On the mix of old and new in Shaxi:
"I loved mentoring students on the China: Mandarin Service Adventure program. I had traveled to various countries across Asia before starting my summer with GLA, but seeing China with my students was a wholly different experience. We ooh'd and ahh'd at the must-see sights—the Great Wall, the Forbidden City—but really the best part was when we arrived in Shaxi village, our main Home Base. Everyone settled into a peaceful routine of doing community service at the organic farms and visiting the beautiful temples and quaint cafes surrounding the town square. There's a mix of budding small businesses by young entrepreneurs—juice shops and handcrafted artisan studios that remind you of Etsy—and truly historic establishments that ooze with mystery and China's ancient culture. It's a traveler's dream, and I can hardly wait for students to see it for themselves this summer!"
Program Mentor, China: Mandarin Service Adventure 2017
Samara leads GLA students through an organic farm in China.
On unexpected highlights in China:
"I. Love. China. I can’t say enough about this unique thoughtfully-planned program, but I’ll try: Peking Duck. Breakfast noodle bowls. Peaceful, rainy evenings. Colorful, bustling metropolis. Ancient relics and living history. You'll see, experience and taste so much than you could ever imagine by just reading books or watching movies about China's rich culture. The food alone is incredible!"
GLA Admissions Manager; Program Mentor, China: Mandarin Service Adventure 2016
China: Mandarin Service Adventure could be a contender for the Best Food on Program award!
On connecting with family heritage:
"My parents were born in Taiwan, the small island off the coast of China, before they immigrated to the United States. My family has historic roots in both Taiwan and China, and I was raised Chinese/Taiwanese American in a dual-culture, dual-language home. Even though I had visited relatives in the motherland before, traveling to China with GLA was different. I got to independently see places where even my relatives had only heard stories about, and every local shopkeeper, farmer, artist, bakery owner I met felt like family. I had never been that into connecting with my cultural roots before, but visiting China awakened a fascination. It was a beautiful place that I am proud to have a connection to."
Copywriter & Social Media Specialist, traveled to China: Mandarin Service Adventure with GLA in 2016
Being treated like family by all the locals in China.
On reasons for choosing China and other thoughts:
"I chose the China: Mandarin Service Adventure program with absolutely no hesitation. As a prospective student, I was looking at multiple programs that offered Chinese options as that's where I thought my Mandarin learning in school could come the most in handy/pique my interest. GLA's program offered the perfect balance of community service as well as full-fledged language classes with mentors I will never forget for the rest of my life. Coming out of this program, you will come to learn that doing is the best type of learning there is, especially when that doing is helping the local community that's serving you. You will meet amazing people, you will be taught things you never thought you could be taught, and you will be in withdrawal from the amazing dishes offered to you. Go out and be the change in Yunnan, 你还在等什么？(what are you waiting for?)"
Student, China: Mandarin Service Adventure 2017, GLA Global Ambassador
Exploring Dali City with the GLA group near the end of the program.
A few more of our favorite glimpses of China:
Find out dates & details for our China: Mandarin Service Adventure here. You can also download the day-by-day itinerary here.
Questions about the program, safety or scholarships & aid? Give our Enrollment Specialists a call at +1 858-717-4218.