Class discussion in the Map Room in Knox College's Old Jail. #

Academics > Study Abroad & Off-Campus Programs

China: Language, Culture and Ethnic Minorities (SIT)


Brenda Tooley

Director, Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



Apply to Knox Now
Stacks of library books inside Seymour Library.

Based in Yunnan Province, home to a rich diversity of minority communities and traditions, this SIT program examines the social, environmental, economic, and cultural factors shaping Yunnan's and China's future. Here, you will gain a deep understanding of China's rich multicultural history and broadened perspectives on the major issues and challenges confronting Chian today. Major topics of study include:

  • The role of traditional Chinese cultures and belief systems in contemporary life
  • Rapid urbanization, agriculture, and social change
  • Health and Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Tourism and sustainability (both cultural and environmental)
  • Preservation and development of China's minority cultures

Highlights of the program include an initial program orientation in Kunming and the traditional town of Tonghai, the opportunity to study alongside Chinese students at Yunnan Minzu University, dialy taiji exercise, small group language study, excursions throughout Yunnan Provice and to Beijing, homestays in Kunming, and field excursions to Weishan, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La, with a rural homestay in the Bai minority village of Shaxi. The final program evaluations takes place at the Stone Forest and Jiuxiang Cave area. Each program component exposes you to the complex and varied challenges and opportunities of Chian's ethnic minority groups. You will engage with a broad array of knowledge centers, and lecturers are drawn from a variety of local institutions and organizations.

In the final month of the semester, you will undertake an Independent Study Project (ISP), which provides an opportunity for you to critically examine a topic, community, or situation related to Chinese culture and ethnic minorities in China. Sample ISP topics include:

  • Working with locals to restore biodiversity to a rubber-dominated landscape
  • Treatment accessibility for co-infected IDUs in China
  • Traditional ecological knowledge and sustainable food sourcing
  • Naxi Dongba shaman practices
  • The impact of the Chinese rural healthcare system on infectious disease
  • Domestic tourism and its impact on Dali and Lijiang, and other minority areas
  • Preservation and renewal of Tibetan arts
  • Women's health in China

Learn more about the SIT China: Language, Culture and Ethnic Minorities program.

Credits: 4.5 Knox credits for the fall or spring semester.

Advisor: Professor Weihong Du

Click here to apply for off-campus study.

A women's tennis match.
Apply for Admission Request More Info Visit Knox
Knox College

Printed on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Back to