• China
    • Shanghai
    • Kunming
    • Beijing
Subject Areas
Asian Studies International Business Service Learning

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
High School Diploma Bachelors
Apartment Host Family


Starting Price
Price Details
The program price is $2885 with an optional Beijing trip for $985. Our program fee does not include visa fees or the cost of international airfare to Asia and back home.

Items Included in the Program Price

- Morning class or language exchange (two - four students)

- Afternoon activities

- Weekend academic excursions listed in the program, including admission tickets

- Accommodations

- Meals all day (except on weekends)

- A cellphone, SIM card and a small credit for in-country calling

- All domestic airfare and ground transportation to sites in the itinerary

- Unlimited public transport for all program activities while in Kunming

- Detailed in-country orientation within the first days

- 24/7 staff support
Nov 16, 2019
Mar 15, 2022
8 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

To understand China as a whole, a student must go beyond the modern and highly developed cities of Beijing and Shanghai and visit cities in the heart of China's vast interior, like Kunming. Here, during weekdays, all students will participate in language classes. During afternoons, students will participate in one of the activities like volunteer service learning in local non-profit organizations, internships, language exchange or one-one tutorial sessions.

While during weekends, students will spend many days exploring Yunnan, Lonely Planet's top choice in the country. They will visit ancient towns of historic and cultural importance within Yunnan. Students will see many locations in Yunnan; to the ancient walled city of Dali, Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage, Tiger Leaping Gorge, a magnificent canyon on the Jinsha and Western Hills, a sacred Daoist mountains.

This program is currently not being promoted on Go Overseas by its provider. Check with Minds Abroad for the most up-to-date information regarding the status of this program.

Program Reviews

4.89 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • 5 rating 88.89%
  • 4 rating 11.11%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.55
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.7
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 9 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

finally had a chance to study mandarin in china, had a great august in kunming

I attended Minds Abroad in 2019 and had a great experience. my main goal was on language immersion as i'd been studying mandarin for a couple of years and though i knew a lot it didn't all click together and i coudln't really have a conversation. so spending a solid month in an intensive chinese program, with chinese native teachers and also chinese students on the program, was just what i needed. i was also placed in a volunteer site in the afternoon where no one spoke english (aside from the chinese student peers that were taking part in the program too). but that was an enviorment where all the kids and teachers at the ngo we were volunteering at could only really understand chinese so i was able to practice. weekends were fun traveling around the province, very eye opening. .

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Scorpions on a stick on the optional Beijing weekend. It was in Wangfujing walking street area.
63 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience in Kunming, glad I went before Corona

I had a great summer 2019 with Minds Abroad in Kunming. I did their Study+Travel program in Kunming and we travelled all around Yunnan Province. I made a lot of friends not only from the US but from China, which was great. It was awesome being able to get to know and spend a lot of time with local Chinese kids who are a similar age to me, we've kept in touch though now no one can travel back and forth. This was a really fantastic experience, something I will always remember and I'm really glad to have gone before the pandemic hit.

What was your funniest moment?
Definitely hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge was amazing. It was a slog getting up to the upper gorge but an incredible experience once I was there
65 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A life changing and amazing experience for my two girls..I recommend this program without any reservation..:):)

My daughters attended Minds Abroad’s Yunnan S+T Program, last year and it was a wonderful experience for them. The program was a perfect combination of Mandarin classes, volunteering at local schools for underprivileged kids and weekend excursions to places in and around Yunnan.

Since my daughters are 15 and 17, the Mandarin lessons put together for them were customized according to their needs, levels and age group. The class size was limited to only 5 students, which was great in a way. This ensured one-on-one, individual attention. The classes were arranged in a spacious, airy room of the office of Minds Abroad and they were fun-filled , engaging as well as intellectually and creatively stimulating. The tutor was a middle-aged, highly knowledgeable local school teacher and my girls connected with her on many levels. She helped my daughter settle into the life in Kunming and was focused on getting their basics right from the very beginning. She gave a lot of stress on perfecting the tones and I am really indebted to her for my daughters’ new found interest in one of the most complicated yet beautiful languages of the world, Mandarin.

My daughters went to various places of historic and cultural interest in Yunnan over the weekend. Their guides were fantastic and a treasure-trove of knowledge. Many of the sites that they covered were out-of-the-beaten track, not frequented by a lot of tourists. Their top favorite was the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Though the trek up the gorge was arduous and needed a lot of stamina and tenacity, it was worth it. The program associates of Minds Abroad were also extremely hard-working and punctual and they went out of their way to make sure that our girls had a wonderful experience. I am really thankful to Leah, an associate I particularly became friends with. She was extremely kind and lent a sympathetic ear to all my woes and complaints. I overwhelmed her with phone-calls, wechat messages and emails from time to time and she put up with my tantrums like a saint.

She occasionally took the students to explore various nooks and crannies of Kunming outside of her normal work hours. Spending those few precious days in Kunming has been an eye-opening and life-changing experience for my girls. My daughters are thankfully more grateful for what they have. They have made lots of friends, while they were at Kunming and at the school they volunteered at.

77 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a lifetime experience

Being able to immerse myself into the Yunnan culture with Minds Abroad, for a month, was one of the best experiences of my life. The staff on the program made me feel at home from the day that I got to Kunming to the day I left. I really enjoyed being able to teaching English to kids in poverished areas because it really opened my eyes to see the lifestyle people live in those parts of Kunming. The places we visited were beyond anything that I have ever seen and being able to experience the beauty of Yunnan everyday was outstanding. My favorite weekend trip away from Kunming was the Tiger Leaping Gorge because I was able to hike through mindblowing, snow caped mountains with all of my friends that I had made on the program. I became very close with many of my friends on the program and being able to experience everything with them made the experience even better. The only part of the experience I didn't like was leaving but I will never forget my once in a lifetime experience.

81 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Could It Really Be Done?

Legend has it that Tiger Leaping Gorge got its name because a tiger once escaped a pair of hunters by jumping over the narrowest point in the Gorge. My question is: Could a tiger really leap the Gorge?

Before addressing the jump I must make it clear that there must be Tigers in the Gorge. Now many tigers may like the quick pace and bustle of the city, and they certainly would have no shortage of delicious food there, but Tiger Leaping Gorge is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place in Yunnan. Thus, I think it would natural draw many tiger tourists to go on the incredible hike.
One must also consider that on a tigers first day of hiking they would likely have a scenic van ride up a very twisty road. After the drive they are likely to arrive at trail head which takes them up the ever intriguing 28 bends, a trail that may be tough for some tigers, but is definitely worth it! The tiger must also make sure that they pack plenty of water and not too heavy of a pack because their shoulders will surely be sore at the end of the day if they do. It is also vastly important that any tiger who loves a good view, who doesn't, should bring a phone or camera that they can take breathtaking pictures on to take home and show their families.
Half way through the first day of hiking a tiger is going to get hungry, which is why there is a wonderful Tea and Horse rest house where they can enjoy a variety of wonderful meals. This stop will surely give them the energy to continue their hike throughout the Gorge until the sun begins to come down and they must find shelter. This shelter is provided at the Half Way hostel, which is easily the best shelter a tiger could find. They will also enjoy an incredible balcony with the best view in the Gorge. After a great nights rest in their comfortable room, the tiger will enjoy another delicious and nutritious meal before embarking on day 2 of their hike. The second day will not be as rigorous as the first, but the waterfalls and fog hidden mountain tops will provide for some incredible pictures. After a large breakfast the many goats that the tiger encounters will not make his stomach growl, though they may encourage them to take a video of them bleating, and subsequently lay that video over one of their favorite Taylor Swift songs. The hike down the mountain will not be as difficult as the one up, but tigers must watch their footing and be careful not to slip. Upon reaching the bottom of the Gorge they will likely drive to the river which carved the Gorge, and watch the roaring waters rush by. They can also take a picture next to a statue of themselves which is placed by the river.
Now the question must be answered! After an amazing two days of hiking, which included incredible views, exciting treks, delicious food, swanky mountain hostels, and an experience of a lifetime, I would have to conclude that a tiger would be so ecstatic to experience the rest of their trip in Yunnan, that they would leap the Gorge with ease, and vault into their next life experience!

What would you improve about this program?
Looking back, there is very little I would change about this program. There were times when I felt that there was not a concrete plan, like when we were trying to coordinate a meeting time and place for our trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge, but every doubt or misunderstanding I had was quickly cleared up. I also think that it takes a little while to acclimate yourself to a new city, and to learn to operate in a different culture. This change in environment may have affected my feelings about planning, because things were not always conducted in the way I was used to. Overall, there are no glaring problems that I feel need changing.
86 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Minds Abroad Kunming Study and Travel Program

Minds Abroad was an absolutely amazing program. Most weekdays started with a Mandarin class in the morning, taught by a teacher who produced a great environment for learning Mandarin. This class would be followed a meaningful internship, in my case it was teaching English in an impoverished area. Then we'd usually finish up the day with some sort of fun activity. The best part of the program though, would have to be the weekend excursions, the best excursion being our two day hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge (breathtakingly beautiful). Also, the staff needs to be mentioned- the Minds Abroad staff were all super charismatic and intelligent allowing for an extremely enjoyable experience for the full duration of the program.

84 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

perfect combination of classes, weekend travel, and volunteering

The layout of this program was great. It was a very nice combination of morning classes wherea were taught Mandarin, going to volunteer in afternoons and weekend trips to places in the himalayas like dali, lijiang and shangrila. The mix was perfect. You would be ready for a break from intensive classes and then you go to do some amazing travel. I am thinking of staying in kunming a while maybe teaching English, I really enjoy it here

83 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

China/Vietnam with Minds Abroad

I took part in a similar trip last summer! We traveled to Vietnam for an extended weekend, and it was one of the highlights of the trip. Sapa was absolutely beautiful, and it was interesting to experience both the very different Vietnamese and Chinese settings as part of the same travel experience. The other excursions I went on were also incredible: Shangri La, Lijiang, Dali, Shanghai, and of course, Beijing. Classes were intense, but fun, and my Mandarin improved greatly during my four weeks overseas with Minds Abroad. Overall, a definite highlight of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
Minds Abroad participants in Kunming live in different places throughout the city, and during the evenings in Kunming, time was very, very open and unstructured. I wish that either there had been more people in my apartment with me, that I had done a home-stay instead (which they offer), or that I had taken advantage of more available opportunities to do stuff within the city of Kunming itself.
67 people found this review helpful.
Response from Minds Abroad

Dear Matthew,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences online. We are so happy that you enjoyed your trip to Vietnam with Minds Abroad! It is also great to know that your Mandarin improved a lot.

Your feedback on our apartment location is really helpful, we will try our best to arrange our student apartments in the same area and put the students in the same apartment with their group. Thanks again for your suggestion. We would love to see you again.

Minds Abroad

Questions & Answers

"The Mandarin lessons put together for my daughters were customized according to their needs, levels and age group. The class size was limited to only 5 students, which was great in a way. This ensured one-on-one, individual attention." That answer is from our community member Jennifer. It looks like depending on your prior language knowledge and which afternoon project you work on, this will vary...