Global Prep — 2019
From the moment you arrive in China, you’ll get a sense of the energy, culture, and cuisine that make it one of the most exciting countries in the world. During this 17-day program, you’ll develop the skills to become an engaged global citizen by exploring Chinese culture and its booming green energy sector. You’ll also learn first-hand about the Chinese way of life by staying with a host family and taking Mandarin language lessons. After spending more than two weeks fully immersed in Chinese culture, prepare to be amazed at how much you’ve learned about one of the world’s most influential countries!
Your journey will begin in Los Angeles, where you’ll meet up with your group and travel together with your Group Leader to Beijing, China’s heart. Once you arrive, you’ll be welcomed by AFS Staff or Volunteers and a fellow group of Chinese peers who will join you on the program. Your group may be mixed with participants from Japan, too – a true immersion of cultures! From there, you‘ll head to a welcome orientation where you can familiarize yourself with Chinese customs. After you’ll travel to your host community which will become your home for the next two weeks. As you get to know the other members of your group, you can immerse yourself in an authentic Chinese experience.
This program encourages students to cultivate a global view of social responsibility and sustainable development. During your time in your host community, you will attend a Chinese school and take language lessons in the morning. You and your group will discuss Green Science during lectures, workshops, and debates with Chinese students and volunteers. You’ll explore the topics of alternative energy and resource management through excursions to places like solar energy factories and recycling plants.
You’ll also take language lessons focusing on “Survival Chinese,” or the key phrases you’ll need to get by as an informed traveler. By the time you’re ready to head home, you’ll have gained a nuanced perspective on different aspects of Chinese culture and how they impact the modern world.
Upon your arrival in China, you’ll learn some essential Mandarin phrases to help you communicate with all the people you’ll meet. Before long, you’ll settle into life with your host family, where you’ll get the chance to join in everyday activities. Maybe you’ll enjoy a home-cooked dish like stir-fried eggs and tomatoes, a popular Chinese “comfort food.” Or you and your host family could take a walk around the community, giving you the chance to practice your Mandarin with friends and neighbors.
After your workshops and language classes, you’ll jump right into some fun, cultural activities joined by local Chinese students. You’ll get to explore traditional and modern Chinese culture with lessons on topics like dumpling-making and calligraphy. As you try authentic food at local restaurants, you’ll get to experience the Chinese custom of ordering large plates for everyone to share.
This Global Prep experience is led by in-country experts and volunteers, in addition to an AFS-USA staff group leader who will chaperone your group to and from your host country.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.