History of the China Study Group
In 1979, Colgate joined the CIEE consortium and two students spent 3 weeks in China. Professor Theodore Herman prepared the students and they received Colgate credit. CIEE believed the Chinese would permit a semester-long study group in the near future and expect it required 2 years of language preparation.
In 1983, the first Taiwan-China Study Group is established by Professor Chi-Ming Hou. Thirteen students participate in the program; five freshmen, three sophomores, and five juniors went on the China Study Group. The purpose was to give students the opportunity to improve their Chinese Language proficiency while acquiring first-hand knowledge of cultural, social, and economic, and political changes in China.
In recent years, the program was run in Beijing and moved to other places such as Kunming or Shanghai. In the fall of 2016, ten students joined Professor John A. Crespi, to Shanghai with an extended field trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong, which gave a deep sense of the dynamism and diversity of Chinese culture, history, and society. The study group joined CET Academics Program at Donghua University’s downtown campus. Prerequisites continue to be one year’s coursework or equivalent in Modern Standard Chinese as well as Core China or another background course on China approved by the director. The study group runs in the fall biennially.
The China Study Group gives Colgate students, particularly those with majors or minors in Chinese or Asian Studies, the opportunity to improve proficiency in Chinese language while acquiring first-hand knowledge of cultural, social, economic, and political changes in modern China. Studying in Shanghai, with an extended field trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong, will give you a deep sense of the dynamism and diversity of Chinese culture, history, and society.
The study group is hosted in the vibrant, global city of Shanghai by CET Academic Programs at Donghua University’s downtown campus.
Prerequisites include at least one year’s coursework or equivalent in Modern Standard Chinese as well as Core China or another background course on China as approved by the director.
The program equals one semester at Colgate. Students are expected to carry a four-course load, three credits of which (CHIN 481, CHIN 482, and one Chinese language course credit) can count toward a Chinese or Asian Studies major, with the fourth, elective course, able to count toward Asian Studies or another major, with pre-approval. The following courses are required unless special arrangements are made in advance for independent study.
CHIN 481 China in Transition: Professor J. Crespi
This course focuses on topics central to the social, economic, and political transitions in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to topics that may range from family and social life to education, ethnic and geographic diversity, ecology, economic growth, political development, and international relations. Issues that are most important to present-day China and its emerging role in the world are explored through readings, videos, guest lectures, and discussions, supplemented by field trips to schools, farms, factories, and other sites. In Fall 2019 the course will center primarily on a participant-observer, cultural immersion internship. Classes and related activities are held in Shanghai, and include eight one-hour Chinese-language practicum sessions related to the cultural immersion activities internship. This course provides Global Engagement credit.
CHIN 482 Topics in Chinese Culture: Professor J. Crespi
Drawing on literature, film, art, music, performance, and various forms of popular culture, this course explores the long tradition of Chinese culture as well as the personal experience of people living through the changes and continuities that define China today. Guest lectures, readings and discussion are enriched by visits to museums and temples, attendance at performances, and face-to-face meetings with scholars, artists, performers, and others. The goal is to develop sensitivity, imagination, and understanding. In Fall 2019 we will focus in particular on issues of tradition, cultural identity, and cultural heritage. Classes and related activities are held in Shanghai. The course culminates in an extended field trip to Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Chinese Language. CET/Donghua University Faculty
Based on their proficiency in Chinese, Colgate students enroll in 14 weeks of Chinese classes for 5 hours per week together with CET students, plus a weekly one-on-one session. Students will receive one credit for the Chinese language course.
One CET Elective
Colgate students will be able to take one CET elective taught in English from the following list, depending on availability and scheduling relative to the director’s classes:
SH/ENVR 220 Global Environment and Development in the 21st Century
SH/ECON 230 The Chinese Economy
SH/ECON 235 The Chinese Consumer: Remaking the World Economy
SH/POLI 240 Politics and Governance
SH/HIST 250 Shanghai: Key to Modern China?
SH/EAST 252 The Making of Modern East Asia
SH/HIST 255 Comparative History of Economic Thought
SH/FILM 270 Contemporary Chinese Cinema
SH/LITR 280 Chinese Literature Today
SH310 International Economics
For full CET syllabi see the CET Shanghai website Academics page. CET electives may count toward non-EALL majors and minors only with prior-approval from the relevant Colgate department or program.
Planned Extracurricular Activities
Students participate in the regular meetings of the Chinese Table with their classmates and language instructors, and take part in various activities, such as local travel and family visits, with their Chinese roommates.
Each Colgate student will be paired with a Chinese roommate on the Donghua University downtown campus in lodging next door to the classrooms and steps away from subway lines to all quarters of the city of Shanghai.
The cost estimates for this study group will be made available in March 2019. For estimated details of student expenses on this study group, please see the Student Cost Estimate Sheets.
Passports and Visas
You must confirm that your passport is valid through June 2020. All students participating on the China Study Group will be required to obtain a student visa. With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with Chinese governmental visa requirements. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study and International Student Services, 101 McGregory Hall, to learn as much as you can about the regulations. For some students there are significant visa requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.