Ancient, culturally rich and picturesque, Chengdu is the perfect destination for anyone hoping to immerse in China’s heritage and natural beauty. While Chengdu remains a mystery to many, people find the laid-back pace and diversity of cultural scenes in the city unexpectedly engaging.
Chinese Language & Culture
USAC classes and offices are located on the campus of Southwest Minzu University. Founded in 1951, Southwest Minzu University has over 20,000 students from all 55 ethnic groups as well as Han. USAC is located on its oldest campus in the heart of Chengdu, surrounded by the Tibetan area of the city. Nearby you can find arts and crafts of the various minority groups in the unique shops. Many small restaurants with various Sichuan and Tibetan flavors also surround the campus. Southwest Minzu University and its surrounding neighborhood is an ideal setting for students to participate in Chinese social life and experience its diversity.
Interesting Fact About the City:
Chengdu is famous for being home to China’s magnificent giant pandas and there is a major research center here.
Best Weekend Travel Destinations:
Chengdu is located in the heart of the Sichuan region and is connected to the beautiful wonders of western China. Travel to incredible nature parks and experiences China’s mysterious beauties in Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park in Sichuan province and Wulingyuan in Hunan province.
Field Trips (vary by term):
Panda Research Institute & City Tour
Explore downtown and learn to get around the city. Then visit the biggest panda research base in the world. See the relaxed adult and playful baby pandas, and learn more about this “living fossil.”
Qingcheng Mountain, Dujiangyan Irrigation System, & Qiang Minority Village
Experience firsthand the difference between modern China and the ancient cultures that coexist. Taoping Qiang Village is known as the “Ancient Oriental Fortress” for its aged stone houses and its old and underground water system. Dujiangyan irrigation system is the oldest and only surviving no-dam irrigation system in the world. Near Dujiangyun is Mt. Qingcheng, one of the most famous Taoist mountains of China.
The museum is near an archaeological site that dates back to the Neolithic, Shang, and Zhou periods, where you can learn more about China’s ancient history.
Yellow Dragon Town
Explore a typical Sichuan-style ancient village often used in Chinese historical films. You can also enjoy the weekend the way the locals enjoy theirs.
This gives you a great opportunity to get to know everyone in the program and get a head start on making friends by sharing his unique and interesting experience together. We will visit important sites such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.
Explore the city that has been the cultural center of China for thousands of years. Visiting Xi’an will feel like stepping into a textbook of Chinese history and culture.
Luodai Ancient Town
Explore the largest Hakka community in southwest China. The Hakka community is one of the ethnic groups in China.
The Jinsha Site is the most significant Chinese archaeological discovery of the 21st century. Thousands of gold plates, jade articles, stone wares, and ivory from the Shu Kingdom were uncovered and are now featured in the museum.
Leshan & Emei Shan
On this weekend trip you’ll see the 1,200-year-old, biggest sitting Buddha in the mountains of China.
Shanghai symbolizes China’s soaring economic growth. It is one of the most diverse cities in China, where you will find both historical sites and modern state-of-the-art architecture.
Guizhou Field Study
You must be registered in the one credit fiend study course to participate. This course will focus on the Miao, Dong, Yao, and Shui minorities. You will receive a brief introduction to their histories, but will focus on the cultural, social, and economical aspects of these groups. As a field study participant, you will complete academic requirements such as writing a research paper, keeping a journal, and engaging in discussions of the sites visited to better understand their historical and cultural contexts.
What students have to say:
This study abroad was amazing. Chengdu is a great location to be in. There are areas where you can see old Chinese culture as well as modern Chinese development. There are so many places to see. Chengdu is filled with lots of great food, tea places, and neat neighborhoods. Don’t be afraid to go out, Chengdu is a very safe city. If you are trying to build your language skills it may be a little difficult talking with older people because of their dialect. However, you can easily find people to practice Chinese with, especially with college students. There are many opportunities to find a language partner. I suggest getting a language partner because they also teach you a lot of culture. – Mireya
Spending my summer studying in Chengdu was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. The USAC program leaders made sure that students knew exactly what they were getting into and made sure students were always prepared to handle situations that arise. The education I received was tremendous and my instructors were great. All of the field trips were incredibly fun and relevant, but the best part of Chengdu was exploring the city and trying all sorts of Sichuan cuisine. Overall I would highly recommend this program to anyone with an interest in China or Chinese. – Justin
I soooooooooo enjoyed my time in Chengdu with the USAC Program there. Not only did I learn so much, but I felt safe, enjoyed the culture, and was able to explore the beautiful city of Chengdu. I also went up an awesome mountain too 😊!!! From trying the Tibetian tu do bao zi to the spicy Sichuan hua-jiao peppercorns, I enjoyed the many wonders. For those more adventurous, you can try duck tongue, scorpion, and even pigs blood cubes in a hot pot. Would also highly recommend making some local friends as they know all the in’s and out’s 😉 – Joshua
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