Language & Culture

The China: Language & Culture travel program provides an excellent opportunity for students to improve their Chinese-language skills while also exploring China’s diverse landscape and culture.  The group will spend the first 14 days of the program in Beijing, where students will participate in a homestay to learn from, live and build relationships with a Chinese family. In the mornings, they will take Chinese classes through CIEE on a university campus, and in the afternoon, they will visit cultural and historical sites in Beijing to apply their language skills to more deeply connect with the sites and experiences in the city. Other local excursions potentially include: doing service work in a nearby orphanage, day trips to the Great Wall, cultural art classes, engaging with other Deerfield community members in China, and more. For the last 10 days of the trip, Deerfield students and faculty will travel to areas throughout China for example, but not limited to, places like Xi’an, Chengdu, Inner Mongolia, and Shanghai. Students will return to Deerfield with increased command of the Chinese language, and a deepened understanding of the rich geographical and cultural diversity in China, and grounded in connections made to a homestay family.

This program is open to all current 9th, 10th and 11th grade students with a preference towards those currently enrolled in Chinese II or above and who plan to continue their study of Chinese when they return. All interested students are encouraged to apply by November 4. Financial aid is available for all trips with priority for students who have not previously received aid for a Deerfield trip.

Program Notes

  • During this trip, students will stay in a homestay in Beijing in singles, pairs, or triples, and also hotels while traveling. They will share meals with their homestay family in Beijing, and also eat in restaurants.
  • Students and faculty leaders will update families and friends at home through our Notes from Abroad blog. Check out previous posts for a better understanding of the travel experience in China.
  • Families are responsible for transporting their students to join the start of the program at a New England or NY -based airport, as campus closes Friday, May 29, and also to their home destination for the remainder of the summer at the end of the trip.

Program Dates

This trip has concluded. The following information has been provided for reference. Please check back soon for updates on our next trip.

Helpful links

China 9
China 4

Example Itinerary

June 3–4: Travel to Beijing from New England/NY based airport

June 4–18: Beijing Experience (homestay portion of the trip)

  • Explore Beijing’s great landmarks, such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden Palace
  • Take language classes on a local university campus
  • Participate in a home stay, staying in singles or pairs with another DA student
  • Participate in a service activities
  • Visit the markets, restaurants and shops of the city

June 18–27: Travel to Inner Mongolia, Xi’an, Chengdu & Shanghai (please note location changes as of 10.23)

Inner Mongolia Experience:

  • Explore the culture of Inner Mongolia
  • Visit a school
  • Visit to a dairy production company & local farm

Xi’an Experience:

  • Visit the Terra Cotta Warriors
  • Engage with artifacts excavated by archeologists

Chengdu Experience

  • Visit Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center to interact and learn more about this culturally significant species, while participating in science research and cleaning enclosures and preparing food for the Pandas
  • Take a cooking class on Sichuan style food

Shanghai Experience:

  • Ride a river boat
  • Visit museums and famous local sites

June 27: Fly out of Shanghai and return to the US**

*This itinerary is subject to change.

**Families are responsible for transporting their students to and from a U.S. based airport to begin the trip and to their home destination for the remainder of the summer.

Notes from Abroad

China #26: Final Reflections

Trip Leaders Xiaofeng Kelly and Cindy Feng share excerpts of the group’s final reflections of their time in China, where students spent a month immersed in Chinese language and culture.

China 2018

China #24: Exploring Shanghai

Valentina Saldarriaga ’20 recounts the groups day visiting the “largest Starbucks Coffee in the world,” enjoying a delicious Dim Sum brunch, and visiting the French Concession district of Shanghai.

China 2018

China #23: Caves and Noodles

Francis Shea ’20 shares a visit to the Mogao caves in Dunhuang; the groups last stop before heading to Shanghai.