China: The Green Dragon – Environmental Action in the Middle Kingdom

The Details:

Program: China– The Green Dragon
Start/End: Seattle International Airport (SEA)
Dates: Late June – Late July (4 weeks)

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The Story:

Views from the Hollywood Hills and atop the Great Wall of China are increasingly obscured by smog. The southwest American desert and the plains of northern China are thirsty for clean water. Families from rural Ohio to southern Sichuan are concerned about food security. Two of the world’s greatest economies: are the United States and China destined to be it’s greatest polluters? The world can take great strides towards achieving environmental peace the day that young Americans and Chinese decide to work together to build a greener future for our planet. Meet with Chinese students, educators and environmentalists this summer on university campuses, organic farms and rural villages to learn how the Chinese are facing one of most important issues of our time.

The Program:

Your journey through the Middle Kingdom begins in Beijing. Hike the Great Wall, explore the ornate halls of the Forbidden City and take a pedi-cab ride through the narrow alleyways in traditional hutong neighborhoods as you adjust to the pace of life in China. Travel by train to the university town of Baoding to explore issues impacting the air we breathe, land we live on and water we drink with professors, organic farmers and Chinese students studying environmental science. Visit factories that make solar panels, learn from farmers at organic co-ops and hear from biologists. After living with urban hosts in Baoding, travel to a rural community to live with farmers and small business owners in a village cooperative near the city of Luoyang. Cook dumplings with your host mother, practice Mandarin language skills, see an ancient Buddhist Grotto and visit the Shaolin temple. Between homestays, visit Xi’an and the Terracotta warriors and meet with local environmentalists. During your field exploration, travel to the Panda Institute in Chengdu to learn about biodiversity and reflect on the importance of ecological preservation. At the end of the program, travel to Shanghai to explore one of the world’s greatest cities.

The Activities:

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Orientation in Beijing

  • Hike the Great Wall.
  • Interview locals in Tiananmen Square.
  • Practice survival Mandarin language in outdoor food markets.
  • Find your way through ancient courtyards in The Forbidden City and alleyways of traditional hutong neighborhoods.

The Seminar

  • Meet with biologists, professors and environmentalists in the university town of Baoding.
    Visit a factory that makes solar panels.
  • Learn about challenges and solutions as China tries to balance economic growth and environmental stewardship.
  • Discuss food safety, clean air and water with Chinese students.

Family and Community Stay

  • Live with rural and urban families during short homestays.
  • Meet with English speaking college students.
  • Work with farmers in a village collective.
  • Make jiao zi and develop Mandarin language skills with your host family.

Field-Based Exploration

  • Visit the world famous Terracotta warriors and meet with an environmental educator.
  • Travel by overnight train to the Panda Institute in Chengdu.
  • See the Leshan Giant Buddha.
  • Hike mountain trails.
  • Meet with conservationists and park rangers.

Journey’s End

  • Travel to Shanghai.
  • Eat a vegetarian meal at a Buddhist temple restaurant.
  • See the famous Shanghai acrobatic troupe.
  • Discuss all that you’ve learned and how you will share once you get home.

The Details:

Program: China– The Green Dragon
Start/End: Seattle International Airport (SEA)
Dates: Late June – Late July (4 weeks)

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