China: South of the Clouds Gap Year Semester

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Where There Be Dragons has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos

Airbnb
Airbnb
Homestay
Homestay
Group Photo
Group Photo
Nightlife
Nightlife
Great Wall
Great Wall
Gui Zhou
Gui Zhou
Temple Entrance
Temple Entrance
Emai
Emai

About

With 5,000 years of history and an expansive tapestry of cultures, China generously presents our study abroad adventurers with a fascinating semester experience. Dragons’ Study Abroad semester in China does more than introduce the contemporary China that is seen in the country’s burgeoning cities; our course takes us deep among this country’s various faces and across disparate urban and rural landscapes. Exploring little-seen sides of this vast land, we challenge many preconceived Western notions about this country. We venture into remote areas where China is still dramatically underdeveloped. We explore regions of extraordinary natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Inventive travel experiences are balanced with a strong language curriculum and a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary exploration of Modern Chinese history and economic development, society, and cultural tradition. Our semester program offers an unparalleled comprehensive overview of China today.

Highlights
  • Minority issues and status, socio-economic issues, health, land-use and environment, tourism, human rights issues, cultural survival.
  • Focus on Mandarin language learning in 5 weeks of small-group language classes while living with homestay families in Yunnan
  • Ancient, imperial and modern history, political studies, social issues in modern China, development of market economy, gender and race studies, cultural and environmental preservation, Chinese philosophy.
  • Intensive daily Mandarin Chinese instruction, options for additional one-on-one tutoring sessions and opportunities for language immersion throughout.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

10 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • Housing 9.5
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
female headshot
Laureen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I'd do it all over again, and again, and again

I joined Dragons for the Fall 2017 trip and it was an incredible experience. I met 10 amazing other Gap Year students who I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life and the three instructors were absolutely amazing. They came from all over the world and had such a passion for China and teaching us everything they know and love about it as well as learning new things with us.
Every trip differs just a bit depending on the group but ours did two rural homestays in Tibetan regions and one in Banna (the tropics in the Yunnan province). We also spent a month in Kunming experiencing life in the city and studying Chinese intensively. My grasp of the language accelerated in a way it would never have without that complete immersion and three hours of instruction per day.
I lived and breathed China for 3 months and all I can say is that I can't wait to go back. Thanks Dragons! It was unforgettable :)
-Laureen Akram

Paul
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best way to first travel in China

I attended the 2017 spring semester in China, and it was one of the greatest experiences in my life so far. Of all the programs I looked into Where There Be Dragons seemed like the most immersive travel experience, and I was not wrong. The group travels with local contacts of the instructors, so you never feel like a tourist. After travelling with WTBD I feel capable to travel to China again on my own. I have contacts of my own and have grown close with the group of students and instructors. Thanks WTBD!

What would you improve about this program?
You should be able to use phones throughout the whole program except for during specific activities. I missed out on photos from the first month of the trip which is a bit of a bummer.