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  • Locations: Beijing, China
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • **
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA: 2.00
Field of Study: Asian Studies, Education Housing Options: Field Site, Residence Hall
Program Type: Faculty-Led Program
Program Description:

Volunteer Teaching in China

(Formerly known as the Summer Service Learning Program [SSLP] in Rural China)

It was life-changing and I wish the program had been longer!
- Summer 2017 Participant

This experience changed my life. As a result, I want to learn Chinese this year to see if I could do another program like this the following year for the duration of 6 months to 1 year. This experience was an adventure that showed me a glimpse of the most wonderful and difficult challenges of life in China. I met the most amazing people...
- Ana C., Summer 2015

Summer 2018 - Application CLOSED - Add your name to the Inquiry List below
Dates Abroad: July 8-25, 2018
Course Dates: July 6-25, 2018
Price: $1,711
NOTE: Information listed below is for 2018. Subject to change for 2019.


The Educational Poverty Alleviation Project, initiated by Tsinghua University in 2003, is a public project aimed at benefiting China's poverty-stricken areas. The goal is to provide people in underdeveloped areas with the opportunity to utilize high-quality educational and training resources through the support of modern technology. The program's ultimate goal is to eliminate poverty by spreading knowledge.

During this program, the Voluntary Teaching Program groups American, British, and other international students with Tsinghua University students to teach English and/or provide culture lectures and intercultural communication exercises to local school students of all ages in rural settings throughout China. Volunteers can prepare teaching plans and materials in relation to such things as English movies, stories, pictures and so forth, or prepare some lectures to introduce their country, hometown, university, and their personal experience in order to expand the locals’ horizon of the world. SDSU students typically serve as English language specialists and provide language instruction. The program begins with training and instruction at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Student groups are then sent to their assigned rural locations where they spend a majority of the program, returning to Tsinghua University prior to ending the program.  

Students take coursework on campus at SDSU prior to traveling to China.  

View Past Program Photos Here!

If you would like to participate in this same program but add on a week of learning about Chinese history and culture at Tsinghua University prior to the program, visit the History Learning and Volunteer Teaching in China program information page by clicking HERE. (The program provides 6 units of SDSU resident credit.)


All participants are required to register for ONE of the following SDSU College of Extended Studies (CES) “Special Sessions” courses.  After you apply and are officially enrolled in the program, you will receive instructions on how to register for the course from the College of Extended Studies. 
  • ASIAN 490: Culture and Society in Rural China (3 units SDSU resident credit)
  • GEN S 280: Intro to Civic Engagement (3 units SDSU resident credit)
HINT for SDSU students: Log in to your WebPortal account and check your Degree Evaluation to see if the course fulfills your graduation requirementsOtherwise, meet with an academic advisor to discuss your options; click HERE for more information.


Tsinghua University and the Tseng Hin Pei Charity Fund will provide the transportation, housing, and meals during the program in China. Students will be housed in on-campus accommodations at Tsinghua University for the duration of the pre- and post- service learning activities. They will also receive a meal card which can be used in all campus cafeterias. Accommodations vary once at the rural location throughout China.  These would typically be student dormitories and student canteens. Accommodations are basic and spartan. Bedding, mosquito netting, and other basic necessities will be provided.


Mei Zhong, Ph.D., Associate Professor/International Studies Advisor, Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA), SDSU 


Payment Schedule:
   $616   Deposit due with application, paid to the College of Extended Studies (CES), to reserve your space
$1,095   Tuition due with course registration between April 15-25
 $1,711  TOTAL PRICE 
Included in the Program Fee: 
  • Accommodations
  • Tuition for three units of SDSU resident credit
  • Meals
  • Pre-departure and post-arrival orientations
  • Opening and closing ceremonies at Tsinghua University
  • Transportation to and from rural location
  • Program materials
  • Travel Medical & Repatriation insurance
NOT Included in the Program Fee:
  • Round-trip Airfare to China
  • Passport and visa fees (visit Students Abroad for more information) (more information about obtaining a travel visa to China will be provided once you are enrolled)
  • Vaccinations, if necessary (visit CDC website for more information) 
  • Personal Expenses

Refund Policy:
Program Cost Refund:
Withdrawals are effective on the date that the CES Faculty-Led Program staff receives written notification from you, the student.  Email notification is acceptable. For this program: 
  • Withdrawals before the application deadline of March 15, 2018 will receive 100% refund minus processing fees. 
  • No refund will be issued for withdrawals on or after March 15, 2018.
Course Tuition Refund:

Funding & Scholarship Information:
  • Visit the CES Study Abroad website for more information about financial aid, scholarships, military and veterans benefits, and other funding sources. 

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Open to all class levels
  • Open to SDSU students, students at other colleges and universities and the general public.
  • Ideal candidates will have experience or interest in Chinese history and culture as well as rural issues or development issues, have experience and/or an interest in living in rural conditions, and experience and/or interest in diverse cross-cultural teams or settings.
  • SDSU students cannot be on academic probation (less than 2.0 GPA) or disciplinary probation (expulsion, judicial, or suspension) at the time of application and/or at the time of course registration. The standard CES refund policy for study abroad applies if you are found to be on probation after applying to the program.
  • Minimum age to participate is 18.
  • All participants must complete BOTH a mandatory CES-sponsored pre-departure orientation as well as a program-specific orientation(s) with their faculty leader(s) prior to departure. Details about both will be sent after acceptance into the program.

Summer 2018: Application CLOSED

If you are interested in attending this program in the future, add your name to the Inquiry List below and you'll receive email updates when available.

  • Click HERE for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about College of Extended Studies (CES) study abroad programs.
  • Mei Zhong, Ph.D. will accompany the group and serve as instructor of record for the program. For questions about visas, in-country activities, transportation, accommodations, and courses, please contact Dr. Zhong at (619) 594-4633 or
  • For questions about payments, registration, and insurance requirements please contact Phil Hoog, Study Abroad Advisor, College of Extended Studies, Email:, Phone: (619) 594-0638.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.