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Programs : Brochure
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UVA Hereford College in China: Global Engagement at Home & Abroad
Shanghai, China (Education Abroad Programs Program)
Program Terms: Spring Embedded
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Spring Embedded
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Embedded 2018 01-NOV-2017
10-NOV-2017 17-JAN-2018 18-APR-2018
NOTE: If accepted to this program, you must commit to or decline participation by November 15. Travel to China will take place during Spring Break.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Class Status:
1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5
Language Requirement:
Open to Non-UVa Students:
Housing: Hotel, With program group Language Courses Offered: No
Language of Instruction: English
Credit Type:
Direct Credit
Program Type:
Faculty led
Tuition Payments Made To:
Education Abroad Advisor:
Ryan Hathaway
Application Fee:
Study Abroad Administrative Fee:
Subject Area:
Anthropology, Asian Studies, Global Studies, History, Sociology
Program Description:

Chinese and non-Chinese students who live side by side at Hereford Residential College are invited to explore their diverse yet interconnected aspirations to become “global” through a series of focused discussions on Grounds, culminating in a week-long excursion to Shanghai over spring break. Starting in the 1950s and marching decade by decade through to the twenty-first century, the course aims to convey a comparative sense of the zeitgeist that prevailed in the US and China at key historical junctures. In Shanghai, students will be encouraged to apply three multiple registers of knowledge they cultivated over the semester—the panoramic lens of history, the zoom lens of anthropology, and the combined “native” and “non-native” perspectives within our group—to arrive at a complex understanding of Shanghai’s emergence as a “global city.” Upon return students will reassess the meaning of their own global aspirations and how they are embedded in national, regional and local imaginings.


Shanghai provides an ideal location for exploring the notion of China as a site of cross-cutting local, national and global processes. Students will spend time walking the city, meeting local experts, interacting with university students and experiencing quotidian pleasures. A day trip to Suzhou will be planned where students can observe the city’s world renowned gardens in jarring juxtaposition to the forces of “development zone fever” that are rapidly engulfing the region.


Course Objectives
By the end of the course, students will:

  • Become familiar with key symbols, social movements and identities that have shaped the lives of people living in the US and China from the mid-twentieth century to the present.
  • Acquire theoretical concepts to describe the changing global context within which China and the US are differentially embedded. As a culminating example, students will observe firsthand Shanghai’s ambitions to become a global city amid contemporary transnational flows of capital and people.
  • Cultivate an “anthropological sensibility” that contrasts with the more pervasive “global sensibility” in its use and understanding of the concept of culture. Rather than treating culture as synonymous with nationality or ethnicity, students will gain an anthropological understanding of culture with its emphasis on everyday life within intersecting fields of power and meaning.
  • Come to understand how their particular national location(s) shape their views of the world. At the same time, through cross-cultural interaction and travel, the course aims to lift students out of their national imaginings and propel them toward broader understandings of themselves and one another.

Students will stay in a centrally located hotel in Shanghai, and breakfast will be included at the hotel each day of the program.


UVA Hereford College in China:
Global Engagement at Home and Abroad

GSGS 3559 (3 credits)

Course Information
GSGS 3559: Global Engagement at Home and Abroad is a three-credit course open to undergraduates in all years. Preference in admission will be given to students who reside at Hereford Residential College.



Nanjing Road

The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page.

Accessibility Statement
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Passport and Visa Information
All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. US passport holders will need a visa to participate in this program. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor and Education Abroad Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process. All participants will receive instructions about visa applications and timelines upon acceptance.


View from The Bund, Shanghai

Program Director Caren Freeman ( is a cultural anthropologist with extensive experience conducting ethnographic research in China and South Korea. She is the Director of Studies at Hereford Residential College and an International Student and Scholar Advisor in the ISO.

Xinyan Peng is a graduate student in anthropology currently doing fieldwork in Shanghai. Her project examines the meaning of family and friendship among young people in corporate contexts and the role these relationships play in shaping China’s emergent middle class.

This program is currently not accepting applications.