COMM 161F: Communications & Culture

China 2013: Communications and Culture

Dates | Overview | Facts | Academic | Eligibility | Safety | Leader | Costs | Apply

Program Dates

June 17–July 9, 2013

Program Overview

Students on this program will gain special insight into China’s history, society, and culture, especially as 21st-century jobs are increasingly situated along the Pacific Rim. The program will challenge students to expand their understanding about intercultural communication practices through an immersive encounter with China’s capital city of Beijing. The program combines lectures, readings, and discussions with site visits to important locations including Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, and the Temple of Heaven

Country Facts

Visit the CIA World Factbook page on China for general information about its geography, people, government, economy, transportation, and more.

Academic Program

COMM 161F, Tourism, Modernity, and Urban Life (Communication and Culture) (4 units)

This course consists of literary, historical, sociological, and theoretical readings with guided discussions, debates, and tours. The opportunity to explore significant cultural sites and interact with local students and guides provides students an opportunity to meet learning objectives through active engagement rather than passive reading.

This course satisfies the Foundations area of Communication Studies learning objectives. All Foundations courses, including COMM 161F, share these learning objectives:

  • Theories of Communication: Demonstrate understanding of the major theories that have shaped the communication field.
  • Ethics: Demonstrate understanding of ethical responsibilities in communicating with others in interpersonal, organizational, small group, intercultural, mediated, and public settings.

Additional course-specific learning objectives include the following:

  • Recognize how various notions of history and culture shape communication norms.
  • Evaluate the impact of modernity, urbanity, media, and contemporary architecture upon interpersonal interaction.
  • Analyze the possibilities and limitations for free speech in societies for whom order and cohesion are core values.


The course meets requirements for COMM 161F, which is a four-unit course. While this course is designed for majors, minors, and graduate students completing coursework in the Department of Communication Studies, any student is welcome to apply. Especially promising candidates for this program will have taken at least some upper division coursework in our department.

Chinese language ability is not required as classes are conducted in English.

Accommodation, Safety, and Visas

Participants will stay at dormitories near the host institution. A visa is required for entry into China as well as six months’ validity remaining on your passport.

There is currently no US travel warning for China. For more information about safety abroad, visit the US Department of State Travel Information for China page.

Program Leader

Carol-Lynn Perez, Communication Studies
(408) 924-5865


Estimated Costs

SJSU Special Session Tuition (4 Credits @ $250 each) 1,000
Administration Fee 200
Program fees, lodging, class materials and local tours approx. 1,433
Estimated Total $2,633


FLP Application Process and FLP Student Forms