program, each participant will earn a language certificate noting the number of hours of language classes completed.
July 4, 2018 - August 2, 2018 (4 weeks)
Beijing, 3–4 days
Chengde,* 6–8 days; Buyangzhuang,* 5 days
Hotels, hostels, and gers
Orientation in Beijing
During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.
Excursion to Inner Mongolia (Thematic Focus)
During this period, you and your group will stay in yurts.
During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample community: Chengde
Travel in Beijing and Tai’an
During this period, you and your group will stay in centrally located hotels.
Rural Homestay Accompanied by Chinese Students from the City
During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample community: Buyang-zhuang
Excursion to Qufu Accompanied by Chinese Students (Thematic Focus)
During this period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.
Reflection and Wrap-up in Shanghai
During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hostel.
Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented above.
These are leader bios from summer 2014.
Born to a family of traveling art teachers based in rural New York, Emerson Gale enjoyed the fruits of cultural discovery from a young age. Attending craft conventions across the US as he grew up, Emerson developed a fascination for multicultural education and leadership. After graduating high school, he studied political science and philosophy at Syracuse University. During his junior year, Emerson lived in China for six months as an international relations and Mandarin scholar as well as an English teacher for underprivileged migrant students in Beijing and Shanghai. He delivered his honors program thesis on education in China.
Also a citizen of the UK, Emerson then served a year with City Year London as a full-time mentor and tutor for high school students. After City Year, Emerson spent a year building living willow structures in partnership with local communities at schools and parks throughout the US. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the California Institute of Integral Studies. In addition to being very passionate about arts in education, Emerson delights in exploring the great outdoors, composing music with friends, and baking tasty treats with his mum.
Raised along the scenic coast of Maine, Julia graduated from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, with a degree in Asian studies and Spanish. Julia was then awarded a Fulbright scholarship to China, where she conducted research on contemporary Buddhist practice. She has since traveled between the US and Asia in various capacities. Julia worked at a Manhattan-based China labor rights NGO, ran educational exchanges in Taiwan and China, and consulted with American schools on international admissions and partnership programs. Returning to study at Harvard Graduate School of Education, she received an EdM in international education policy in 2012. Julia now runs an international student program at The Harvey School in Katonah, New York.
Julia’s passion for travel began as an Experimenter in Costa Rica in 2002. She then spent a gap year after high school in Latin America and India. Her extensive adventures in Latin America, Europe, and Asia include organic farming in Norway and Japan, a semester of study in Spain, and teaching English in a prison in Nicaragua. In addition to Julia’s global interests, she enjoys running, cooking, meditation, and adding maple syrup to everything.
Congratulations on your upcoming Experiment summer on the China: Chinese Language & Traditions program. Please download these important pre-departure documents about your host country and program by clicking on the links below. Visit our Pre-departure page for information about our expectations, communications, and travel planning.
Note: If a document is listed but not linked, please check back again at a later time, as this page will be updated. If you have difficulty downloading these files, email us at email@example.com or call (800) 345-2929.
If you do not yet have a passport, or if you have not applied for one, you should do so immediately.
If you have not had a physical with your doctor since June 2016, make an appointment as quickly as possible, as your medical form must be filled out based on a current physical.