FAQs

Location

Where is the program located?

The program is located in many different provinces in China. The program is designed so that students have an opportunity to experience the vastness and depth of China. In China, students will travel and stay in Xi'an, Beijing, Qinghai, and Hong Kong. Students will also spend a week in Chiangmai, Thailand.

What is the climate like?

China goes through all four seasons, so it's generally really hot in the summer/early fall and gets quite cold in the winter. Each of these locations are also in both northern and southern regions of China, so students should be prepared for attire as varied as Northeast U.S. to Florida.

What is the food like?

The food in China is delicious to nearly everyone. China is known for their variety of dishes from meat to tofu to vegetables to fruit all offered at one meal and in different regions. However, you can always count on the staples of rice or steamed bread, depending on region, and tea when you are not feeling too adventurous. By the end of the semester you will use chopsticks like a pro to eat your new favorite dishes.

Communication

Should I bring my cell phone?

If you want, you can use your phone with wifi or if you bring an unlocked phone you can purchase a SIM card in China. It is not mandatory to have a cell phone since you will be traveling closely with your team.

Should I bring my computer?

Yes, you will need your computer for class work and to keep in touch with family back home.

How can I best communicate with my family?

You can communicate with family via Skype, iMessage, email, Facebook, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Messenger, etc. However, you will use WeChat more than any other messaging tool. (Please note that some of these apps and webpages will only be accessible if students purchase a VPN account as websites may be blocked by China’s “great firewall”)

Can my family come and visit me in China?

Yes, your family is free to come and visit you in China, but they will have to find their own housing accommodations. Please inform the program director in advance on their travel dates and for advice on where to stay. Such visits should not interfere with course instruction, course work and program travel schedule.

How do I mail a package to a student?

To send a package to a student in China, please be in contact with the director and student for the address since the students will be traveling frequently.

Travel

How will I get to and from China Semester?

Students usually fly into China together and the program director will arrange for transportation to and from the airport.

Will I need a passport and visa?

You will need a valid passport and a visa. Before leaving, you will work with the director, Dr. Thane Ury, and the Global Engagement Office to acquire a visa for the semester.

Can I travel during the semester?

No, the program has so much travel incorporated into the programming that students are not permitted to travel during the semester beyond a day trip in the current region. You are permitted to travel after the semester is completed if you would like to and at your own expense.

Academics

What will I be studying?

Chinese Language and Culture, Area Study on China, and the Dynamics of Cross-Cultural Ministry. If permissable through your academic department, you can also do an independent study in cooperation with your faculty adviser.

Where will I be taking classes?

You will be taking classes in many different on-site locations and in the "field" in China. You will also be taking language and culture classes at the Faithful Language School in Xi’an as well as with a private on-site tutor in Beijing. Your classroom will be both traditional classrooms or conference rooms as well as the urban and rural streets of China.

Who are the other students?

You will be studying alongside Asbury students as well as “visiting students” from other campuses across the country who have chosen to enroll in Asbury’s China Study Abroad semester.

Who will be teaching my classes?

Dr. Ury, Dr. Foster, and Professor Brent Riemer. Language classes will be taught by the Faithful Language School in Xi’an as well as private Chinese tutors.

What is a typical class like?

Classes in the China Study Abroad program are intensive and meet daily in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon. They require a certain level of academic independence due to their rigor. For many classes, you will also go on museum and historic site visits.

How do I get a copy of my transcript?

Because this program is through Asbury University, you can get a copy of your transcript by requesting one from Asbury's Registrar's Office.

Daily Life

What will I be doing throughout the semester?

Throughout the semester, you will study both modern and ancient China, and as much as possible, gain a better understanding of the scope and breadth of Chinese culture. There will be visits to key artistic and historical sites in both the rural and urban parts of China. You will practice and learn Mandarin Chinese, travel many different provinces of China, and gain a newfound confidence in yourself as well as maturity and independence.

What is a typical day like in China?

A typical day in China depends on where you are located. However, classes are nearly always in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon. The afternoon and evening are meant for course related excursions, free time to meet locals in a cafe or adventure, community, and studies. Students are expected to maintain their academics and give themselves enough time for homework outside of class.

What do students do in their free time?

Students love to explore, experience Chinese cuisine, walk around the city, shop and so much more. There is so much beauty and history to take in and engage with while in China.

Will there be opportunities to serve?

Yes, students will have the opportunity to engage in service projects as well as volunteer as conversation partners to local students.

Will I be able to attend church?

Yes, there are several English-speaking, registered international churches in China that you can attend.

How will I get around?

China has many ways to get around, including public transportation such as buses and metros or taxis if a distance is not walkable. However, when you travel as a group the program director will coordinate both local and international transportation.