Students who participate in this Dialogue will be immersed in the colorful art world of China. They will be introduced to the various historical sites with great significance in the development of Chinese urbanism, architecture, and arts, being it in a city, a village, a temple, a museum, or a sacred mountain. They will study Chinese art and architecture first hand while exploring a variety of cultural and ethnic regions in China, developing a solid and comprehensive understanding of Chinese culture through the direct observation of its urban and artistic expressions. Students will also participate in a cultural and professional dialogue with scholars, artists, architects, musicians, actors and actresses, and educators in Beijing and Guangzhou. Written work and creative projects may compare China and the U.S. on topics of urbanization, architectural practice, artistic expressions, and historical preservation and interpretation.

The four-and-a-half-week long program will be divided into two parts. During the first three weeks, we will use Beijing as the base, attending lectures and workshops, visiting museums and historic sites, and interacting with local artistic and design communities. We will explore China’s ancient northern capital, the most important political and cultural center and its vicinities, including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Ming Imperial Mausoleums, and the Summer Palaces. During the last ten days, we will go to the far south of China, using the campus of the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou as our base to conduct a collaborative program on Chinese culture and built environments, attending studios and taking lectures. Guangzhou is one of the most important cities and cultural melting pot in southern China, which has more than 2,000 years’ history since Han Dynasty. While in Guangzhou, we will visit Buddhist, Daoist, Confucian, and Islamic sites that have distinctive local characters very different from the north, including the Nanyue King Palace, Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Yu Yam ancestral garden, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the Guangxiao Temple, and the Lingnan Style garden, in addition to the experiences of colorful modern cultures and the delicious Cantonese Foods. We will also go to the nearby city Shenzhen at the Hong Kong border, which is the first Chinese special economic reform zone and a super-Modern cosmopolitan.

In Beijing, we will have field trips to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and many other imperial monuments. Some lectures will be given in museums and studios. Students will also experience traditional Chinese opera, tea ceremony, antique collection, etc., in their authentic cultural and architectural setting. In Guangzhou, we will visit many Chinese churches, mosques, and Buddhist and Daoist temples. In Shenzhen, we will visit the high tech super modern contemporary urban center as well as a best-preserved Ming dynasty fort. Special guests from prestigious institutions such as the Central Conservatory of Music will deliver lectures in their specialties.

Group Flight Plan:

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: November 1, 2018
  • Application Deadline: January 15, 2019
  • Application Extension Deadline: January 22, 2019
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Faculty Interview: Faculty will schedule interviews with applicants of interest to determine acceptance. The interviews can occur anytime before the final deadline.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?
    • This Dialogue is located mostly in cities whose general populations do not speak English. Have you ever been living for more than a month in an environment whose primary language you don’t understand? How did you cope with the situation and benefit from it?

Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.
Other Requirements
  • Possible Student Challenges: Some field trips, such as the visit to the Great Wall, will require hiking in mountains for more than 5 miles. Most locals do not speak and understand English, which represents both a challenge and an opportunity for students experiencing a different culture.

Courses

ARCH4850: Urban and Architectural History Abroad – China is an on site study of Chinese architecture. The instructors will accompany the students to visit the most significant sites in the history of Chinese architecture, art, and urban development. Lectures will be given with the very cities, buildings, and artworks present, instead of in classroom with slides. In comparison to a traditional on-campus course, the number of examples covered is smaller. However, each example will be discussed in much greater detail. The students are also encouraged to discover problems and aspects in Chinese art and architecture that have not been raised before, something only possible through directly survey and observation.

ARTE2501: Art and Design Abroad: History course is a comprehensive introduction to Chinese culture and arts that integrates classroom lectures with hand-on workshop practices and on-site visits to the neighborhoods, museums, villages, and performances. During the first three weeks, instructions are based in Beijing, attending lectures and workshops given by Professor Yu and the leading scholars, artists, and practitioners in Beijing, with possible weekend excursions to the nearby cities. Lectures are given in English, and workshops with English translation. The students are also required to have sustained dialogs with students and faculty of the host institution. During the last two weeks, students will be on a tour to some key cultural sites in different regions. They will experience first hand what they have learned in the lectures about the cultural diversity of China.

The students will have a real sense of art and architectural research without neglecting the basics of the fields. Interactions with practicing architects, city planners, policy makers, preservationists, museum professionals, and artists are integral parts of this program. The courses offer on this program fulfills NU Core Categories: Arts Level 1, as well as 2 NUPaths: Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation and Interpreting Culture. The students will gain a first-hand study on Chinese arts and cultures, not through slides in a classroom but through direct observations of the real works, creations, and performances in the museums, studios, and theaters. Interactions with practicing artists, architects, city planners, preservationists, and museum professionals are integral parts of this course.

  • ARCH 4850 - Urban and Architectural History Abroad – China : Offers an on-site study of architecture and urban history conducted abroad. Instructors accompany students to visit and lecture about the most significant sites in the history of architecture, art, and urban development of a specific country. In comparison to a traditional on-campus course, the number of examples covered is smaller; however, each example is discussed in much greater detail. Encourages students to discover problems and aspects in art, architecture, and urbanism that have not been raised before, something only possible through direct survey and observation. Offers students an opportunity to obtain a real sense of architectural research without neglecting the basics of the field. Interactions with practicing architects, city planners, policymakers, preservationists, museum professionals, and artists are integral parts of this course. May be repeated without limit.
  • ARTE 2501 - Art and Design Abroad: History - China : (Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI) and Interpreting Cultures (IC) NUPath) Offers an intensive history course taken abroad and taught by an art history, design, or art faculty member. Exposure to regional and international artists, history, culture, museums, landscape architecture, galleries, material culture, and architecture provide a rich context for studying the history of art and design. Offers students an opportunity to understand narrative and visual components through detailed hands-on workshops and detailed creation of artistic formats, including design, text essays, photographic essays, temporary exhibitions, video art projections, and live performances as artifacts. May be repeated without limit.

Cost

Northeastern Tuition: $12,613
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $2,000
  • Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee Includes: 8 Northeastern credits, international roundtrip airfare from Boston, accommodations for program duration, international security and emergency support, and program related expenses (local transportation, field trips, excursions and group meals)

Additional Estimated Expenses: $1,476
  • Students should anticipate spending the following out of pocket expenses during the program:  $1,179 on meals and $297 on incidentals.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Dialogue of Civilizations programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Resources

Additional Resources
  • Tentative Itinerary : This is a tentative itinerary for the DOC. A final itinerary will be provided to you by the professor in spring 2019.

Destination

Located in the north, Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and a city with more than 2000 years of history. Beijing is also the capital for the last three imperial dynasties, the Yuan, Ming, and Qing. It is currently the most important political and cultural center in China with such famous landmarks as the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Located in the south, Guangzhou is one of the most important cities and cultural melting pot, which has more than 2,000 years’ history since Han Dynasty. This city, together with Shenzhen, the first Chinese special economic reform zone and a super-Modern cosmopolitan, also features colorful modern cultures and the delicious Cantonese Foods.

The U.S. State Department lists travel advisories, local laws, alerts from the embassy, and other important information about China here. Please review this information before applying.

Accommodations

  • Hotels: Hotels in Beijing and Shenzhen. Our hotel in Beijing is in an area specializing in tea trade, centrally located between the second ring and the third ring. It is convenient for transportation near subway and bus stations. The areas feature numerous cultural shops dealing tea, Chinese painting, antiques, and traditional brushes, ink, ink stone, and papers. All accommodations have free Wi-Fi internet and breakfast.
  • On-Campus: The university guest house on the South China University of Technology campus in Guangzhou is on the bank of a beautiful lake. All accommodations have free Wi-Fi internet and breakfast.

Host University or Organization

The host university in Guangzhou, the South China University of Technology is a leading national university with an architectural program among the top five in China. Founded on the historic site of the Republic Period (1912-48) National Sun Yat-sen University, its campus features beautiful lakes, lush tropical plants, undulating hills, and beautiful historic buildings. The university is also conveniently located near major subway stations and bus stops, surrounded by other universities, research institutions, bustling commercial streets, and dynamic student life.

Faculty Advisor
Coordinators