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UW-Platteville Short-Term Faculty-Led - Geography and Culture of Eastern China
Multi-city, China (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Summer
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Dates / Deadlines:
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Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 04/15/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
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Fact Sheet:
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Area of Study:
Anthropology, Business, Chinese, Cultural Studies, Environment and Society, Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies, Foreign Studies, Gender Studies, Geography, History, International Studies, International Education, International Relations, Social Science, Sociology, Women's Studies
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Program Type:
Study Abroad
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Program Model:
Short-Term Faculty-Led
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Language(s) of Instruction:
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Minimum GPA:
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Years of Eligibility:
Freshman, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Program Description:
Program Description:
UWP Study 3000 - Geography and Culture of Eastern China
Summer 2018: May 22 - June 7, 2018
Application Deadline: February 15, 2018


Course Description
The industrialization of China in the last 39 years has garnered much world attention, not just for the economic growth, but for the costs associated with such unrestrained growth. Housing shortages, over-migration to the coastal areas, the destruction of habitat, pollution of air, soil, and water, and the resulting decline in health of the people living in the areas of economic growth. At the same time, globalization and neoliberalism also impact local economic activities, which involve cultural tourism, observed in Qufu (Confucius’ hometown) in Shandong Province, ecotourism and geotourism seen, for example, in Shanhaiguan-the end point of the Great Wall in Hebei Province and the Chaoyang fossil geopark in Liaoning Province.
This course, through readings and direct observation, will evaluate the above statements to determine the degree of truth in it while looking for any evidence that the environment is becoming a concern of the people and government as well as the impacts of tourism on local economies. To do this, we will begin at the origin of industrial growth in China, Shanghai and Changzhou and travel northward through Qufu and Qingdao to Beijing, all in the heart of this expansion. As a contrast, we will then visit Chaoyang and Shanhaiguan to see if the effects of economic growth through tourism have the same impact in a non-core area city. To evaluate, the student will keep an observational journal, backed by photographic evidence, of the areas stopped at and passed through, and answer a series of questions that relate to each stop along the way.

Course Highlights
  • Company visits in Changzhou and Qingdao
  • Seeing the birthplace and tomb of Confucius in Qufu
  • Meeting local families in the hutongs of Beijing 
  • Visiting the site of the discovery of the earliest feathered dinosaurs in Chaoyang
Course Structure

PRE-DEPARTURE: All program participants are required to attend two mandatory pre-departure meetings (date TBA) in the spring prior to departure. These meetings will cover program logistics, expectations, and background information on China. Students are also required to attend the Education Abroad Health & Safety Orientation facilitated by the UW-Platteville Education Abroad Office.

IN-COUNTRY: While in China, a daily journal of environmental conditions will be kept, comparing and contrasting each of the stops. Students will be in large industrial areas such as Shanghai and Changzhou, and smaller areas such as Chaoyang and Shangaguan. Readings will be assigned that complement direct observations. 
Students will also need to complete a series of 10 essays that pertain to each of the areas they visit. Notes and photos to answer the essay prompts will be gathered over the course of the program and then completed after they return to the U.S.

RE-ENTRY: Upon their return, students must complete all outstanding class assignments by August 16, 2018. Students will also attend the Re-Entry Event facilitated by the UW-Platteville Education Abroad Office. 

Level: 3000-level course work

Term: Pre-Summer Session, 2018

Prerequisites: Freshman and above
                           2.5 GPA 

Application Materials Required: This program requires one letter of recommendation and a statement of purpose

Course Load: One 3-credit course

Grading: A-F only, cannot be audited, must be enrolled in course for credit

This course satisfies the criteria for the International Education General Education requirement.

Program Leaders
Dr. Dong Isbister is an Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and an affiliate faculty member in the Geography Department. Courses she teaches include: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies; Space, Place, and Gender; History of Feminist Thought and Gender Relations in Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Dr. Isbister is originally from China, and her family still resides there. 

Dr. Todd Stradford is an Associate Professor of Geography. He has traveled extensively, and has both studied and lived in China. Dr. Stradford has also led several courses previously to Japan. 

Housing and Meals
Students will stay in hotels and share double or quadruple occupancy rooms depending on what is available. All hotels will have WiFi, but certain websites and social media may not function in China due to Internet censorship. Applications and websites including Google, Gmail, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and more do not work in China, so make sure you plan to use a form of communication (i.e. Skype) that will work in order to communicate with family and friends back home. For more information on what websites and social media are blocked, you can read more here

All breakfasts will be served buffet style at the hotels and are included in the program fee, however, all lunches and dinners are out-of-pocket expenses. Students should plan to spend approximately $10-$15 on food per day. 

Program Fees

A $50 non-refundable Education Abroad application fee is due before your application can be reviewed.

The estimated program cost is $5,800*. This includes program administration fees, 3 credits, Chinese visa, international airfare, in-country transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts, entrance fees to course related excursions and site visits, and international medical and accident insurance. The program fee will be charged to your PASS account in full. All regular registration and late fees will apply.
*Program cost based on the participation of 10 students

The program cost does NOT include passport, transportation to gateway airport (Chicago O'Hare), lunches and dinners, and personal spending. Out-of-pocket estimated costs: $350-$550. Please also keep in mind the following:
  • Fees may change based on final enrollment, changes in fuel prices, and exchange rates
  • Fee differentials apply for non-WI/MN residents ($100) and TSI students ($40)
  • Veterans: Please contact the Education Abroad office if you have eligibility under the Wisconsin GI Bill
Students will have two weeks upon their acceptance to commit to the program. Program fees are due IN FULL before departure.

UW-Platteville student applicants should apply for the UW-Platteville International Study Scholarship by visiting the Education Abroad website. Applicants must show financial need on their FAFSA to qualify. Scholarship awards will be dispersed to the student's PASS account.

Withdrawal Policy:
Students who withdraw on or after the day of commitment will be financially responsible for a $165 Education Abroad administrative fee and all non-recoverable expenses. Non-recoverable expenses include anything UW-Platteville has paid for on behalf of the participant (i.e. airfare, housing, tickets, etc.) and is unable to recover from an organization or vendor. Students who withdraw on or after the program start date will be financially responsible for the entire program fee.

Passports should be valid for at least six months after program end date. To learn more about applying for a passport, please visit the U.S. Department of State website. You can apply for a passport here in Platteville at the local post office. For more information, visit their website

All U.S. citizens need a valid visa to enter China. Students will be applying for their Chinese Tourist Visas after they are accepted into the program. The approximate cost of the visa is $140, and this is included in the program fee. More specific information related to applying for the visa will be provided after program acceptance is received. 

For More Information Contact

Program Co-Leader
Dr. Dong Isbister
Women's and Gender Studies
Phone: 608-342-7338
Office: 255 Gardner

Program Co-Leader
Dr. Todd Stradford
Phone: 608-342-1674
Office: 262 Gardner Hall 

Program Coordinator
Alyssa Shaff
Education Abroad
Phone: 608-342-6151
Office: 102 Royce Hall

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