China Field Study : Schools of Humanities, Social Sciences and Music : The University of Western Australia

Schools of Humanities, Social Sciences and Music

China Field Study

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For more information please contact the Global Learning Office.

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The CHIN2801 China Field Study unit is an intensive eight-week unit of study in Chinese language and society.

The unit is conducted offshore in China and is split between the cities of Beijing (Beijing Institute of Education) and Hangzhou (Zhejiang University).

Students at any level of Chinese language can participate (beginner, intermediate, advanced and native speaker but prerequisites do apply, please check the handbook). The Chinese language component consists of daily intensive classes in all facets of the language—speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Extracurricular activities that introduce Chinese culture and lifestyles are also provided. On completion of this unit students are able to consolidate their Chinese language skills and have a sound knowledge of daily life in contemporary China. They will also develop a strong self-awareness of the issues surrounding cross-cultural communication and interaction.  

Why Study Chinese?

  • China has a rich and diverse set of cultures that make it one of the most vibrant and interesting places in the world.
  • China is the most populous nation in the world, with 1.3 billion people.
  • One fifth of the planet speaks Chinese. Mandarin Chinese is the mother tongue of over 873 million people, making it the most widely spoken first language in the world.
  • In addition to the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, Mandarin Chinese is also spoken widely amongst the 50 million strong Chinese diaspora.
  • China is the second largest economy in the world and rapidly expanding.
  • China is the largest trading partners of Australia.
  • Many Australian companies do business in China and have long-term investments there.
  • Acquiring Chinese Mandarin can give you a competitive advantage in the job market.
  • Chinese is not as difficult to learn as many people think. You’d be surprised at how much progress you can make with diligent study.

Why Study Chinese in China?

  • Studying Chinese in China is the surest way to make rapid progress and to consolidate what you have already learnt.
  • By locating yourself in China you also enable deep cultural immersion.
  • You can make life-long friendships and connections with Chinese people. These relationships will provide many insights into the mindset of contemporary China.
  • China is undergoing a rapid social, cultural and economic transformation. It is quite a privilege to be able to experience this unprecedented transformation first hand.
  • Chinese cuisine is one of the most diverse and sophisticated in the world. Expose your taste buds to a gastronomic feast!

Applications are accepted in July of each year.  You must meet with the unit coordinator to be considered for this unit.  The unit runs from the beginning of December until the end of January each year.  Students are away over Christmas.

Contact the unit coordinator for further details: Prof. Gary Sigley.

Student testimonials

Student David Lovell in China

David Lovell: "The Field Study was amazing. Every day you meet and live with people from all over the world while exponentially learning about this language and culture . Each day was an experience that you get to share with good mates. I can't advocate it enough, do it yourself and find out!"

Student Marisa Duong in China 

Marisa Duong: "The China Field Study was the most exciting experience that I had in my first year at UWA. I left Australia knowing absolutely no Chinese… actually yes, Ni hao and Ni hao ma? That’s exactly it! But after 2 months of study plus great fun, I’m now excited every time I understand and talk in basic Chinese, at uni as well as in the workplace."

Student Caryn Tan in China 

Caryn Tan: "Setting off for the first time to study a language that interests me was so exciting and the experience itself turned out to be wonderful. Studying in-country adds another level to your university experience, it puts you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to learn in a different way. Being in China meant I not only get to experience speaking the language with the locals but I also got a deep cultural immersion by seeing their way of life, eating their food and living amongst them. The really awesome thing about the China Field Study is that we got to live in two different cities each month and because China is such a large country, it means we get to see two completely different ways of life from the more relaxed and beautiful Hangzhou to the hustle and bustle of enormous capital city Beijing. Being away from home allowed me to learn about myself and I found myself planning my next trip to come back to China."



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Last updated:
Wednesday, 20 April, 2016 12:12 PM