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China: Mandarin Service Adventure

China: Mandarin Service Adventure

A full spectrum of Chinese adventure awaits, as complex as the country itself.


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  • Help a minority community restore traditional temples and cultural relics
  • Bond with local children through tutoring English
  • Experience the majesty of rural and urban China
  • Discover Beijing and hike the Great Wall of China
  • Learn, or improve upon, your Mandarin language skills (21-Day Flagship Program only)
  • Explore the incredible Stone Forest (21-Day Flagship Program only)

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Welcome to China, one of the oldest, largest and most diverse nations on Earth. China’s complex society and rich culture are most authentically preserved in its beautiful countryside, and this is your ticket to the full experience. You’ll be based in Shaxi, an ancient town in the rural Southwest, where temples built of intricate woodwork and a pervasive sense of history are elements of daily life. Interact with the local community through language exchange and impactful temple restoration projects, and explore famous cultural icons on the weekends: Beijing and the Great Wall of China, towering Buddha statues in the mountains and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (21-Day Flagship Program only).

The 21-Day Flagship program also features the GLA Experiential Language Curriculum™, a unique curriculum for learning and improving Mandarin skills. It combines classroom time with immersion through community service, excursions and cultural activities.

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Community Service

You’ll volunteer in the Bai minority community, where residents are actively working to preserve their heritage and cultural traditions. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, thousands of important temples, buildings and cultural relics were destroyed or damaged, including many sites in the village where you’ll be living. Participate in a physical service project that restores these sites and help the ancient town’s global image by checking and editings its English signs and public notices. You’ll also volunteer with local children, tutoring English and playing learning games to help them improve their language skills.

Hands-On Learning

China is a nation on the march.  however, its rapid move towards modernity is based on an ancient civilization that has remained intact for over four thousand years. Through local interaction, you’ll learn how contemporary changes manifest in rural China. Participate in fun cooking demos, take dance lessons, visit markets and attend workshops on classic arts like silk flower-making, paper-cutting and Bai tie-dye art. In the 21-Day Flagship Program, our unique Mandarin curriculum combines classroom time and immersion, allowing beginners to quickly learn the basics, and gives advanced speakers the confidence to use their skills with natives. Unlike other Mandarin language camps for high school students, no prior knowledge of Mandarin is required.

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China is a beautiful nation packed with opportunities for adventure! Stand under giant Buddha sculptures at the mountaintop Baoxiang Temple and on our 21-day Flagship Program, visit Naigu Stone Forest, an unbelievable labyrinth of natural limestone formations. You'll also go on a three-day excursion to Beijing, exploring cultural classics like Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Check a major item off your bucket list—hiking the Great Wall of China!


The GLA Home Base in China is located in rural Shaxi, a historic market town in the stunning Yunnan province. Accommodations are basic, but clean and safe. Students will sleep in gender-segregated rooms with roommates. All rooms have attached bathrooms with Western-style toilets and showers that have warm and cold water. During our time in Beijing (21-Day Flagship Program only) and Dali, we will stay in local hotels as a group.

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Dates & Tuition

China: Mandarin Service Adventure 21-Day Program Flagship
2018 Dates
Jun 15 - Jul 5, 2018
Jul 9 - Jul 29, 2018
Duration: 21 days
Tuition: $5,399
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 36
Language Hours: 20
See What's Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • One-way Domestic Airfare from Kunming to Beijing
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support
More Information

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for adults and families, in collaboration with the National Peace Corps Association.

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The GLA China program was fantastic. The language classes were fun and effective, allowing me to communicate with others who speak Mandarin. The staff is very knowledgeable and open to teach and explain.

China: One Nation, Two Worlds™
Hometown: Washington, DC

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