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2018 NCTA Summer Study Tour To China And Taiwan

Session(s) date

Session(s) date: 
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 8:00am to Friday, July 13, 2018 - 5:00pm

Asian Links: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Tentative Dates: June 27 - July 13, 2018

 Application Deadline: Thursday, March 15, 2018

The USC U.S.-China Institute and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia invite qualified teachers to apply for our 2018 study tour to China and Taiwan.

Teachers who have successfully completed a minimum of 30 hours of NCTA-sponsored professional development programs are eligible to apply. Teachers who have previously participated in a NCTA-sponsored study tour are not eligible. In general it is our aim to choose teachers who made the most of earlier NCTA opportunities and who are likely to make effective classroom use of this trip. Teachers are required to pay a portion of the trip cost. Freeman Foundation and Taiwan government support make the trip possible. In addition to examining historical connections within and beyond Asia, the trip will examine China’s belt and road ambitions and Taiwan’s efforts to strengthen ties to Southeast Asia. Those completing all requirements are eligible for USC continuing education units.


Traditional crafts and high tech industries are among the topics explored on the study tour. 囍 = double happiness.
The 2018 study tour will explore historical trade routes and the cultural and other legacies from such exchanges. We'll look at the roles of merchants, missionaries, soldiers, and officials in the distant past, but we'll also examine how policymakers, businesspeople, and others are seeking to forge new networks today. Beijing has its belt and road initiative and Taipei has its southbound policy. We'll see what is actually underway and how it is affecting these societies. Most of the China portion of the tour will be in the western part of the country. Part of the Taiwan portion will be spent in the southern part of the island. We will visit historic sites, but also schools, high-tech factories, government offices, and homes.
Applicants should be prepared for an experience that will be primarily a group tour, but will also include some time for individual exploration. Expect very hot temperatures and high humidity in some places. Accommodations will be double occupancy.
Tentative tour dates are June 27 to July 13, 2018.  Teachers selected for the 2018 NCTA study tour are required to participate in an orientation on Saturday, April 14. Participants can participate at USC or via videoconference. Participants are also required to participate in a follow-up workshop in September. Participants are also required to actively participate in a study tour-focused online discussion forum and complete a curriculum project. 
We'll discuss trade and cultural exchange along the historical silk road and the new initiatives of the Beijing and Taipei governments. Above, the sleeping Buddha at Dazu 大足.
Participants will have opportunities to meet colleagues and students in China and Taiwan.

You are invited to apply for the study tour if you meet ALL of the following minimum requirements:

  • You successfully completed a minimum of 30 hours of National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminars, workshops or online courses
  • You have not participated in a previous NCTA summer study tour
  • You have reasonable assurances of employment in a K-12 classroom for the 2018-2019 school year
  • You are at least two years from retirement at the end of the 2017-2018 school year
Program Components
Educators applying for 2018 NCTA summer study tour must commit to participate in the online forum prior to the tour and throughout the 2018-2019 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, April 14 orientation at USC and online
    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.  During 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. Travel to Los Angeles 
    The group will leave from Los Angeles. You are responsible for making and paying for your own travel to and from Los Angeles.
  3. Study tour in China and Taiwan 
    NCTA cannot accommodate participants’ spouses, family members, or friends on the summer study tour. If you want to extend your time in Asia, this may be possible, but must be arranged for and paid for separately. Once return tickets are booked, it may not be possible to change those arrangements. You are responsible for any additional charge.
  4. Saturday follow-up workshop at USC and online
    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 have developed based on the trip and will receive feedback from others on how these might be strengthened. 
  5. Completion of curriculum project and 2018-2019 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.
  6. Active participation in the study tour-focused online discussion forum 
    This includes posting comments on assigned readings and web resources, your travel report (each participant will be assigned to be the reporter for a particular day) and those of others, as well as your curriculum unit and comments on the materials prepared by others.
  7. Participation in follow-up evaluations 
    An online survey and possibly a phone interview will ask you 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 2018 NCTA Summer Study Tour is possible through the support of the Freeman Foundation, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles, and Emmet Hsu. The following expenses are covered by the project for each participant:
  • Orientation and background readings
  • Roundtrip airfare to China/Taiwan 
  • Most meals, lodging, entrance fees, and domestic travel in China and Taiwan
  • Visa fees
  • Each participant will contribute $1,700 to the cost of his/her participation in the NCTA Study Tour.  A non-refundable deposit check of $1,000 will be due after acceptance into the program. The remaining $700 will be paid in cash at the time of the orientation (for those participating via videoconference, the amount is due in cash at the time of departure). 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 and travel evacuation insurance (required)
  • 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 previous 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 requirements and demands of a group study experience
  • Professional experience
  • Personal qualities and interpersonal skills
Application Guidelines
Applications must be submitted online on or before March 15, 2018. See the web form below. No mailed or emailed applications will be accepted.

Applicants must email a recent 2"x2" photo before the application deadline. These photos are required by our government sponsors. If selected you will need to send us completed visa forms which also require photos.

Participant Terms of Agreement

Upon submission of the online application, participant commits 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.
  • Pay a nonrefundable $1,000 deposit check by April 1 and $700 in cash at the orientation in Los Angeles (or, if participating by videoconference, at departure from Los Angeles. The total participant contribution is $1,700.
  • Provide proof of health insurance prior to the orientation session (by mail, email attachment or fax).
  • 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 your classroom, school and district.
  • Participate in the study tour follow-up workshop.
  • Complete a curriculum project that incorporates the study tour experience into teaching.
  • Complete study tour-related program evaluations.