China Study Abroad 2011

遊學  Visit Hangzhou, Shanghai, Xi’an & Beijing!

2009 students in Beijing in front of Forbidden CityExperience modern China while learning its language, history and culture in May and June of 2011. Study World History I (focused on China) and Beginning Chinese I at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.  Side trips will include Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing. Read below for more information and for questions, please email us at

Program Overview

As part of a six-week course, Lone Star College-CyFair offers a learning community in Beginning Chinese I and World History I during the 2011 Summer semester.  Students will earn four credits for the language course and three for the history class. Four weeks of the course will be spent in China, mostly at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.  While in China, instruction by CyFair professors Carolyn Ho and Robert O’Brien will take place at Zhejiang University facilities and via field trips in the Hangzhou area. Students will have an opportunity to visit cultural sites such as the historic West Lake, Lingyin Buddhist temple, statues and carvings, the Grand Canal, China Silk Museum, China Tea Museum, Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum, Baopu Taoist Temple, China Ancient Papermaking and Printing Village, and Six Harmonies Pagoda.

While in Hangzhou, two longer field trips will take you out of town.  The trips will take the group to Shanghai, the hustling and bustling economic powerhouse of China, as well as the western city of Xi’an, famous for its terra cotta warriors of the Emperor Qin Shihuan.

The last four days in China will be spent in Beijing touring the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and Great Wall. The streets, markets and restaurants of Hangzhou, Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing will serve as further cultural introduction to China and an “open language lab” for learning Chinese.

Staying on campus at the International College of Zhejiang University and utilizing public transportation on some days will help to minimize costs for the trip. Students should be prepared for substantial walking each day.

Read comments from our past study abroad students.

Fees and Costs

Program Fee = approximately $3,850 per student
The program fee (not including course tuition) for the study abroad activity will be approximately $3,850 per student with a minimum enrollment of ten students.  This fee includes:

  • International airfare (round trip US-China)
  • Transportation for and admission to all field trip activities
  • Accommodation at the International College of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Xi’an, and Beijing
  • Selected meals at the International College of Zhejiang University and on field trips
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa application fee
  • Instruction and supplies
  • Program administration fee

Due to international currency fluctuations and fuel costs for airlines, the program fee is subject to change.

Tuition for the course is the standard tuition for the Lone Star College System.  The program includes two courses (CHIN 1411 – 4 credit hours; HIST 2321 – 3 credit hours) taught in a fully integrated team environment.

Registration for both courses is required.  As of April 2010, tuition for 7 credit hours is $355 in-district and $845 out-of-district.

Additional Individual Expenses:
Students are expected to pay for some of the meals on their own.  This is intended to encourage interaction with local Mandarin speakers.  Information on dining out in Hangzhou will be provided during orientation.  Estimated cost of a meal in Hangzhou is between $2 and $6.

Financial Aid:
You may be eligible for the Study Abroad Scholarships provided by Lone Star College System as well as outside funding sources.

Lone Star College Study Abroad Scholarship: The deadline for the CyFair campus is February 3, 2011 and then delivered to the LSCS study Abroad office by February 7.  Please check the Study Abroad Scholarship webpage for updated information:

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship:  The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000.  This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.  Please visit the website for more details:

Registration Process

Please follow the instructions below to sign up for the program.

  1. Download and complete the Study Abroad Program Application Form at
  2. Submit the application form along with a $500 deposit, payable to “Lone Star College-CyFair” to Carolyn Ho or Robert O’Brien.  Upon receiving the application form and deposit, a space will be reserved for you.
  3. Pay the program fee in full no later than March 1, 2011.  Pending available space, students may apply for the course after March 1, but payment in full of the program fee is required with the application.
  4. During the standard registration period for Summer 2011 classes, students will register for both CHIN 1411 and HIST 2321 as listed in the course schedule.  Only students who have submitted a deposit toward the program fee may register for these courses.  Payment of college tuition and fees must be made according to the payment terms of the college.
  5. Students who have submitted application to the program will receive a packet of participant forms to be completed and returned to Carolyn Ho or Robert O’Brien no later than March 1, 2011.
  6. All students are required attend a series of orientation sessions prior to departure for the program.

Important Dates

September – October – Information Sessions
October 2010 – February 2011 – Submit Study Abroad Application Form and $500 deposit to reserve a space

March 1 – Application deadline and full payment due
April 1 – Chinese visa application due (Students must also have up-to-date passport by this date.)
The course begins and ends at Lone Star College-CyFair with Weeks 3-6 in China.  Below is the tentative course schedule and itinerary.
May 16 – First class meeting at Lone Star College-CyFair (classes held Monday-Friday)
May 27 – Leave for China
May 28 – Arriving at Zhejiang University
May 28—June 21 – Classes at Zhejiang University and excursions in and around Hangzhou (classes held Monday-Friday)
June 21 – Night train ride to Beijing
June 22-25 – Beijing
June 23 - Final exam and dinner
June 25 - Leaving China and returning to Houston same day
June 29 - Final presentation and submission of travel book (on CyFair campus)


Zhejiang University ( 浙江大学) is located in the coastal city of Hangzhou, which is about 180 miles away from Shanghai. The university was founded in 1897 and is one of the oldest institutions of advanced learning in China. It enjoys the reputation as a leading research university under the direct administration of China’s Ministry of Education. Zhejiang University is among China’s top-ranked universities, featuring academic excellence in teaching, research, and community service.

The International College of Zhejiang University is located on the Yuchuan Campus, near the picturesque West Lake. Transportation to West Lake and downtown Hangzhou is less than 10 minutes away by taxi. Bus service is available within walking distance.

The facilities of the International College include 370 single rooms and over 40 suites and double rooms, each with a private bathroom and a study desk.  Telephone, satellite TV and Internet connection are available.  Shared kitchens, washing machines, and dryers are on site.

In addition to the accommodations, the building also houses classrooms, study rooms, a language lab, a coffee bar and a dining hall.   On-campus meals are served a la carte.  The daily expense for on-campus dining is estimated between 15 to 40 RMB yuan ($2-6).

Modern hotel located near Tiananmen Square.

Modern hotel in the center of the city.

Travel Locations

Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province, a coastal area directly south of Shanghai. As part of the Yangzi River delta, Hangzhou and surrounding northern Zhejiang, at one time, served as a bread basket for the northern half of China.  Hangzhou is a city that dates back more than 2,000 years, but became an important commercial center after 600 A.D., when the Grand Canal was built. The Grand Canal, a 1,000 mile-plus waterway, allowed Hangzhou, the southern terminus, to be connected to Beijing in the north.

As the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty for 150 years in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Hangzhou has a rich cultural history.  During this time, Hangzhou served as a brief home for Marco Polo, the city’s most famous Western visitor.  Polo, like many Chinese, sang the praises of  Hangzhou, calling it one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Much of the beauty results from Hangzhou sitting on the scenic West Lake, which poets and artists have used in poems and paintings for more than 1,000 years.

Today, Hangzhou is a bustling city of 6 million that draws numerous tourists and still serves as a hub in China’s booming economy.  The Hangzhou area also produces much of China’s famous silk and Longjing, China’s best known green tea.

Shanghai is the financial capital of China and one of the biggest cities in the world.  Beginning as a small fishing village, Shanghai rose to its financial powerhouse status in the 19th century.  In recent decades, it has developed into a metropolitan city.  The field trip to the city will include Old Town, the Bund, and Shanghai Museum.

Xi’an, a historic city located 870 miles northwest of Shanghai is of special historic importance.  It is world famous for the historic ruins of the Terra Cotta Warriors of Emperor Qin Shihuang.  Furthermore, it was the capital city of eleven dynasties including Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang long before Beijing became the capital of China.  It was the Chinese gateway city to the ancient world when it became the first stop on the Silk Road.  Zen Buddhism, for example, was first introduced to China 2000 years ago through Xi’an.  As the capital for over a period of 2000 years, Xi’an had served as the nexus where east met west and where cultures merged.  This legacy can be seen today in numerous historic and cultural sites that are extremely valuable for students studying Mandarin Chinese and Chinese history.  Besides the historic significance, the modern day Xi’an has a vibrant Muslim culture that offers a glimpse of the diverse ethnic cultures in China.

Beijing, the capital of China and most recent host of the 2008 Summer Olympics, is a young city by Chinese standards as it was built 1,000 years ago. In the fifteenth century the Ming Dynasty constructed the Forbidden City, the emperor’s palace. It is so named because the palace area and its 800 buildings were off limits to most of the public for 500 years. This 2.6 million square-foot complex is one of China’s most famous attractions and is adjacent to Tiananmen Square, another popular tourist site.  North of Beijing is China’s Great Wall.  Construction on the world’s most famous fence began more than 2,000 years ago as an attempt to keep out invaders.