- Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
- Destinations: China, Vietnam
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Program Length: Semester
- Start Month: February, March, November
- Category: Travel/Cultural Immersion
- Selective: Yes
- Gender: Coed
- Ages: 18, 19+, 19
- Housing: Homestay, Hotel, Student Apartment
- Financial Aid: Not Available
- Minimum Cost: $5,000 - $9,999
Minds Abroad is a US-based organization that conducts study abroad programs in China for both individual students and customized groups from colleges and universities.
To fully understand China, it should be experienced through insight into its many different sides, its many different faces, most of which are rarely seen by foreign visitors. From modern metropolises filled with neon and skyscrapers, which almost all Western visitors pass through, to dozens of medium-sized cities in the country's interior where far fewer outsiders visit, to thousands of smaller traditional villages spread out through the vast countryside many of which many have never been seen by Westerners, the opportunities to see China's many faces and people are plenty. In fact, one of the most fascinating parts of China is the Himalayan Plateau which covers over one third of the country and is home to dozens of isolated and ancient cultures. Many of these places are as far off the "beaten track" as it is possible.
The Minds Abroad China Trimester brings students to all of these places. The weekday academic core of our program is based in Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan Province. Yunnan is China's most diverse province and Lonely Planet's top choice in the country. As Lonely Planet says, "If you have time for but one province in China, Yunnan should be it."
The program runs for ten months in Yunnan Province, China, and has three sessions (trimesters) in addition to two intersession programs in Vietnam. Over the course of the program students are taken to three provinces and dozens of unique towns and cities. Students do not have to sign up for all three sessions. They may opt to sign up for just one, two or three of the trimesters (each only three months).
The Minds Abroad China Trimester Program is a combination of morning Mandarin class, afternoon volunteering, interning or language exchange, and weekend travel or cultural activities. Our morning classes are small, normally consisting of 2-4 students and are taught by experienced Mandarin teachers. For an all-encompassing cultural experience, in addition to the classes, we identify afternoon volunteer and internship opportunities in the student's chosen field at local NGOs (non-profit organizations) and companies in Kunming. Each weekend students will travel or engage in a cultural activity such as participating in a calligraphy workshop watching a film or documentary screening about China.