|Chinese Learning in the Culture Tier I||
CLIC is a nine-week intensive intermediate Chinese language program geared towards living and interacting in Chinese cultural contexts. The program begins with a pre-departure orientation to be conducted at USF during the preceding spring semester. The in-country program begins with a one-week study tour in Beijing. The Beijing tour is followed by a one-week in-country orientation designed to help students orient themselves to their new physical surroundings and cultural environment. The remainder of the program consists of a six-week intensive training session followed by a one-week study tour that takes students to a range of sites of cultural and historical significance in Shandong Province. The six-weeks of coursework are completed at Ocean University of China (OUC) in Qingdao, a city renowned for its natural beauty and breathtaking seaside scenery. Past local activities have included traditional performances, tours of the Tsing-tao Brewery, visits to the Qingdao Sculpture Museum, the Qingdao History Museum, the Jimo Road Small Goods Market, the Shilaoren scenic area, Buddhist temples at Mt. Lao, and tours of the Haier and Coca Cola plants.
2017 Program Dates:
May 15 - 21: Beijing
May 22 - July 7: Qingdao
July 7 - 14: Shandong Tour
July 15 - 16: Return to Qingdao to end program
*2 semesters of Chinese study (or the equivalent) are required in order to participate in Tier I.
Because every place in China is at least a bilingual environment (some version of Mandarin and at least one local dialect), students also need to be trained in the process of adapting to different variations of Mandarin. Thus, our program will be located outside of Beijing or Shanghai, which abound with large foreign enclaves and significant numbers of English language speakers. The Program will be located in Qingdao, a rapidly growing port city on the southern coast of China's Shandong Province, on the Yellow Sea midway between Beijing and Shanghai.
Qingdao has seen explosive but sustained economic growth and commercial development over the twenty-five year period since China began its Reform and Opening Up policies. Since 1992 when the city was given provincial level status in terms of economic planning and funding, Qingdao has been transformed into one of north China's most important economic, shipping and trade hubs. The city's GDP nearly doubled from 62 billion RMB (7.6 billion USD) in 1995 to more than 115 billion RMB (14.04 billion USD) in 2000 while during the same five-year period retail volume soared from 17.1 billion RMB (2.09 billion USD) to 30.8 billion RMB (3.76 billion USD) and foreign trade skyrocketed from 3.764 billion USD to 10.8 billion USD or 43.2% of the total trade volume for Shandong Province. Qingdao's economy has sustained at least double digit growth rates for more than twenty years and by 2007 the per capita GDP had reached $7,136, among the top tier cities in China.Amidst this rapid economic and industrial development, through conscious efforts of the municipal government, Qingdao, unlike the majority of developing areas, has been able to successfully preserve the beauty of its miles of golden beaches and breathtaking coastline (Qingdao is an annual leader in the competition for China's Cleanliest City award). This fact coupled with the area's comfortable summer weather has not gone unnoticed as millions of Chinese and international tourists flock to Qingdao's countless resorts and villas each year to escape the unbearable heat and pollution found in inland cities. Qingdao has a relatively pollution-free environment, mild coastal climate (average annual temperature of 25 degrees Celsius), cool ocean breezes from the Yellow Sea, abundant sunshine, and modern city infrastructure.