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You have an exciting opportunity to investigate and explore education in China during this 4-week summer program that includes a 3-week stay in China, led by Professor Margaret Hawkins from the School of Education.
The first week of the program will consist of class meetings on the UW-Madison campus, with readings and discussions on Chinese history, ethnic groups and cultures, languages, and education (with attention paid to educational systems and policies, language policies, systems of literacy, and approaches to teaching and learning).
The next three weeks of the course will take place in Xian and Beijing, China. While in China, students and faculty will be hosted by Shaanxi Normal University in Xian. Participants will participate in a comparative schooling and teacher education seminar alongside local Chinese students, taught collaboratively by Shaanxi faculty members and the participating UW faculty members. Students will also be paired with Shaanxi students for the duration of their stay in Xian, to offer maximum opportunities for sharing ideas, experiences, and learning. Chinese students will host UW students in out-of-class times, including introducing them to the campus and city. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in introductory language, culture, history and martial arts lessons.
Students will spend the final 3 days of the program in Beijing, visiting local sites, in order to deepen their understanding of the country, its culture, its people and its history.
Various modes of inquiry and intellectual orientations are used to investigate, from a comparative and/or cross-cultural perspective, the following aspects of education in China:
- educational change and modernization
- the interaction between education and development (social, political, economic)
- the politics of educational reform
- educational philosophy, policy and planning
- the interrelationships of particular aspects of schools, societies, and cultures
- curricular and pedagogical approaches in schooling, with a particular focus on languages and literacies
This program will run every other summer.
Xi'an is more than 3,000 years old and is the undisputed root of Chinese civilization having served as the capital city for the Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang dynasties. As the eastern terminal of the Silk Road, and the site of the famous Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, Xian has won a reputation all over the world. Today the city is an important economic, cultural, industrial and educational center of the central-northwest region. It has often been said that, "if you have not been to Xi'an, you have not been to China!"
Getting to Your Program
Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to Xian within designated arrival window.
A Chinese tourist visa is required for U.S. citizens prior to departure. Participants must have a passport valid for six months after the end of the program. You will apply for your own visa. IAP will provide you with visa information.
OrientationIAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
HousingShaanxi Normal University (SNU) has, in the center of campus, an international student hotel where students and faculty will stay. Students will share double rooms, and there are many options for meals nearby, including a student cafeteria, the hotel restaurant, and many little coffee shops and little restaurants. There is an inexpensive laundry, convenience stores, and a hospital nearby.
In Beijing, the group will stay at a traditional hotel, within walking distance of sites of interest. Breakfast is served at the hotel and is included in the room cost. A tour guide will pick up and deliver the group from the hotel each day, and will make a stop for lunch. For dinner, individuals may choose either to eat at the hotel restaurant, wander around the surrounding blocks where there are many good restaurants, or go to the Beijing night market.
Excursions and Activities
In Xian, as well as visiting a number of local schools, participants will have a guided tour of the site of the Terra Cotta Warriors- a significant Chinese historical site as well as the opportunity to visit the city wall, museum, street market, and other sites of interest.
Participants will spend the final weekend of the trip in Beijing where they will tour Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City, as well as visit the Great Wall, Olympic Park, and the Summer Palace. Beijing is at the heart of the history and culture of China, and through these experiences students will deepen their understanding of the country, its culture, its people and its history.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
UW-Madison Resident Director
Returned Student Network
to contact a returned student.
Check out student profiles to learn more about their experience abroad.
Mai Seng ThaoNatalie Baus
"The trip was an amazing opportunity for education majors to experience first-hand the education system of another country."
"I really liked seeing the schools in China and tutoring the children there."
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. The following supplemental application materials will become available to you through the application portal:
Summer Program Forms
China Education Essay
Letter of Recommendation (no form required)
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Unofficial Transcript - OPTIONAL - Additional File
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make the final admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email.
|Summer - 2013-2014
During this comparative schooling and teacher education seminar students will gain exposure to a Chinese institution of higher education and to the teacher preparation practices of that institution, visit Chinese primary and secondary schools to observe instructional and curricular structures and pedagogies, and have the opportunity to tutor Chinese students in a poor rural school.
Upon completion of the program, students will receive 3 credits of Curriculum & Instruction coursework (C&I 375) or Ed Policy Studies.
Shaanxi Normal University (SNU) is a well-known and well-regarded teacher training college in China. It is in the central northwest, and students who wish to study education flock there from Beijing, Shanghai, and virtually all parts of the country.
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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