Opportunities to study in Asia are abundant, and students are encouraged to take advantage of them. Those who qualify for the U.C. Education Abroad Programs are often eligible for substantial scholarships. Many courses taken abroad transfer easily to the major. We accept up to 12 semester units for the major and two courses for the minor. Students should consult with the undergraduate major advisor for approval of courses taken through an education abroad program. For further information, contact the Berkeley Programs for Study Abroad at 160 Stephens Hall, 510.642.1356, and/or check out the education abroad website for the UC system.
The Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies at Tsinghua University operates the oldest and most rigorous foreign-based Chinese-language training program in China. Its mission is to raise students' Chinese language proficiency to a level where they can function independently in professional or academic careers. For more information on the academic year, semester, and summer programs, please visit: http://ieas.berkeley.edu/iup.
Student Experiences Abroad
Every semester, many of our majors and minors travel abroad through BPSA or other education abroad programs. Students travel to China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, as well as countries of South and Southeast Asia. The experiences gained through cultural immersion contribute immensely to their language skills and their general breadth of knowledge regarding their chosen area of study. Below, some of our students share photographs and memories from their time overseas.
Graduate student Steven Dale has spent considerable time in China. Below, he shares some images and memories from his travels.
Here is a picture of Yangshuo, a small town in Guangxi province in China. I was there in October of 2005. This is a very rural part of China, but is known for being popular with tourists (especially Chinese tourists.) The landscapes are amazing and the weather is humid and sub-tropical. It's also a fairly poor region of China, even by Chinese standards with some of the tourist infrastructure proving to be an encroachment on the locals, especially when they lack the means to benefit from the industry.
This is a photograph from E Mei Shan (Mount E Mei) in Sichuan. It's a good three day climb up to the top and down again. Many tourists stay in Buddhist temples at night. Monkeys are commonly seen. They aren't friendly.
This is from Jiuzhaogou National Park in Sichuan, China. While well into Mainland China, this part of the country is heavily influenced by Tibetan culture. The picture of the village is also from the park and is one of the three remaining Tibetan villages in the park. Jiuzhaigou was simply the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my life.
Here is a photograph of the capital, Urumqi in Xinjiang in the far north west of China. Most of the people are not Han Chinese, but Uigher (also the name for their language, which uses the Arabic script). They are mostly Muslim. It's actually 9:00 at night in this picture, but they have to follow Beijing time, which is around 7pm. So in this part of China, when you ask what time it is they often give you both the official Beijing time and the unofficial "real" local time.
Stephan Woo is an undergraduate student with a concentration in Chinese studies. He shares remarkable photos he took while traveling through China and Vietnam.
My most valuable experience from being abroad was being surrounded by Chinese people (oddly enough). As a Chinese American, born and raised in the Bay Area, it was a completely new experience going abroad and being unconditionally accepted based on the way I looked. When locals found out I had Chinese ancestry, it was as if they were welcoming me home. This really upset me at first, since I've never considered myself anything less than full American and have always expected everyone else to do the same. Eventually, however, I began to realize the affect of being accepted unconditionally. Coming from a white suburb and living in a white dominated, mainstream American society, it was as if I was having the completely opposite experience of what my whole life had been up to that point. It was completely superficial, but at the same time, also very empowering for me to instantly be accepted by a society of people even though I had no sort of qualifying criteria, besides the way that I looked. It was something I had never felt before. Though I, in no way, consider myself part of China or as being connected with China, having experienced unconditional acceptance affected me deeply, and it allowed me to feel more comfortable with the Chinese part of me.