Dive into a semester full of unexpected adventure. This country’s home to classics like the Great Wall and visiting pandas, but it’s also one stuffed with surprises, like the prettiest and most diverse mountains you’ve ever seen, sunny beaches, and delicious dishes. See thousands of years of history unfold in front of you at ancient sites, but turn the corner and step into sleek and modern cities (hello Shanghai Disneyland!).
We think it’s time you explore a country that deserves more than a short visit — a semester in China gives you an experience most travelers don’t get the chance to soak in.
EXPLORING CHINA —
There is so much to see and do here that we have many volunteers who come back for more! We have a feeling you’ll be surprised by all the things you didn’t know you could do here — everything from feeding monkeys while you hike through towering mountains, floating down a river soaking up the sun on a bamboo raft, bicycling around ancient cities, and shopping til your drop at some of the biggest markets in the world. There’s something for everyone in China.
Beijing — Go camping on the Great Wall, explore sites like Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, and shop your way through some of the biggest markets in the world.
Yangshuo — Ride bikes along windy roads surrounded by fields to the mud caves, float on wooden rafts down the river next to the Dr. Seuss Mountains, and climb Moon Hill … plus don’t miss out on the mango smoothies. Head on over to nearby towns like Guilin for the famous view of the rice terraces and Xing Ping for one of our most favorite view points.
Huangshan — Also known as Yellow Mountains; climb the endless stairs to the top of a mountain with breathtaking views. Afterwards troll through nearby ancient towns that look like they came straight from a post card.
Zhangjiajie — Hike through the beautiful Avatar and Tianmen mountains; walk on a glass walkway clinging to the side of a mountain 4,000 ft. up, take the world’s longest cable car ride, view the incredible mountains that inspired the movie Avatar, and take a ride in the highest outdoor elevator in the world.
Chengdu — Visit a world famous panda reservation center and even get a chance to hold a baby cub and catch a bullet train to nearby Leshan to see the biggest buddha you’ve ever encountered.
Xi’an — Terracotta Warriors, Great Mosque, bike around the city wall, water show at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
Shanghai — Shop at huge markets, explore traditional looking canals and streets, visit the Wild Animal Park where you can ride an elephant, hold a cub, and feed giraffes, spend a day at Disneyland Shanghai, and snap a photo at the famous Bund.
Sanya — Lay on the beaches of this sunny island, have fish suck on your toes at the spa, and dance the night away listening to live bands, and see 2,000 + monkeys at Monkey Island.
Jiuzhaigou — Explore this national park to get views of crystal turquoise blue lakes and explore Tibetan villages with prayer flags as the backdrop. Head to nearby Huanglong to stroll along cascading blue pools down the mountainside.
PROGRAM DETAILS —
Live with fellow volunteers, either in dorms at the school or in a nearby apartment. Group sizes range anywhere from as small as 4 to as big as 30 depending on the city you live in!
Take Kung Fu classes, try your hand at Chinese calligraphy, and learn some Mandarin to help you get to know the locals. Practice your chop stick skills while you get your fill of local dishes (typically served at your school’s cafeteria) like rice, veggies, and chicken — and save some room for our favorite street dishes like muslim noodles and dumplings.
Check out what a typical day looks like for an ILP volunteer and can’t miss experiences in China here.
Spring Semester: Depart typically after the Chinese New Year, in February or early March — return home the third week of June.
Fall Semester: Depart at the end of August — return home the middle of December, just in time for Christmas.
You’ll be making a difference by helping children learn English through our Exchange Program up to 20 hours per week. No experience is needed, we provide training on our teaching method!
$2,520 — Includes your roundtrip airfare to China, visa, housing, meals, language and culture classes, and training and support throughout the entire experience.
We currently have a “2 for the price of 1” discount for married couples in China. Single volunteers can earn a discount for referring a friend!
ILP volunteers live in groups in a few provinces throughout the north eastern part of the country: Shandong, Jiangsu, and Beijing.
I feel like I was served more than I was able to serve ...
“I left to get away from school, stress, and people, to clear my head, to travel, be around kids and to serve. I feel like I was served more than I was able to serve. Chinese people are some of the kindest, most charitable, silliest, most peaceful people I’ve ever been around! I can’t tell you how many times people saw we were confused or lost and helped us either with their limited English, hand gestures or with a translator app. Most of all, the love my kids showed me was exactly what I needed. I will always refer to them as “my kids”. I didn’t change China but man did China change me.”