Selected Terms Abroad

Selected Terms Abroad

China | Fall Term

As China’s biggest city, and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world with a population of more than 20 million, Shanghai is an excellent place to study Chinese culture, civilization and language. Taking classes at Fudan University, students will be surrounded by more than 25,000 full-time students. Fudan, which means “(heavenly light shines) day after day,” indicates the college’s dedication to fostering self-reliance and industriousness. This commitment is evident in Shanghai itself, which has been a multinational hub of finance and business since the 1930s and the world’s largest cargo port since 2005.

Course of Study

The Chinese Language Studied Abroad (CHN 204T, CHN 205T)
This is a two credit, intensive course in the Chinese language.

Chinese Culture and Civilization (TERMS ABROAD 320T)
A course which surveys Chinese culture and civilization including such areas as history, geography, painting, music, economics and religion.


Students will visit attractions and participate in cultural events in and around the city of Shanghai throughout the term. Past destinations have included visits to the Shanghai U.S. Consulate, public and private schools, a state-owned factory and a private company, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Market and the Shanghai Museum. Students have also enjoyed acrobatic shows and performances by the Shanghai Youth Orchestra. Scheduled group field trips to places such as Hangzhou, the Yangtze Three Gorges, Nanjing and Beijing will broaden students’ knowledge and appreciation for their host country.


 Japan | Fall Term

This program is based in Osaka, located at the mouth of the Yodo River on the main island of Honshu in the Kansai region of Japan. An industrial and business center with a population of 2.6 million, it is the third most populated city in Japan after Tokyo and Yokohama.

Osaka is home to Osaka Castle, which has a five-layer donjon as its core, on a lawn park stretching some 60,000 square meters. Osaka’s north gate, Umeda, has a gigantic underground shopping arcade. Osaka is also known for its food, aquarium and Bunraku puppet theater.

The city is about an hour’s ride from Kyoto, the ancient capital; Nara, with numerous world heritage sites; Kobe, a modern port; the castle town of Wakayama; and Mount Koya, which features a university dedicated to religious studies and 120 temples.

Course of Study

This is an exchange program with the Kansai-Gaidai University. It offers intensive courses in both written and spoken Japanese, with additional opportunities to further improve speaking skills through a homestay program. Although the university is large (enrollment of 10,000), Union students are part of a smaller campus institution of about 500-600 students and some 20-30 faculty.

Union students will take four courses. Students who elect to take a fifth course must pay the extra course fee.

There are two required core courses in:

Spoken Japanese (JPN 250T, 252T, 350T, 450T)

An intensive study of modern Japanese with emphasis on speaking.

Written Japanese

An intensive study of modern Japanese with emphasis on writing.

Students will also select at least two additional courses from the Kansai-Gaidai University catalog.


A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required for application to the program; students must maintain this 3.0 cumulative GPA until the departure date for the program.


Vietnam | Fall Term

This is a cooperative program with Hobart and William Smith Colleges through the Partnership for Global Education (PGE).

One of the first established semester-long study abroad opportunities in Vietnam, this program enables students to explore an ancient Asian civilization which is undergoing a dramatic process of transition and modernization. Students will begin intensive Vietnamese language instruction in Ho Chi Minh City upon their arrival in Vietnam, continuing under the direction of faculty from Vietnam National University in Hanoi. An internship or independent study project is required.

Hanoi, with a population of one million, is a small capital city that is calm in comparison to the flashy southern boomtown of Ho Chi Mihn City (Saigon). But while Hanoi honors Vietnam’s long and tumultuous past in the ancient merchant streets of its unique Old Quarter, the colonial facades of the French Quarter, the monuments and house of Ho Chi Minh and the relics of the struggle for independence and the “American War,” it has also embraced the open economic policies of doi moi that is transforming Vietnam and is experiencing an exciting period of change. Hanoi is the perfect vantage point to witness Vietnam at a crossroads as the country navigates between Communism and open markets, a glorious (and also painful) past and an uncertain future, and increasing inequalities between rich and poor, city and countryside.

Course of Study

Union students will take four courses and receive five course credits:

Vietnamese History and Culture
In this course, students learn about Vietnamese history, aspects of Vietnamese culture, and current social, environmental, and political issues. Students write papers based on presentations provided by Vietnam National University (VNU) faculty and specialists in humanities, science, and social science fields, and excursions organized by the resident director. A translator is provided when necessary.

Vietnamese Language

Students begin intensive instruction upon their arrival in Ho Chi Minh City and continue at Vietnam National University in Hanoi. This course is designed to enhance the student’s ability to understand, speak, read, and write Vietnamese and follows an interactive and communication-oriented approach.

Independent Field Project or Internship

Students may choose to pursue either an internship or an independent field study project. Those interested in an internship will need to consult with the faculty director as soon as possible to determine what options may exist while those who wish to complete the field project will need to work with both the faculty director and a faculty member on their home campus who will assist with the project.

Director’s Seminar

This is a seminar topic chosen by the resident faculty member.


Study tours and excursions are an important part of the program. Excursions to various cultural and historical sites near Hanoi, including Halong Bay, the Chinese border region, and Mai Chau/Hoa Binh, are planned. Excursions from Ho Chi Minh City may include the Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi Tunnels. In addition, a ten-day central region study tour will visit cities such as Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Danang and Hue.


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