PROGRAM NAME: Experience China
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: Skagit Valley College
PROGRAM DATES:August 23- September 9, 2014
PROGRAM APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 1, 2014
PROGRAMS OFFERED: Can be taken for elective credit SSC 297 Travel/Study Experience for 5 credits (additional credit fees apply) or can elect to receive no credits.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Spend four weeks in Summer 2014 in China with Skagit Valley College’s Experience China program open to SSCC students.
The primary focus of this tour is to journey as a team to the remote villages of Yunnan province to work with a partner organization devoted to helping village communities by empowering minority children through culture, art and music. Activities may range from washing windows to harvesting vegetables to teaching children basic academic skills. In this way, we hope team members will gain a better understanding of life and culture in a developing country, respect for the people who live and work there, and an appreciation for the value of engaging in long-term, mutually beneficial relations between communities in developed and developing nations. We will also use our me in China to learn more about its amazing history and culture through visits to its modern capital, Beijing, and its ancient capital, Xi’an.
- Visit China’s capital, Beijing, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.
- Stay in student dorms on the campus of Beijing Foreign Studies University, hear lectures from prominent professors about Chinese life and culture, and interact in casual settings with Chinese students and faculty.
- Travel to the ancient capital of Xi’an, home of the Terracotta Warriors, one of the archaeological wonders of the world.
- Visit “the real China” in the rural mountain villages of Yunnan province ‐ live and work among local ethnic minority villagers, learn about their unique culture, and assist a local NGO working on art and music projects with village children to help reinforce pride in their culture for their own success and for the sustainability of their community.
- College credit is available (but not required): Register for Cultural Interactions in an Interdependent World, International Studies 202 (5 credits), Summer Quarter, Skagit Valley College
This study tour is sponsored by Skagit Valley College and led by Ted Maloney, long‐time faculty member in law and international studies. Ted was SVC’s exchange professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University in 2005‐07, and led the College’s four previous study/service tours to China. He currently serves as the College’s director of global initiatives and recruiting liaison to China. Contact Ted at 360‐416‐7774 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This tour is open to students, faculty, staff and community members, 16 years of age or older.
SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS: WARNING!
This tour is not suitable for everyone. It is a fast‐paced trip with significant me spent living in rugged rural areas seldom visited by foreigners (with minimal or no western style facilities) , and at the invitation of an organization that depends on maintaining local good will to do its important work. As a result, space is limited, and final selection of participants will be made based on an assessment of an applicant’s cultural sensitivity and ability to endure the rigors of a physically and mentally demanding journey. Although we would wish that everyone who wants to go would be able to, we cannot guarantee that will happen. If you are interested in joining the tour, you must submit an application form (download at www.skagit.edu/chinatrip
) and you may be interviewed prior to selection.
$3200 (USD) per person, double occupancy, including international airfare (minimum 10 people – international airfare is estimated at $1200; unforeseen price increases could affect total trip cost). Every effort has been made to keep this trip as affordable as possible, especially for students. There will be no 4 or 5 Star hotels, but accommodations in the cities will meet acceptable standards of safety and cleanliness. In rural areas living conditions will be safe but more rustic.
Round‐trip transport from SVC’s Mount Vernon campus to SeaTac airport, round trip air fare US‐China, domestic travel in China, admission fees and guides, accommodations and ground transportation, some meals, and medical evacuation insurance. Travelers age 60 and over must pay an additional insurance surcharge.
Visa and passport application fees; Travel Cancellation and Protection Insurance; vaccinations; course tuition; some meals, personal items and souvenirs. Participants should expect to bring at least $200 cash for some meals, personal expenses and a few souvenirs. Those wanting to purchase many souvenirs for gifts should plan for a larger personal budget. An ATM card from a major US bank is highly recommended.
A valid passport is required and is the responsibility of the participant. Passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of departure on August 23, 2014. For more information on obtaining a passport, visit www.travel.state.gov
Once you are accepted for the trip, the $300 deposit is not refundable. Other sums may be refunded only to the extent allowed by vendors (agents, air carriers, tour guides, etc.) and when not needed by the program to avoid cancellation of the entire trip. If the minimum of 10 travelers is not met, the trip will be canceled and all deposits and payments will be refunded, excepted amounts forfeited due to vendor policies.
Due to the physical demands of portions of this trip, a statement from your medical doctor confirming you are healthy enough may be required. If you have any health conditions, check with your doctor. Make sure you have enough medication before you leave. You will not find a western pharmacy or medications in China. You may need certain vaccinations before traveling to Asia, especially since we will be in rural areas. Contact your local County Health Department (or another medical source) early in case you need a series of shots.
Recommended website for medical information: www.cdc.gov.travel/eastasia
April 1 Application Deadline ($300 deposit) (Download application at www.skagit.edu/chinatrip
April 8 Selection notification
April 15 First Payment Due ($1450)
May 15 Final Payment Due ($1450)
May 24 Pre‐Departure Workshop #1* (Time and location TBD)
July 26 Pre‐Departure Workshop #2* (Time and location TBD)
Aug 23 Depart by van from SVC Mount Vernon campus for SeaTac and flight to Beijing
Sept 9 Arrive SeaTac from Beijing, return by van to SVC Mount Vernon campus
*Attendance at BOTH workshops is MANDATORY.