Since their first trip in 2011, UVU’s China language and culture study abroad program has taken students across the world to edify and enrich their lives by introducing them to Chinese language and culture.

Dr. Alex Yuan, UVU’s Chinese program coordinator, explained that his passion in the creation, care and coordination of the program was to provide UVU students with the best possible experience.

“I want to provide an opportunity for my students [to] engage and immerse themselves in an authentic language and culture learning experience [that] will provide opportunities for their future success in both their career and life,” Yuan said.

While taking the Chinese 1010 course is a prerequisite to the program, don’t let your limited knowledge of Mandarin stop you from applying. Brittany Griswold, a junior at UVU who participated in the program this past summer, offered a few words of encouragement to those thinking of joining the program.

“It will be worth it. I was on the fence when I was deciding to go,” Griswold said. “I felt as if I needed to be better at Chinese, but everyone was [at] different levels and I progressed more with the language while I was learning there. … It was a life-changing experience.”

Traditionally, the program schedule consists of students arriving in the city of Shanghai for a couple of days for sightseeing, followed by flying out to the university in Chuxiong where students will spend roughly six of the program’s seven weeks studying. Afterwards, students will spend their last week traveling to amazing and breathtaking sites such as Dali and its infamous three towers, the Stone Forest in Kunming, the Great Wall in Beijing and more.

“I occasionally found myself in the homes of local families, where I could see the community at its core. This afforded me the opportunity to step outside myself and see the world in a different light,” recent program participant Kenna Richardson said. “They allowed me to become part of their family, and they became part of mine. The friendships that I found in China continue today.”

The program details can be found online on UVU’s Study Abroad webpage, which offer a detailed breakdown of the estimated costs to help you know where your money is going. It also has information on the program sites, courses offered, and the culture of the main city students will be staying in.

With the program fee being approximately $3,395, Dr. Yuan said that it is one of the cheapest programs available considering all the activities included.

He said, “Each year we try to have around 12 students to go to China. This number makes the trip more affordable to students, and with our [extended] application deadline [being] February 1st, hopefully we will reach that number.”