The Story of Hangzhou
Your Story of Hangzhou course can take you in one of two directions: you can focus on research topics related to West Lake Museum, or you can be paired with a local family and research aspects of Chinese life. At the Museum, you might study Hangzhou dialect, architecture, cuisine, or religion. You’ll also volunteer at the museum and use its collections for your research. If you’re paired with a family, you’ll meet with them several times each month and interview them to learn more about Chinese family life. In both tracks, you’ll get out into the local community, using your Chinese where it really matters.
Your one-on-one tutorial allows you to focus your language learning on a topic that interests you. Get creative! This is your chance to learn not just about the topic itself, but about the technical language you need to turn your knowledge into a senior thesis or graduate school application when you’re back home.
Past one-on-one tutorials have included:
- The Lives of Ancient Concubines
- Film Censorship in China
- LGBT Life in China
- Chinese Traditional Medicine
- The Cultural Shaping of Chinese Calligraphy
When you’ve studied Chinese for a few years, you need specialized attention to take your skills to the next level. You’ll choose two electives that allow you to apply your language skills to broader subjects. Options vary from semester to semester, and not all classes are available to all levels of Chinese learners, but previous courses have included:
- Business Chinese
- Chinese Politics
- Classical Chinese
- Chinese Film
Week-long Homestay in Rural China
In a week-long experienced funded by Middlebury’s Global Partnerships For Sustainability program, you’ll go on an excursion to a rural village where you will conduct research on topics relevant to the community: rural education, environmental protection and sustainability, or rural economics. Interview locals about your topic and conduct field studies in the surrounding areas to gain a clearer perspective on China’s countryside. You’ll also live with a local family for even more linguistic and cultural immersion.
You and your Chinese roommate share a dorm room on the Zhejiang University of Technology campus. Go for a jog along the canal that runs through campus, watch a movie with your roommate (and get help with the jokes you don’t catch), or study with your classmates in the dorm lounge before a big exam.
Your roommate is a CET-selected undergrad or graduate student from our host university, the Zhejiang University of Technology. Want someone to show you the best cafe to play video games? Need help understanding the transit system? Want to learn more about the local night markets? Desperate to find the best jiao hua ji (chicken baked in lotus leaves) in the city? Your roommate is there to help you understand the city and give you someone to share it with.
Eating in Hangzhou
For meals, try the budget-friendly cafeteria or check out one of the affordable restaurants just off-campus. Once a week, you’ll have Chinese table with your teachers and classmates and lunch will be provided. Make sure to try some of Hangzhou’s specialties like congbaohui (fried dough and onion crispy cake) or ou fen (Lotus powder which is mixed with water to create a unique, delicious good with a texture a bit like JELL-O).