Chengdu, China
USAC
1-866-404-USAC1-775-784-65691-775-784-6010studyabroad@usac.unr.edu

Course Information

Chengdu, China | 2017 Fall

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.

Academics

You will enroll in 12 to 18 credits per semester comprised of a language study plus electives in Chinese culture and international relations. Course availability is contingent upon student enrollment and is subject to change.

Chinese Language Tracks

USAC offers intensive language courses grouped into tracks in which courses are taught sequentially (back to back) within one semester. If you have already taken the first course in a track, you do not have to take it again for credit, but you must audit it to be prepared for success at the next level. Language courses are small and typically have a maximum enrollment of 15 students each. Students who do not enroll in a language track must take Elementary Chinese Ito assimilate more effectively into Chinese culture and their new living and learning environment.

Track I (11 credits)—Prerequisite: none

Track II (9 credits)—Prerequisite: two semesters of college Chinese

Track III (9 credits)—Prerequisite: three semesters of college Chinese

Track IV (9 credits)—Prerequisite: five semesters of college Chinese

Fall Semester

Chinese Language Electives

Chinese Studies Electives

Taught in English

Spring Semester

Chinese Language Electives

Chinese Studies

Taught in English

Field Studies

Deepen your academic experience through the optional Xi’an Field Study where you will explore the historical, cultural and natural features of Xi’an. Students who enroll in this 1-credit course will select a particular topic of interest and complete a research paper drawing from assigned readings, reports, written assignments etc. This course cannot be taken as an audit and counts as part of your credit load. Field Studies have an additional fee and are subject to meeting minimum enrollment requirements to run.

 

Internships

USAC internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development. Students are placed in a Chinese-speaking environment, with high exposure to culture and language, and must be able to communicate at an advanced language level. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses.

Chengdu Internship opportunities fall into broad categories; previous placements have included: international programs, Sichuan Environmental Protection Bureau, Geologic Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Science and Technology, Wolters Kluwer Health, Chengdu Daily Newspaper, Continental Hotel, and Teaching English as a Second Language in local schools. Other internship sites are possible but require at least three months advance notification. Placement is not guaranteed by USAC, rather it will be determined by your application and supporting materials and an interview on site with the internship sponsor. For most positions, students will be required to attend orientation training sessions at the beginning of the internship.

Eligibility: enrollment in the Chengdu program, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and junior standing at the time of the internship. A refundable fee of $100 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship.

Course Descriptions

Advanced Chinese I

Fall (Chinese; 300-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Chinese; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course is for the third-year students of modern Chinese language and the equivalent (i.e. those who have completed studying of basic Chinese language at elementary and intermediate level).

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Advanced Chinese II

Fall (Chinese; 300-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Chinese; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course is for the third-year students of modern Chinese language and the equivalent (i.e. those who have completed studying of basic Chinese language at elementary and intermediate level).

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Advanced Chinese III

Fall (Chinese; 400-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Chinese; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course is for the third-year students of modern Chinese language and the equivalent (i.e. those who have completed studying of basic Chinese language at elementary and intermediate level).

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Advanced Chinese IV

Fall (Chinese; 400-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Chinese; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course is for the third-year students of modern Chinese language and the equivalent (i.e. those who have completed studying of basic Chinese language at elementary and intermediate level).

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Advanced Chinese X

Spring (Chinese; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course is for the students who have complete five year and half Chinese language class and majored in modern Chinese language.

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Ancient Chinese History

Fall (History; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course will be a survey of China’s history from the birth of civilization up to the modern era. We will examine the evolution and development of tradition, culture, philosophical thought, political organization, social structure, economic institutions, religious practice, and foreign relations in China. We will also compare social institutions and technological developments as they emerged in China and the West.

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Buddhism and Culture

Spring (Anthropology, Chinese, Sociology; 200-level; 3 credits)

Buddhism has widely been spread around Asia. In this course we will explore how Buddhism influences the people, shapes our culture here and transforms in different societies abroad. An important goal of the course is to promote an understanding of Buddhism in their cultural/historical contexts and of the enduring human values which unite the different people.

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Chinese Calligraphy

Fall (Art; 200-level; 2 credits)
Spring (Art; 200-level; 2 credits)

This course is especially designed for foreign students who are interested in Chinese calligraphy. In this class, general knowledge of Chinese calligraphy will be introduced, basic techniques will be taught. The purpose of this course is not to make the students to be outstanding calligraphers, but to help them learn the basic skills of Chinese calligraphy step by step.

Chinese calligraphy, as one of the most glorious traditional arts in China, is the unique artistic form of Chinese characters. By using a writing brush, Chinese calligraphy expresses the writer’s learning and cultivation, thoughts and feelings, and character and ideology through the changing movements of dots and lines.

Chinese calligraphy has a long history of over 3000 years. It embodies the five thousand–year Chinese cultural accumulation and implies the strong flavor of Chinese nationality’s calligraphy reflects the connotation of the Chinese philosophy and incorporates the aesthetic properties of Chinese music, dancing and painting etc.

"If you don’t understand Chinese calligraphy, you would not have a thorough understanding of Chinese culture." In view of the above-mentioned characteristics of Chinese calligraphy, we offer this course. By introduction its development history, culture origins, style and skills, especially through plenty of practice, we aim at making international students have a deeper understanding of the basic sprits of traditional Chinese culture and receive the edifying influence of aesthetics.

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Chinese Conversation

Fall (Chinese; 200-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Chinese; 200-level; 3 credits)

Chinese Conversation is to help Chinese speakers function in a Chinese speaking society. Subjects and themes will be tailored to facilitate the needs of visiting students, and vocabulary study will reflect what students are likely to encounter in daily life. Complete understanding of the brief grammar section will be paramount to a student’s success. However, it will still primarily emphasize speaking and listening comprehension. Study of written Chinese will be limited to what will be necessary for students to engage themselves in daily life. Active participation in class is both encouraged and expected, and questions are welcome.

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Chinese Economy

Fall (Economics; 400-level; 3 credits)

This module on the economy in China covers a wide range of issues in the Chinese economic life as well as its historical background. This module intends to provide students an overall view of Chinese economy in general, and its performance and function in the contemporary world in particular. Meanwhile, the module assists students to look into some aspects of the Chinese economy in depth as their interests go.

By highlighting some difficulties and problems in the modern Chinese economic activities, the module encourages students to discuss and debate the pros and cons of current economic policies. Consequently, the module tries to provide students an opportunity to form a justified understanding of the Chinese economy, and China as a nation.

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Chinese Literature in Movies: From the Beginning to 1949

Spring (Chinese, English; 200-level; 3 credits)

This course teaches Chinese literature from a very specific perspective, movies. Many masterpieces of Chinese literature have been adapted into movies. Moreover, there are also films representing lives of outstanding Chinese writers and the eras when they lived and composed. Therefore, movies and films can be a very intensive and integrated approach for students to learn and understand Chinese literature. Based on the history of Chinese literature, this course will firstly draw a survey of the development of Chinese literature from its beginning to 1949. Then, important literary works and distinguished writers will be highlighted by more careful analysis. On this level, reading of literary works and other references are required and indispensable; meanwhile, related movies and films will be introduced into class too. Discussions towards both the literary works and movies will be encouraged. By this means, the final target of this course is to help students to establish a more comprehensive command of Chinese literature.

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Elementary Chinese I

Fall (Chinese; 100-level; 4 credits)
Spring (Chinese; 100-level; 4 credits)

This introductory course in Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin) language is designed for beginners of Chinese study. It aims to develop the student’s functional language ability—the ability to use Mandarin Chinese in linguistically and socially appropriate ways. Emphasis is laid on training students in the four language skills, namely, listening, speaking, reading and writing, where speaking takes the lead. Various classroom activities, teacher-guide or students-centered, such as questions and answers, roll playing, pattern skills, dialogues, and oral presentations, provide the opportunity to practice speaking and listening.

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Elementary Chinese II

Fall (Chinese; 100-level; 4 credits)
Spring (Chinese; 100-level; 4 credits)

This introductory course in Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin) language is designed for beginners of Chinese study. It aims to develop the student’s functional language ability—the ability to use Mandarin Chinese in linguistically and socially appropriate ways. Emphasis is laid on training students in the four language skills, namely, listening, speaking, reading and writing, where speaking takes the lead. Various classroom activities, teacher-guide or students-centered, such as questions and answers, roll playing, pattern skills, dialogues, and oral presentations, provide the opportunity to practice speaking and listening.

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Government and Politics in China

Spring (Political Science; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course will be a brief survey of the government and politics of China. It will provide a comprehensive understanding of the Chinese society from 1949 to the present. Chinese history, culture, social and political system will be introduced in this class. Methodology includes introduction, discussions, analysis, comparison and seminars. Students are encouraged to be critical and analytical based on the understanding of their own.

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Intermediate Chinese I

Fall (Chinese; 200-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Chinese; 200-level; 3 credits)

This course is designed to further develop the students’ listening comprehension, speaking skills, reading and writing proficiency in Chinese. New grammar points will be introduced and selected grammar points are reviewed during class sessions. Various activities - discussions, oral presentations, conversions - will provide the opportunity to practice on speaking and listening, class participation is therefore essential.

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Intermediate Chinese II

Fall (Chinese; 200-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Chinese; 200-level; 3 credits)

This course is a continuation of Intermediate Chinese I and is designed to further develop the students’ listening comprehension, speaking skills, reading and writing proficiency in Chinese. New grammar points will be introduced and selected grammar points are reviewed during class sessions. Various activities - discussions, oral presentations, conversions - will provide the opportunity to practice on speaking and listening, class participation is therefore essential.

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International Marketing

Fall (International Business, Marketing; 400-level; 3 credits)

The module is designed to enable students to develop marketing strategies and plans in and across a range of different international market environments. As well as extending students' marketing and strategic skills obtained in earlier modules into a global context, it develops knowledge and skills in international marketing processes.

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Level 4 HSK Examination Preparation

Fall (Chinese; 400-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Chinese; 400-level; 1 credit)

The course applies to the students who has completed Elementary Chinese I, Elementary Chinese II, Intermediate Chinese I after two yeas of Chinese study and has the vocabulary of 800-5000 Chinese words, or those whose proficiency in Chinese is similar to that standard.

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Modern Chinese Culture and Society

Fall (Anthropology, Chinese, Sociology; 200-level; 3 credits)

The course aims at providing a compendium of the contemporary Chinese culture and society by means of a descriptive and analytic survey of chosen topics. While focusing on the cultural and social mainstream of contemporary China, the course also presents and analyzes various historic events, legends, traditions, ancient philosophies, religions and social norms in a sociological and economic perspective so as to enable students to have a better understanding of the evolution of and interactions between the Chinese culture and society. Field trips to museums and theatre of Sichuan opera are part of the course.

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Modern Chinese History

Spring (400-level; 3 credits)

For a country such as China that has so long a history more than 5,000 years, it is absolutely necessary to set up a course specializing in its modern ages as well as contemporary problems. The Modern Chinese History course just focuses on the very field. Generally speaking, scholars in China consider the first opium war broke out in 1840 as the beginning of modern China. From then on, China suffered great turmoil and also experienced huge changes in every field, which were strongly affected by western world. The interrelationship between China and the west has special significance for this course.

This course will chronologically introduce every stage in modern Chinese history, and pay more attention on some influential events, figures and political parties. This course intends to provide students an overall view of modern Chinese history, and particularly its half-being forced modernization and westernization. In addition, it assists students to look into problems of modern Chinese history in depth.

By discussing those important problems in modern Chinese history, this course encourages students to debate the causes and effects, and even make some rational assumptions for the possibilities in Chinese history. Consequently, this course wants to provide students a way of critical thinking on the problems of modern China, and finally gain a better understanding on China’s position in the modern world.

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Seminar in Developing Effective Teaching Skills

Fall (General Education; 200-level; 1 credit)

In this course we will present the students with the most important methods and approaches in the field of teaching of English as a second language. We will cover theoretical and practical aspects of those methods and approaches. In addition, we will present our students with the profiles of English language teaching in China, with the focus on the group of Chinese learners aged 5-12. With those knowledge and information, our students do practice teaching of English as a foreign language in the local schools. We will help to promote communication among our students who offer the teaching, the employees who accept our students, the Chinese-speaking children, and their parents.

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Sichuan Cuisine

Fall (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)

Cuisine culture is a very important part of Chinese culture. We will introduce the history, main category of Chinese cuisine and emphasis on the most popular one: Sichuan Cuisine in history, development, feature and why it is so popular in China and even the whole world.

We are also having the practices part by learning 8 well-known dishes and two deserts.

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Sino-American Relationship: A Comparison of Different Perspectives

Fall (Political Science; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course concentrates on today’s important relationship between China and USA, in a range of areas, such as politics, economy, military issues and so on. Also, related history of this topic will be discussed. Meanwhile this course is not only limited to the two sides’ opinions, but also various approaches from international arena. Students are encouraged to be critical and objective, and understand the new word “Coopetition” from the relationship between those two giants.

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Tai Chi

Fall (Recreation / Physical Education; 100-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Recreation / Physical Education; 100-level; 1 credit)

Taiji is a Chinese “Kongfu” which contains inside and outside exercise, it broad and rich contains makes Taiji the symbol of Chinese culture. Taiji makes “Yin and Yang” as it sole, and two of the most important scholar: Zhang Sanfeng an Wang Zongyue’s theory as it basic theory. At the recent half century, through the research, it is proved that Taiji has very good function of defend all kind of disease as well as a very good \physical exercise. It has been listed as one of the credit course of the schools by the Education Administration. It is also listed in Asian Games. According to the “World Week” report: Taiji is the best and cheapest way to keep people’s health especially for older peoples. Japanese women call this: a good way of keeping people’s health and weight loss. We can say Taiji is the art with all kinds of functions.

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Tibetan Culture and Society

Spring (Anthropology, Chinese, Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course introduces Tibetan Society and Culture, include history and structure, emphasize the relationship between Tibetan Buddhism or Lamaism and Tibetan Culture. As a central element of Tibetan civilization, Tibetan Buddhism has shaped its politics, economy, identity, education and society. However, Tibetan Culture is not only Tibetan Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism is not equal to Lamaism. The course also explores some aspects of social life and culture. As giving some visible material, the course will try to introduce some Academic research, such as Why Tibetan Culture has become a global phenomenon and how Tibetan traditional cultural to face globalization.

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Xi'an Field Study

Fall (Chinese; 200-level; 1 credit)

This course is designed to offer all students a better understanding on ancient Chinese history and culture through a 5 day field trip in China’s ancient capital, Xi’an. With its humanistic heritage and archeological excavations, Xi’an is renowned for its status in Chinese culture and history, which will be specially emphasized by focusing on the major anthropological, archeological and religious aspects in that city. This field trip enables students to obtain one credit in Ancient Chinese History and Culture. This is also an excellent opportunity to break the routine of classes and get acquainted with other parts of the country.

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