Goshen College began to send students to China in 1980, making Study-Service Term one of the first North American study abroad programs in post-revolutionary China. Today, a knowledge of Mandarin Chinese and the rich culture behind this global power can lead to opportunities in areas such as international business and journalism.
SST has always been based in Sichuan province and is currently located in the city of Nanchong at China West Normal University. Students live with hosts on or near this university campus.
During the first six weeks, students study with Chinese scholars, learning Mandarin Chinese and the history and culture of the country. Encountering the educational system and the way it supports the communal values of this society is a particular focus for this unit.
Students also visit historical and cultural sites. One example is the beautiful area in Western Sichuan which includes one of the largest statues of Buddha and beautiful Mount Emei.
During the service portion of SST, students leave Nanchong for smaller towns in Western Sichuan province to assist with English classes in middle and high schools. This makes the China unit a logical choice for education majors, since they are guaranteed teaching experience. All Chinese children must learn English and many are eager to hear a native English speaker.
At the end of service, the SST group leaves Sichuan and travels north to Beijing. Along the way they stop in the city of Xian and visit the site of the ancient Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses. They travel by train from Xian to Beijing where they visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Mao’s tomb and other important sites. They also have the opportunity to explore a portion of the Great Wall shortly before their return to Goshen.
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The end is the beginning
China SST 2017 is now over, but the experience will live on for each of us. In Beijing, between visiting the palaces and temples of dynasties and the Great Wall that protected them with varying degrees of success, we had a couple group meetings. On Sunday night we gathered…
Xi’an and Beijing Photo Blog
Time moved fast on our culminating excursion, and the Fall 2017 SSTers have already left China. This entry will tell the story of the Xian and Beijing portions of our trip through photos and captions. In the coming days there will be one more blog post with…
Return and Departure
Goodbyes on service led to reunions in Nanchong and then more goodbyes as we left on our final excursion. It felt strange to turn in our keys and bus cards and know we were making a one-way trip this time. Before this final farewell to Nanchong, SSTers regathered at…