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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Kunming, China
  • Program Terms: Fall Approved Prog, Spring Approved Prog
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Major: Anthropology Housing: Host Family, Hotel
Colgate Faculty Led: No Global Engagement: No
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction Other Than English: No Approved Program: Yes
Required Language Course: Chinese
Program Description:

Click "Start Here" to begin your Colgate application for an approved program.

Within the application, you will be required to indicate your interest in up to two different approved programs.

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China: Health, Environment, and Traditional Chinese Medicine

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Discover China’s rich multicultural history and pressing health and environmental issues in Yunnan Province and Beijing.

Program Highlights

  • Learn, observe, and practice Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophies and treatment methods.
  • Visit China’s ancient capital, Beijing.
  • Be immersed in Chinese cultures while living in Yunnan Province, an area rich in natural beauty and home to Bai, Yi, Naxi, and Tibetan ethnic cultures.
  • Receive small-group instruction in Chinese language from ACTFL-certified instructors.
  • Travel throughout Yunnan to study the role of indigenous knowledge in health preservation, environmental protection, and sustainable development in China.
  • Customize the program to fit your academic and professional goals.

Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.

Key Topics of Study

  • The role of traditional Chinese cultures and belief systems in contemporary life.
  • Health, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and additional indigenous health care knowledge systems in Yunnan.
  • Chinese minorities’ healing systems and their views on health preservation at the community level.
  • Relationship between ethnic minority tourism, cultural change, and environmental sustainability.
  • Historical, religious and social factors that have worked to shape the Chinese healthcare system.
  • Role of indigenous knowledge in health preservation, environmental protection, and sustainable development.
  • View of western and Chinese health concepts and practices within China and on the global stage.

Independent Study

In the final month of the semester, you can choose to undertake an Independent Study Project (ISP). The ISP provides you with an opportunity to critically examine a topic, community, or situation related to the program’s theme.

Sample ISP topic areas:

  • Traditional ecological knowledge and sustainable food sourcing
  • Working with locals to restore biodiversity to a rubber-dominated landscape
  • An analysis of China’s energy sources and the case for clean energy
  • Addressing disparities in China’s health, education, and social welfare systems
  • Tibetan mental health
  • Tibetan women’s experiences with childbirth
  • The impact of the Chinese rural healthcare system on infectious disease
  • A comparative study of the barriers to HIV self-management among Myanmar migrant and Han Chinese Women in Yunnan, China
  • The perceived mental health effects of China’s one-child policy
  • Bai herbal medicine
  • Naxi shamanic healing system
  • Confucianist and Daoist philosophies and their influences on health preservation and environmental protection
  • Treatment accessibility for co-infected injecting drug users in China
  • Preservation and renewal of Tibetan arts
  • Women’s health in China
  • Development of Tibetan Medicine in Shangri-la
  • Traditional Chinese painting, music, and medicine
  • Buddhist philosophy and its relationship with health preservation in China

Browse this program’s Independent Study Projects / undergraduate research.


You can choose to do an internship during the last four weeks of the program. SIT internships are hands on and reflective. In addition to completing the internship, you will submit a paper processing your learning experience on the job and analyzing an issue important to the organization you worked with, and/or you will design a socially responsible solution to a problem identified by the organization.

The internships offered as part of this program are another great way not only to deepen your understanding of an aspect of the program that you find particularly interesting but also to build experience that will help you define your goals beyond college. Internships may encompass a range of sectors and fields, such as food and food production, tourism and the environment, health-focused NGOs, and others.

Sample internships

Health Care

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital or Clinic: Learn about traditional healthcare practices and techniques, as well as the holistic philosophy behind TCM.
  • Yunnan Zhonghe Shiye Industry and Commerce Company: This company makes and sells medical products.
  • Jida Pharmaceutical Group: Jida researches, makes, and sells pharmaceutical products. Its major production complexes are located in Yunnan and Jiangsu.
  • Kunming Bangyu Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. researches, makes, and sells pharmaceutical products, emphasizing ethical drugs.
  • Yunnan Wubang Pharmaceutical Group researches, makes, and sells pharmaceutical products. It also operates TCM herb farms.


  • Yunnan University is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in China.
  • Kunming University is Yunnan's only comprehensive professional university approved by China’s Ministry of Education.
  • Yunnan University Secondary School is one of the most famous high schools in Kunming and Yunnan.
  • Experimental Middle School is affiliated with Yunnan Normal University and focuses on foreign language teaching.

NGOs and Cultural Preservation

  • Jianshui Pottery Workshop: an important site of Jianshui purple pottery making.
  • Mosuo Culture Research Institute aims to preserve Mosuo culture, with an emphasis on photographic materials.
  • NGO in Yundi focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention
  • Lanxu is an organization working to preserve traditional tie-dye skills and knowledge.
  • Ren’an Tibetan Community Kindergarten in Shangri-la
  • Yunnan Mountain Handicraft Center organizes cultural activities for the community and assesses sustainability initiatives targeting small businesses.
  • Gyalthang Association of Culture Preservation focuses on Tibetan Thangka painting.
  • Yuan Xiaocen Art Museum
  • Yunnan Nationalities Village is a theme park demonstrating the cultures of Yunnan's ethnic minorities.


  • Sony (China) Limited is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation.
  • Yunnan Metropolitan Construction Investment Group Co., Ltd. builds convention centers, colleges and hospitals, convention centers, and urban water supply projects.
  • Hongta Sports Center includes an indoor swimming facility, a badminton competition area, an Olympic-sized ice surface, and more.
  • Yunnan Marvel Industry and Commerce Co., Ltd. is an export company which sells rare edible mushrooms.
  • Shangri-la Beer Factory is the first Tibetan Beer factory in Yunnan.
  • Dinner Time Chinese Cuisine is a restaurant in Kunming.
  • Kunming  Dongxun Science and Technology Co., Ltd. designs computer software and communication technology.


Money Matters

Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.  

SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:

  • All educational costs, including educational excursions
  • All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
  • Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
  • Health and accident insurance


  • SIT awards nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and grants annually.
  • All scholarships and grants are need-based.
  • Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.  
  • The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program. 
  • Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.

Contact SIT Study Abroad


Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.