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2015 California NCTA Summer Study Tour to China and Taiwan

Session(s) date

Session(s) date: 
Sunday, June 28, 2015 - 8:00am to Monday, July 13, 2015 - 12:00pm

The USC U.S. – China Institute and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) invite K-12 educators who have successfully completed an NCTA seminar coordinated by Stanford or USC to apply for the 2015 study tour to China and Taiwan.  Led by Clayton Dube of the USC U.S.-China Institute (USCI), participants of the two week tour will visit several of China, and Taiwan’s most interesting destinations, including Beijing, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin, Taipei, Tainan, and Jinmen.

This tour focuses on two themes. The first is to examine imperial legacies. In China, we will mainly be in Northeast China, often called Manchuria. It is the homeland of the rulers of China’s last dynasty, the Qing, and in the twentieth century was turned into a puppet state of the Japanese empire. Russian influences can be found in parts of the region. Taiwan, of course, was a colony of the Dutch, was brought into the Qing empire, and then split away and made a Japanese colony from 1895 to 1945. In what ways are those experiences evident in Beijing, Northeast China, and Taiwan? Because we’ll be visiting near the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, that conflict and its impact on the region will be on many minds.

The second theme is how these different states and societies are coping with the challenges of today. These include the need to train a productive and innovative workforce, provide for an aging population, and address environmental degradation. During our trip we’ll see the many links between China and Taiwan and will meet with a variety of people who will share their expertise, experiences, and views.

Applicants should be prepared for an experience that will be primarily a group tour, but will also include some time for individual exploration. Accommodations will be double occupancy.

Tentative tour dates are June 28 to July 13, 2015.  Teachers selected for the 2015 California NCTA study tour are required to attend a Saturday orientation prior to the trip and a follow-up Saturday orientation upon returning. Participants are also required to actively participate in a study tour-focused online discussion forum and complete a curriculum project.  

Eligibility Requirements

You are invited to apply for the study tour if you meet ALL of the following prerequisites:
  • You successfully completed a National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminar conducted by Stanford or USC
  • You have not participated in a previous NCTA summer study tour
  • You have reasonable assurances of employment in a K-12 classroom for the 2015-2016 school year
  • You are at least two years from retirement at the end of the 2015-2016 school year

Program Components

Educators applying for 2015 California NCTA summer study tour must commit to participate in the online forum and throughout the 2015-2016 school year. Participants are required to complete all pre-study tour readings. Teachers who cannot fully commit to all program components should not apply for the program. These include:

  1. Saturday orientation at USC
    Upon selection, participants will be given access to the study tour-focused online discussion forum. Participants will utilize the forum to raise questions and exchange ideas. The orientation will focus on preparing participants for travel and study in China and Taiwan. The program will include sessions on survival language skills, history and geography, contemporary issues, cross-cultural communication, study tour itinerary, team building, norm setting, as well as other practical travel information.  At the orientation, participants will work with colleagues to brainstorm on curriculum development plans. Participants will receive background readings that are to be read prior to departure.
  2. Study tour in China and Taiwan 
    NCTA cannot accommodate participants’ spouses, family members, or friends on the summer study tour.
  3. Saturday follow-up orientation at USC
    Participants will reflect on the tour and focus on how to most effectively share what they have learned with students and colleagues. Participants will present complete versions of the curriculum project they will have developed and will receive feedback from others on how these might be strengthened.
  4. Completion of curriculum project and 2015-2016 academic year follow-through 
    Including implementation of new China or Taiwan content and resources in the classroom in the form of completed curriculum project and providing at least four colleagues with curriculum support, through presentations at department, school, discipline, or district meetings.
  5. Active participation in the study tour-focused online discussion forum 
    This includes posting your curriculum materials and professional development resources.
  6. Participation in follow-up evaluations
    NCTA will evaluate the impact of the study tours and school-year follow-up activities. Written surveys and random interviews will ask participants to describe how they have used the experience of the study tour to change their own teaching and influence school or district curriculum.

Program Expenses

The 2015 California NCTA Summer Study Tour is possible through a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles, and the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The following expenses are covered by the project for each participant:

  • Orientation and other curricular and background materials
  • Roundtrip airfare to China and Taiwan 
  • Most meals, lodging, entrance fees, and domestic travel in China and Taiwan
  • VISA fees

Each participant will contribute $1,000 to the cost of his/her participation in the NCTA Study Tour.  A non-refundable deposit check of $400 will be due after acceptance into the program. The remaining $600 will be paid in cash at the orientation meeting. Participant contributions will defray the cost of overseas travel (including hospitality and gratuities essential to group travel in East Asia).

In addition, each participant is responsible for any individual costs of participation, which are anticipated to include the following:

  • Passport fees
  • Overseas medical coverage (required) and travel evacuation insurance (optional)
  • 4-8 meals during the trip (during “on your own” afternoons and evenings)
  • Any costs incurred by variation from the group airfare package, such as emergency return to the United States, return to the United States via alternate route or itinerary from the group package

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will guide selection:

  • Evidence of commitment to the goals of the NCTA through seminar participation and efforts to engage other faculty in teaching about East Asia, as well as to the study tour and follow-up activities described on the application
  • Demonstrated potential for classroom use and dissemination of study tour experience and materials to other faculty
  • Commitment to the parameters of a group study experience
  • Professional experience
  • Personal qualities and interpersonal skills

Application Guidelines

  • Applications must be submitted online on or before May 8, 2015.
  • Applicants must email a recent 2"x2" photo before the application deadline.

Participant Terms of Agreement

Upon submission of the online application, participant agrees to:

  • Participate in the pre-departure orientation and the online discussion forum, and complete assigned orientation readings.
  • Assume responsibility and cost for obtaining all immunizations, passport, visas, and other required travel documents and submission by the deadlines.
  • Provide a nonrefundable $400 deposit check and the remaining sum of $600 (cash) to the total participant contribution of $1,000.
  • Provide proof of health insurance prior to the orientation session.
  • Participate in all scheduled activities and remain in country until completion of the study tour, except in case of emergency.
  • Attend the summer study tour unaccompanied by family or friends.
  • Obey the laws of the United States and the host country and refrain from engaging in any unauthorized activities that, in judgment of the group leaders, are inconsistent with the purpose and best interests of NCTA.
  • Upon return, enhance the study of China or Taiwan in the classroom and school district.
  • Attend the follow-up workshop associated with the study tour.
  • Complete a curriculum project that incorporates the study tour experience into teaching.
  • Participate in study tour-related program evaluations conducted by NCTA.