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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

China: Chengdu

Semester: Fall, Full year
Offered: Annually
Estimated Dates: Fall: mid-August to mid-December, Full Year: mid-August to May/July
Program Focus: Regional Area Study


CHIN 102. A “B” or better in the language. 3.0 cumulative GPA required                 
Housing: Dormitories
Campus Contact:

Keith Dede
Professor of Chinese
, 503-768-7445

Susan Glosser
Associate Professor of History and Program Director, Asian Studies
, 503-768-7488

Program Design

Housed at Sichuan University in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, the program is coordinated through Pacific Lutheran University’s Wang Center, which sends a faculty member to accompany the students. The program includes an orientation tour prior to arriving in Chengdu, courses on contemporary Chinese culture and society, and excursions to rural Sichuan, including areas with primarily ethnic minority inhabitants.

This program engages students in the various cultures of China as an integral part of the required courses that explore Chinese culture and the minority experience. The semester begins with a visit to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall in Beijing. Students then take an overnight train to Xi’an, whose famous Terracotta Warriors and Wild Goose Pagoda are a reminder of China’s prominence in the world as the eastern terminus of the Silk Road. Finally, students fly into Chengdu, home to China’s pandas and a sizable Tibetan minority population, and prepare for their semester of study at Sichuan University. While in Chengdu, students engage with local communities through field trips to rural farms, local villages and nearby monuments such as Qingchengshan Daoist Mountain. In October, students visit a Tibetan Region for a week of discovery to explore Buddhist temples and shrines, a culture vastly different than that of China’s ethnic Han majority.

Chengdu is the capital city of the Sichuan province in the southwest, and home to over 14 million residents. Once a silk brocade capital, the city is pleasantly located where the Jin and Fu rivers intersect. Chengdu is well-known for lovely giant pandas, and they are the number one reason that tourists visit. The city is also famous for delicious Sichuan (Szechuan) which is characterized by its spicy and strong flavors. Chengdu is a large but a rather relaxed city, with many natural, cultural, and historical sights in and around it, including the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, the Wenshu Temple, and the Jinsha Museum.

About the 2018 Program Leader:

Dr. Gina Hames, Associate Professor, History - Gina Hames’ research interests focus on the historic role of how alcohol shapes identity from a comparative perspective across the globe, including Africa, Asia, including China, Japan, and India, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the United States. In addition to her book, Alcohol In World History, Routledge, 2012, she has recently published “The Commerce of Alcohol, 1850-1950” in the collection Alcohol in the Age of Industry, Empire, and War, Bloomsbury Press, 2016, and “Rum” in Encyclopedia of the Atlantic World, 1400-1900: Europe, Africa, and the Americas in An Age of Exploration, Trade, and Empires. ABC-CLIO, 2017. She teaches a core course for the Global Studies Program, “Modern World History”. She also teaches in the First Year Experience Program, including Writing 101, focusing on Global Human Rights, and two History 190 courses, World History, and Modern Latin American History. She participates in the Residence Hall Learning Communities program, linking Writing 101 to Hong International Hall, and she piloted a program linking Writing 101 courses to 190 courses. She has taught study abroad courses for many years in Bolivia and Peru, and Cuba. She also teaches courses on the History of Mexico, and Slavery, Pirates, and Dictators in the Caribbean.

Full Year Participation: After successful completion of this program you may be eligible to participate on one of our other language intensive programs. It is your responsibility to contact Keith Dede before registration for spring semester to determine your eligibility to continue on one of our other programs.  Participation during second program entails participation in the January Term program in Beijing immediately after completing the fall semester.


Requirements Fulfilled: This program fulfills the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement, and the overseas study requirement for Asian Studies major and World Language major Chinese (Primary). Select courses can be applied to the Chinese minor. Students who complete Chinese 201 or higher fulfill the World Language proficiency general education requirement.

Credits: Credit earned varies based on courses completed. Students may earn up to 19 credits. Overloads are not permitted. 


Fall Required Core (8-12 credits)

CHIN 101/102/201/202/350 (C - 4-8 credits) Chinese Language
CHSP 350 (SO - 4 credits) Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society
CHSP 350 (2 credits) Western China: The Rural and Minority Experience

Electives (up to 7 credits)

ARTD 387 (AR - 4 credits) Transformations of Perspectives
HIST 339 (3 credits) The 20th Century History of China
POLS 387 (3 credits) Chinese Politics: Historical Ideas to Contemporary Realities
POLS 332 (3 credits) Sino-American Relations
RELI 350 (3 credits) Daoism & Traditional Chinese Culture
ECON 350 (3 credits) Economics of Development in China

NOTE: Business, Calligraphy and Taiji/Martial Arts classes will not be accepted for credit.

Internships: InternChina (IC) offers a complimentary internship placement service to students during their semester in Chengdu. The IC team are on hand to arrange a part time internship for you alongside your studies and offer ongoing internship related support. As part of IC’s internship program, you will have access to a range of events, networking opportunities and trips with other students from around the world who are taking part in IC’s Chengdu program. IC offers internships in a range of sectors, including marketing, law, NGOs, sports and media.

Student Life

Housing: Students will stay in an international student residence hall, where they will meet other students from around the world. Each student will have a double bedroom with their own bathroom and shower. Students are provided with a monthly stipend for food, which gives them the freedom to eat at the nearby cafeteria, or to explore the many surrounding restaurants.


2018-2019 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition & Program Fee): $32,334

Tuition: $25,287

Program Fee: $7,047

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. 

*Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to PEK): $800-$2,000

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,275.50

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.  

Program Preparation

Application Process: This program has a dual application process. Student must first submit a Lewis & Clark Application. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their secondary, or program sponsor, application, and will receive a separate notification letter from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU).  Please keep a digital copy of your essays and other application materials as you will need to submit these again to PLU or you will need to re-write the essays.  Please note that this secondary application process can be as late as the semester preceding your scheduled participation.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the Beijing Capital airport (PEK), where they are met by onsite program staff and transported to orientation.

Visa: Students will be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to China.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s China page.

China, Chengdu