Keep checking back for exciting updates on our new and improved China Adventure program!
This travel program is designed to provide a three-week enrichment experience for high school students in contemporary Chinese language and culture. Students admitted into the program will spend four days living on the MSU campus taking intensive courses in Chinese language, history, and contemporary culture. At the end of the four days, students depart for a 14-day journey in China. They will travel to the cities of Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Shanghai, China. Applicants for this program should be open-minded, willing to accept new challenges, and have an interest in Chinese culture.
During the residential portion of the program on the MSU campus, students will be located in the Snyder-Phillips/Mason-Abbot dormitory complex. This complex features newly renovated rooms and a state-of-the-art dining facility. Classes on campus and travel in China are led by faculty from MSU.
** The China Adventure Travel Program is aligned with Iowa State University’s Targeting Life Skills Model, encouraging development of the following areas:
Learning to Learn
Students eligible for the China Adventure program must
- Be open to new experiences in a culturally unfamiliar environment
- Have a desire to work in an academically challenging environment
- Be in Grades 10, 11 or 12
Additionally, students must have the following
- A student essay
- GPA of 3.5 or above
- Documentation of strong standardized test scores (PLAN, PSAT, ACT OR SAT)
- Two recommendations: one from an educator, one from an adult(non-relative
- Current transcript
This travel program will introduce students to the exciting field of Chinese studies. While at MSU, each day will begin with a three-hour class on history and contemporary culture of China. Topics covered include the physical and cultural geography of China, an overview of Chinese historical themes, creation of a unified China, Confucianism and the Confucian state, introduction of Buddhism and the creation of the Daoist religion, poetry and literature, the Silk Road, international trades and the dispersion of ideas, religions and inventions, the coming of the West and its challenges, the rocky road to revolution and the establishment of the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC), and finally, understanding contemporary China through literature, music, politics, and economics. Each afternoon will begin with a two hour Chinese language class based on the first year textbook and taught by a MSU language instructor.
The travel portion of the course provides students the opportunity to experience fascinating lectures along with exciting site visits within the cities of Beijing, Xi’an, Suzhou, Chengdu, and Shanghai:
Students begin their journey at the Lansing airport on Thursday, August 2nd, then connect at Detroit Metropolitan airport for their overnight flight to Beijing.
After arriving at the Beijing airport the evening of Friday, August 3rd (Day 1), students will check into their four star hotel and prepare to begin their adventure the next day.
Day 2 brings a visit to the Forbidden City, the ancient seat of Chinese Imperial power, along with Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven. After dinner, students will enjoy a demonstration of the traditional Chinese practice of wushu, better known as Kung Fu or martial arts.
Day 3 includes a trip to the Great Wall and the site of the 2008 Olympics, where students can view modern landmarks like the famous "Bird's Nest" National Stadium and the Water Cube. Afterward, students will experience delicious Beijing (Peking) Roast Duck for dinner.
On Day 4, students gain insight into the Beijing of old, as they tour the hutong, or traditional alleyways and courtyards by rickshaw, and then see the Summer Palace.
Day 5 sees students flying from Beijing to Xi'an, where they will transfer to another four star hotel and enjoy a Tang Dynasty Dancing Show and jiaozi, or dumpling, dinner.
Day 6 allows students to experience a variety of exciting cultural landmarks, including the Ancient City Wall, the Bell Tower, Big Wild Goose Tower, and the Great Mosque.
On Day 7 students get a glimpse of China's illustrious past as they view the awe-inspiring Terra Cotta Army, one of the legacies of the first emperor of China, gaining context by also visiting the History Museum.
Day 8 has students flying from Xi'an to Chengdu, where they will transfer to yet another four star hotel and experience a flavorful Sichuan Hop Pot dinner.
On Day 9 students channel their inner artists as they visit the cottage of one of China's most famous poets, Du Fu, as well as the Temple of Marquis Zhuge Liang and the Wangjian Tower Garden. Later, they watch the Face Magic Show of SiChuen.
Day 10 provides an environmental focus as students visit the Panda raising base and the Dujiangyan Dam, part of China's famous ancient irrigation system. In addition, the archeological discovery of Sanxingdui will be explored.
Day 11 brings the jet-setting students from Chengdu to Shanghai by plane, where they will transfer to another four star hotel and watch a thrilling Acrobatic Evening performance show.
On Day 12 students take in some of the best that Shanghai has to offer, both old and new, as they visit the Yuyuan Garden, the Children's Palace, the Oriental Pearl Tower and the waterfront Bund. In the evening students are treated to a special Huang Pu River Cruise tour with dinner onboard.
Day 13 has the students traveling from Shanghai to Suzhou via private tour bus, where they take a boat tour to visit the ancient Grand Canal, then see the Humble Administration Garden and the Embroidery Institution.
On Day 14 students will have the opportunity to visit a school, the local shopping and eating district of Shanghai known as Xintiandi, or local markets before resting up for their return journey to the US.
The next morning on Friday, August 17th, students fly to Detroit and then connect into Lansing to conclude their adventure.
Since one requirement of the program is to keep a journal, students will be given questions to answer in the journal about each site we visit. In addition, students will continue Chinese language study with a focus on practical topics they can use when touring sites and meeting the local residents.
- Deposit: $500.00 due with application, of which $50.00 is a non-refundable application fee.
- Program Fee: $3,003.00 due upon acceptance as participant.
- Airfare: $2,292.30 to Passageways Travel.
*IN ADDITION, students will need to secure a visa. Visa cost: $140.00, or $184.90 if processed by an outside company.
The program fee includes the following:
- pre-departure orientation
- food and housing on MSU campus
- course materials and supplies
- risk insurance and international health insurance
- transportation to the airport
- hotels, sightseeing, most meals, transportation, etc. while in China
The program fee does not include:
- airfare to China and additional airfare (see airfare above)
- some meals in China
- personal spending money
- travel insurance
NOTE: Program costs do not include transportation to and from Michigan State University. Parents/guardians must arrange for the student to arrive at the campus for check-in at the bginning of the program and they must also arrange for the student to leave the campus after the conclusion of the program. Lansing’s Capital City Airport, located 20 minutes from Michigan State University, provides air transportation services for the mid-Michigan area. Parents are responsible for transportation of their child between the airport and campus. Any transportation, supervision, housing and food costs from students arriving early or leaving late will be charged to the parents/guardians. Program costs do not include personal spending money, and while students are encouraged to bring snacks there are vending machines available in the dormitory lobby.
Student & Parent Orientation 2012
An orientation program will be held for students and parents on May 5th, 2012 on the campus of MSU. Program and travel information will be shared including health and safety issues, communication via phone and internet, banking, what items to bring and to pack, legal issues, etc. For out-of-state students and parents, an orientation packet will be sent with information on how to obtain answers to additional questions students and parents may have regarding the program or travel.
Considerations for Travel
Students will be required to obtain a passport and visa for participation in this program. U.S. and non-U.S. citizens need a valid passport both to enter other countries and to return to the United States. If you already have a passport, make sure it is valid until at least six months after your return date. If you must apply for or renew a passport, do it immediately. Due to recent changes in US laws, passport application processing takes 3 months or more. Passport forms are available at many federal and state courts, probate courts, some county/ municipal offices and some post offices. They can also be downloaded from the Internet.
A visa is official permission granted by the authorities of a country where you will study or travel that allows you to enter and remain in that country for a specific purpose. The visa itself is frequently a stamp in your passport, not a separate document. You will need a passport before applying for a visa and the passport plus visa process may take several months, so start early.
Students participating in this program are strongly encouraged to receive a series of immunizations specific for travel within Asia. Students should schedule an appointment to be seen at a travel clinic at least 4-8 weeks before the program to inquire about the recommended and/or required vaccines you may want to consider before departure.