Experience China: From Village Life to World City

China: Community Service in Guilin


Program Description 

Experience the breadth of China from a rural village to cosmopolitan Hong Kong. We will spend one week in Fengyan, a small village in Guangxi, China providing a valuable community service. We will spend the second week traveling through Yangshuo, Guilin and Hong Kong.

China's spectacular economic growth in the past 40 years has its roots in both rural and urban China. Migrant workers leave their farming hometowns and flock to large cities seeking higher paying jobs. These jobs in manufacturing, construction and services have fueled China's rise to the 2nd largest economy in the world.

When migrant workers get jobs in the city, they leave their children with grandparents in their hometowns. These children, known as "the left behind children" pay the price in not having a stable parental presence.

Students in this course will participate in a Chinese NGO program to provide summer school to the children of Fengyan village teaching English, art, music and sports. Children's ages range from 5 to 12.

Participants will experience a villager's lifestyle by living in a Qing Dynasty stone house that has been converted into a dormitory, eating simple, nutritious and delicious home cooked meals, and learning about Chinese culture. Lessons in Chinese language, calligraphy, taichi and other activities will be provided. There will be hikes through the village hills, shopping at the town market, visits to the temples, and Chinese movie and game nights.

In the second week we will travel to Yangshuo and Guilin, examples of a third tier and second tier city respectively. Both are popular tourist areas where the unique mountain ranges have been celebrated in Chinese paintings and poems through the ages.

We will then travel to Hong Kong, a first tier city, which has played a significant role in the rise of China. As a global financial and business center, Hong Kong is home to many Chinese entrepreneurs.

Throughout the second week, we will compare and contrast rural vs. urban life, and the differing levels of development in third, second and first tier cities. 


GLST 188 Special Topics in International Experiences (3 units) (Area V)

Study of modern history, government, immigration and impacts on development of diverse communities. Study of effects of immigration, economics, biases, and other factors on community development, as well as comparing and contrasting US and other cultural perspectives. Course offered as FLP in countries outside the U.S.


Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended.




Program Leader: Singmay Chou

Singmay Chou is an adjunct professor in the Lucas Graduate and School of Business Management Department of SJSU since 2017.

Prior to joining SJSU, she lived and worked in the Asia region since 1996. Singmay also serves as an Honorary Institute Associate of The Asia-Pacific Institute of Business at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Singmay has traveled extensively throughout China and Asia both for business and leisure.

Her corporate experience includes positions as Director of Kapok Tree Limited, a firm consulting with companies in change management, strategic planning and organizational effectiveness, Vice President of Marketing and Product for Luxottica Retail China which operates the LensCrafters eyewear stores in Greater China, General Manager of Marketing for Dragonair, and consultant with Towers Perrin. She earned a BS in Economics from the Wharton School, BA in East Asian Studies from University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Email: singmay.chou@sjsu.edu



It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers.  

$750 SJSU Special Session Tuition ($250 per unit)
$200 Administrative Fee 
$2,475 Program fees, lodging, class materials and class related tours approximately*
$3,425  Total Program Cost


* Airfare is not included.  Students will need approximately $30/day for meals for the first week & $20/day for meals the second week.


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