Travel with a purpose….
Have you ever thought about traveling abroad with a goal to give back? Not just to sightsee, but to serve others, to make a difference in someone’s life?
In July 2011, join fellow alumni, family and friends for an extraordinary opportunity to see the real China, not merely the tourist sites, while working to create social change.
In an exciting partnership between Yale-China Association and the Yale Alumni Service Corps, in this, the 100th anniversary of the Yale-China Teaching Fellowship Program, you have the opportunity to volunteer in China for two weeks–working with Chinese school children and adults to broaden their horizons, share our culture, and open doors to a different way of life. We will also sponsor a variety of medical, construction and business consulting projects.
From July 9 through July 16 you, our volunteers, will be stationed in the rural town of Xiuning in Anhui province where Yale-China has been working since 2005. At the Xiuning Middle School there are four Yale-China’s Teaching Fellows teaching English and providing cultural enrichment in schools that have limited resources for such instruction. We are prepared to help them.
By sharing our gifts, we have the opportunity to broaden the students’ experiences in the areas of western arts and ideas, expand their horizons by sharing our cultural perspectives. We will teach what they do not have the luxury of being taught – from musical drama to painting, from sports to creative writing, from conversational English language to cooking. We will teach whatever it is that you the volunteers want to teach – we will take advantage of your talents and your enthusiasm to share with others.
In addition to offering this “cultural summer camp” in their school, we will provide medical assistance in the local hospital, build a playground and offer other maintenance assistance on the school grounds, counsel local entrepreneurs in how to run a business – we will offer any and all assistance given the skills of you, our volunteers.
Xiuning is located near one of China’s most spectacular tourist destinations, the UNESCO recognized world heritage site Yellow Mountain. We will spend a day riding the gondolas or hiking to the top of these unusual mountains, what they call the cloud forest.
In the evenings we will sponsor lectures and programs designed to immerse you in the culture of China and in particular, the Anhui province. There are no western style restaurants or entertainment….but ancient neighborhoods to roam, markets to visit, and people to watch. Not to be missed is the local custom of western style ball room dancing in the streets at night!
Although it will be very hot while we are in Xiuning, we will be staying at Smoky Willow, a beautiful new resort recently completed on the outskirts of town. It is a five star facility with a scenic lake, restaurant, cottages, pool, exercise facilities, business amenities, and air conditioning. Unfortunately, there is no air conditioning since the school facilities are Spartan at best and entirely exposed to the elements.
Then, from July 17 to July 21 our group will travel to Beijing to learn more ourselves while we experience China’s treasures, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, among others.
Alumni, family and friends…
This trip is designed for alumni of all ages, including family and friends. On previous service trips our alumni have ranged in age from 19 to 85, and have included alumni from Yale College and nearly all of the graduate and professional schools. We will purposely make this a family friendly project where children age 10 and up can work side by side with their parents and, if they choose, work on their own with the Chinese school children in organized and supervised projects and sports.
Specialized skills are not required for participation in the Service Tour. Each project will involve a leadership team of volunteers with specialized knowledge in the project area, as well as bilingual volunteers including Yale-China Fellows to serve as interpreters. Project assignments will be based on a combination of volunteer interest, community needs, available space, and program logistics.
There is not a better gift you can give your children than working side by side serving others all the while taking in the culture of rural and urban China. They will learn on so many levels.
The price includes all lodging, most meals, sightseeing entrance fees, buses and guides.
The Yale Alumni Service Corps is able to provide scholarships depending on the availability of scholarship funds. These funds are donated by other travelers inspired by the program. Please refer to the program application for details about applying for scholarship.
There is some funding for partial scholarships, primarily for Yale alumni and current Yale students. Please be aware that available funding is extremely limited. Please submit your application on the form. We cannot accept any other form of requests for funding at this time. You will be notified about any scholarship funding that you have been granted by March 31.
Learn more about it…
For more information about this program, read the Welcome Letter and other information available at the links on the right.