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China Tour

Experience China

Study and Service Tour
August 23 - September 9, 2014

Application: DEADLINE EXTENDED! April 30, 2014
  • Where Will the Tour Be Going?

    The primary focus of this tour is to journey as a team to the remote villages of Yunnan province to work with a partner organization devoted to helping village communities by empowering minority children through culture, art and music. In this way, we hope team members will gain a better understanding of life and culture in a developing country, respect for the people who live and work there, and an appreciation for the value of engaging in long-term, mutually beneficial relations between communities in developed and developing nations. We will also use our time in China to learn more about its amazing history and culture through visits to its modern capital, Beijing, and its ancient capital, Xi'an.

  • How to Apply?

    This tour is open to students, faculty, staff and community members, 16 years of age or older. If you are interested in joining the tour, you must submit an application form to the Cashier Office by April 1, 2014.You may be interviewed prior to selection.

  • Costs

    $3200 (USD) per person, double occupancy, including international airfare (minimum 10 people – international airfare is estimated at $1200; unforeseen airfare increases could affect total trip cost). Every effort has been made to keep this trip as affordable as possible, especially for students. There will be no 4 or 5 Star hotels, but accommodations in the cities will meet acceptable standards of safety and cleanliness. In rural areas living conditions will be safe but more rustic.

    INCLUDED: Round-trip transport from SVC’s Mount Vernon campus to SeaTac airport, round trip air fare US-China, domestic travel in China, admission fees and guides, accommodations and ground transportation, some meals, and medical evacuation insurance. Travelers age 60 and over must pay additional insurance surcharge.

    NOT INCLUDED: Visa and passport application fees; Travel Cancellation and Protection Insur-ance; vaccinations; course tuition; some meals, personal items and souvenirs. Participants should expect to bring at least $200 cash for some meals, personal expenses and a few souve-nirs. Those wanting to purchase many souvenirs for gifts should plan for a larger personal budget. An ATM card from a major US bank is highly recommended.

    CANCELLATIONS: Once you are accepted for the trip, the $300 deposit is not refundable. Other sums may be refunded only to the extent allowed by vendors (agents, air carriers, tour guides, etc.) and when not needed by the program to avoid cancellation of the entire trip. If the minimum of 10 travelers is not met, the trip will be canceled and all deposits and pay-ments will be refunded, excepted amounts forfeited due to vendor policies.

  • Is Tour Right for You?

    WARNING! This tour is not suitable for everyone. It is a fast-paced trip with significant time spent living in rugged rural areas seldom visited by foreigners (with minimal or no western-style facilities) , and at the invitation of an organization that depends on maintaining local good will to do its important work. As a result, space is limited, and final selection of participants will be made based on an assessment of an applicant's cultural sensitivity and ability to en-dure the rigors of a physically and mentally demanding journey. Although we would wish that everyone who wants to go would be able to, we cannot guarantee that will happen.


Yunnan has the most ethnic minorities in China, which make up about 1/3 of the province's population. Of China's 55 ethnic minorities, the province is home to 51, and 25 of them exceed populations of 5,000.

The province also boasts beautiful and spectacular natural scenery with changing topographies throughout the region. We will volunteer in the remote villages of the Jingpo minority with our partner Prop Roots, an organization devoted to “empowering Jingpo children with their own culture, their own creativity



We will stay in Beijing on the campus of Beijing Foreign Studies University (commonly known as Bei Wai), China’s most prestigious university for the study of languages. We will visit: The rapidly disappearing hutong, with their bustling alleyways and courtyard homes, a significant piece of Beijing’s character and cultural history; The Forbidden City, situated exactly in the heart of Beijing and home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties; The Great Wall of China, built mainly to protect the Chinese Empire from the Mongolians and other invaders, extending 4,000 miles westward from the China Sea to Gansu province.



Xi'an served as the capital of China for 12 dynasties spanning more than 1,000 years and was the starting point of the Ancient Silk Road that extended from Asia to Europe. Terra Cotta Warriors Archaeological Dig and Museum - In 1974, farmers digging a well about 1500 meters east of Emperor Qin’s tomb uncovered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. Excavation of the underground vaults of earth and timber revealed thousands of life sized Terracotta soldiers in battle formation - a whole army which would accompany its emperor into immortality.



Currents Publication Articles

2013 Experience China

2010 Experience China

Videos from Past Tours