Semester Program Overview

beijing11 - 2012This program is open to Davidson students interested in East Asian or Chinese history, politics, religion, and culture. It will also appeal to students interested in economics and development, social justice, and environmental studies. While previous knowledge of Mandarin Chinese is not required, it is highly recommended; a course in Mandarin Chinese (at the appropriate level, including 1st year Chinese) will be part of the curriculum.

The next iteration of the program will be in the fall of 2021, and will begin in late August. See the Davidson study-abroad website for more details.  Highlights of the program include:

  • Courses and study tours to Beijing, nearby Shanghai sites, and other locations in China offered by a Davidson faculty member, who also serves as the Resident Director of the Program.  Past Directors have been Professors Fuji Lozada, Ping Shao, Vivien Shen, and Graham Bullock.
  • Campus housing, with many opportunities to interact with Chinese and other foreign students, as well as faculty
  • Course offerings across multiple disciplines, including political science, history, sociology, anthropology, religion, health and human values, and media studies
  • Personalized language courses that will enhance students’ ability to communicate in Mandarin Chinese
  • Convenient access to sites within Shanghai, one of China’s most dynamic cities

Group excursions in 2018 included:

  • Beijing: The capital of China, with many historical sites including the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and the Summer Palace.
  • Yunnan: With cities such as Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La that are home to many of China’s ethnic minorities, Yunnan also has some of the most striking natural landscapes in the world, including Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Tiger Leaping Gorge.
  • Suzhou: The “Venice of China,” home to many famous gardens, and the historical center of the silk industry
  • Within Shanghai: The “Paris of the Orient,” including sites such as the Bund, Zhou Enlai’s residence, Xintiandi, the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, and more.


2016 Courses of Study

Non-language courses in the program will be taught by Davidson College and Fudan University faculty. We anticipate that the content courses will emphasize contemporary Chinese society and culture, including interdisciplinary topics such as environmental studies. Language courses will be designed to dovetail with the Davidson Chinese language curriculum so that students can move seamlessly between courses here and courses in China.

Davidson students enrolled in the Shanghai program will receive four course credits:

  • CHI 265: Modern Chinese Society and Culture. In addition to the course requirements, students will be required to maintain a field journal, with weekly contributions that will be published on a website. This course will also be informed by the travel experiences included in the program.
  • CHI 360: Issues in Chinese Society (UG credit). This will be a course offered by the faculty from the School of Social Development and Public Policy (taught in English). We anticipate that this class will be “The Chinese Marketplace,” a course on the impact of globalization on China taught by an anthropologist.
  • CHI X01 (level-dependent; graded): A Chinese language instructor will use Davidson College Chinese language curriculum to teach Chinese (10 hours/week); this will be set up under the guidance of the head of the Davidson Chinese Department.
  • CHI 405: Shanghai in Chinese Literature, Film, Pop Culture and Everyday Life (graded credit). As part of the course, there will be organized excursions to the famous historical sites in Shanghai. Students who have taken Chinese 405 before may repeat the course for credit.
  • CHI 395/396: (optional) Independent Study. For students who are more advanced, they can work with the resident director to conduct fieldwork on a particular subject. By permission of the director.

2005 Pictures

Journey to China 2006

Journey to China 2005