Two Week – $3,695
Summer 2: June 30 – July 16
Immersion Extension – $2,995
*Add to Summer 2
Immersion Extension: July 16 – July 29
Guilin, China Breathtaking Beauty…
5,000 years of history have made China one of the world’s most ancient and fascinating civilizations. Its majesty and traditions render the country incredibly diverse and truly magnificent. China’s unparalleled growth over the past three decades has also made it a rising power and influential country on a global scale. Because of this, understanding China is essential to embracing the future in an ever-globalized world, and learning Chinese is a necessity to stay competitive in the job marketplace. Our unique programs offer teens a firsthand experience of China’s deep traditions, as well as its fast-changing realities as a modern society. Whether you seek total language immersion, cultural understanding, adventure, or personal growth, our program in Guilin provides it all!
GUILIN PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Academics & Leadership
Course Hours: 40 Hours of Chinese Language & Culture
Chinese Language & Conversation: Students are broken up by levels and attend Mandarin language and conversation classes Monday through Friday. The courses focus on developing Mandarin communication skills by simulating real-life situations through interactive class activities that include writing, oral expression, film, music, food, and literature.
> Mandarin levels 1 through AP/IB
> Small class sizes, 5-15 students
> Certified native instructors with advanced teaching degrees
CULTURAL LEADERSHIP ENRICHMENT
SPI offers a unique cultural leadership enrichment component for our China program. The component is geared toward connecting students with their local surroundings and language while engaging them in skill-building exercises. We incorporate unique activities, excursions, and daily group discussions with a focus on team building, leadership, personal growth, travel skills and cultural awareness.
> SPI Leadership Building Discussions
> Economy of China Workshop
> Exchanges with Chinese locals
> Chinese Culinary Experiences
Activities & Excursions
In addition to SPI’s cultural leadership enrichment program, students will have the exciting opportunity to enhance their experience abroad by participating in optional elective courses and activities! Electives range from engaging workshops to unique cultural events, and are designed to further engage students into the local culture and, of course, to just have fun! Specific electives vary per program and are based on student interest and weather. Upon arrival abroad, students will choose which electives they wish to participate in.
Guilin Elective Activities:
> Cultural Exchange with Local Students
> Chinese Tea Tasting
> Mandarin Calligraphy Workshop
From visits to world renowned sites to magnificent hikes through lush, beautiful mountains, students explore the most important monuments, cities and natural wonders in and around Guilin. Weekend and cultural day travel excursions help students dynamically use the language of study and interact with the local community.
Guilin Travel Excursions:
What Alumni Say…
“SPI provided a fantastic experience every step of the way (and there were a lot!) This program truly immersed me into the Chinese language and culture in so many ways from the excursions to the evening shopping strolls around the old town.”
“SPI gave me more than just a travel experience. They gave me a whole new understanding of the world around me. The bonds and knowledge I gained from this program were priceless.”
“I would definitely recommend SPI Guilin. The city is tucked away in southern China (which is beautiful) and it was an awesome place to explore and there was always something new to try. My Mandarin improved so much from this experience that I was actually able to move up a level when I started classes in the fall. Thank you, SPI!”
Safety & Supervision
ON-SITE DIRECTORS & STAFF
Directors and on-site staff are professional multilingual educators and caring leaders who serve as international “moms and dads”. We maintain a highly personal student to director ratio of typically one director for every eight to ten students. Directors actively participate in all aspects of the immersion experience, with a strong focus on student well-being, cultural adjustments, and daily check-ins to ensure active student participation.
DAILY SUPERVISION & FREE TIME
To ensure student safety, on-site directors are available 24 hours a day and carry local cell phones at all times. Directors check in with students on a daily basis in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings; they essentially monitor all aspects of the program. At SPI, we believe in the educational value of giving students a structured amount of free time on certain afternoons. Of course, SPI-affiliated students are expected to abide by our standards of conduct at all times — we also implement a “buddy system” to ensure further safety among our students.
CURFEW: 11 PM on Weekdays and 12 PM on Weekends
YOUR DAY ABROAD IN GUILIN
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast at Residence Hall
Enjoy a light breakfast with your group before starting your morning classes.
9:30 – 1:30 Chinese Language, Culture, and Conversation Courses
Be amazed at how quickly your Mandarin improves with SPI’s master instructors at the institute in Guilin! SPI’s small group classes are engaging, fun, and impactful!
1:30 – 3:00 Afternoon Lunch and Break
Enjoy lunch provided at school during the week with friends. You will have a daily meeting with your directors during this time.
4:00 – 7:00 Electives & Cultural Leadership Enrichment Activities
From Chinese calligraphy to music lessons and exchanges with locals, there are afternoon activities for everyone! SPI’s program also incorporates a leadership and cultural enrichment component where students will interact with the local community. (There is structured free time on some afternoons after activities).
7:00 – 8:00 Group Dinners and Cultural Discussions
In the early evening, you will eat dinner at a variety of local restaurants that feature authentic dishes from China’s diverse culinary regions. Dive further into the many cultures of China through food and insightful conversations!
8:00 – 10:30 Games & Relaxation
After dinner, hang out with your fellow students and friends and play local games in the Residence Hall!
Guilin Summer 2
Day 1 Depart for Guangzhou, China!
Meet your fellow students and get ready to embark on the study abroad journey of a lifetime!
Day 2 Arrive to Guangzhou & First Day Tour
Huānyíng (Welcome)! Enjoy a captivating tour of the thriving southern Chinese city.
Day 3 Travel to Guilin
Travel from Guangzhou to Guilin by train, settle into your room in the residence hall, and get to know your new friends better by playing some classic Chinese games!
Day 4 First Day of Mandarin Classes & Orientation. Visit to Local High School
Meet your Jiàoshī and class after a language placement exam in the morning. Meet local high school students over a game of pick-up basketball and tour their high school with them as your guides.
Days 5-7 Regular Language Classes + Travel Excursions
Continue improving your Mandarin fluency through morning language and conversation courses, followed by afternoon travel excursions & leadership activities.
Days 8 + 9 Speak Chinese With Local Families!
During the weekend, you’ll participate in SPI’s “Daystay” component with a welcoming local family. Practice your Mandarin and gain an insider’s perspective on Chinese culture as you see what it’s like to live in Guilin.
Day 10 Quality Time with Homestay & Friends
Sundays are the perfect day to take in the local culture, try authentic restaurants in town, or simply relax and explore the city!
Days 10-15 Regular Classes + Elective Activities
Be amazed by the progress you’ve made in your language skills and ability to thrive in a new culture! Learn Chinese calligraphy with a classically trained local master, hike Guilin’s famous karst hills, and more!
Day 16 River Cruise to Yangshuo + Outdoor River Concert
Meander down the Li River on a bamboo barge to the town of Yangshuo where you’ll witness an unforgettable choreographed concert on an incredibly unique stage: the Li River itself!
Day 17 Depart China for Home
Zài jiàn!Travel to Guangzhou by train. Return home from Guangzhou with amazing memories of China!
Guilin Immersion Extension
About the Independent Immersion Extension Option
The SPI immersion extension gives students the exciting ability to continue their immersion experience until the end of July. The extension is ideal for mature, independent students (16 years of age or older) with a keen interest in building their language skills.
Our Language School Partners
It is important to note that SPI offers our July Immersion Extension as a service to students desiring a longer stay directly with our language school partner and their excellent staff. The program is facilitated and supervised 100% by our partner language school and staff. SPI students will continue their classwork with one-on-one instruction. Students will gain an additional 30-40 hours of coursework to add to their transcript for potential college credit hours.
Cultural Experience & Activities
The language school will offer optional cultural activities in the afternoons in which the students can elect to participate. This is a great opportunity to meet other students from around the world, gain an increased understanding of the culture, and practice the local language! Students are responsible for any fees incurred while participating in the optional activities.
Continued Supervision & Care
After the regular SPI program ends, supervision and on-site care is provided by the local bilingual language school staff and managers. All local staff have worked with youth in the past and most are certified Mandarin instructors at the school, as well. Students are not supervised 24 hours a day (just like on SPI regular summer programs) but are provided with a very high level of support. The on-site language school staff will already be acquainted with the students before the start of the immersion extension component, and students will know this is their main contact for the duration of the extension. Parents will be given the local cell phone number and email contact for the student’s immediate caregiver prior to departure.