China Study Abroad Spring 2014 FAQ

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Spring 2014 "Deaf Chinese: Visual Expressions and Daily Life" FAQ

1. Do I need a Chinese visa for the trip?

Yes, you will need a Chinese visa for your trip. However, if your passport is from Singapore, Brunei, or Japan, you do not need a visa.

2. Where can I submit my application?

The Gallaudet Study Abroad staff will collect your visa applications and all supplementary materials. The materials will be then taken as a group to the Chinese Embassy Visa office and your visas will be given to you upon approval prior to the date of travel. More information regarding specific deadlines will be supplied closer to the date required.

3. What documents do I need for my visa?

• Immunization record

4. Which immunizations do I need?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all visitors to China receive the following vaccinations before traveling:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid and polio

Note: You are responsible for getting yourself immunized before the trip. Check with your physician.

The following agencies provide travel immunizations:

Traveler's Medical Services 
2141 K Street NW #408
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 466-8109
Appointment Needed
Travel Advisory and Immunization Clinic 
15005 Shady Grove Rd
Suite 450
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 738-6420
Loudon County Health Dept.
102 Heritage Way
Leesburg, VA
(703) 777-0236
Call for Clinic Hours
Traveler's Clinic 
George Washington Medical Center
2150 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 741-3333
Appointment Needed
International Traveler's Clinic 
Director: H. Bahar, M.D.
11500 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20852
(301) 468-1212
Open 7 days a Week!
Smart Travel 
4600 King Street
Suite 2P
Alexandria, VA 22302
(703) 379-8645 or (800) 730-3170
Farragut Medical & Travel Care Clinic 
815 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC
(202) 775-8500
Walk-Ins Welcome
Passport Health 
1734 Elton Road
Suite 112
Silver Spring, MD 20903
(301) 408-4544
Capitol Travel Medicine 
1401 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 1007
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 351-5100
Appointment Needed
Foxhall Immunizations 
3301 New Mexico Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 362-4467
Appointment Needed
  Fairfax County Health Dept., Reston Health Center
1850 Cameron Glen Drive
Suite 100
Reston, VA 22030
(703) 481-4242
Appointment Needed
Northwest Nurse Practitioner Associates 
3000 Connecticut Avenue, NW
North Entrance, Suite 338
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 483-6672 phone
  Fairfax County Health Dept., Joseph Willard Center
3750 Old Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 246-7100
Appointment Needed

  In addition to receiving the immunizations, The CDC also recommends drinking only boiled or bottled water, avoiding food from local street vendors and making sure food is fully cooked during your stay in China.    

5. What is our flight schedule?

International Flight: 

  • Depart on Sunday, May 18, 12:20 p.m., Dulles Airport, flight United Airlines (UA) 897, arriving in Beijing on Monday, May 19, 2:20 p.m. (13 hours flight time).

Overnight stay in a campus residence hall on May 17 will be provided to those who are not taking a connecting flight directly to Dulles.
On May 18, transportation will be provided from Gallaudet University to Dulles Airport. The group will depart for Dulles from Benson Hall circle at 9 a.m. via a Gallaudet bus. If you plan to travel to Dulles on your own, make sure that you arrive at the airport no later than 10:20 a.m., since we need at least a two-hour window before our flight departs for Beijing.

  • Return on Sunday, June 1, 6:25 p.m., flight UA 898, arriving at Dulles, 8:05 p.m.

Transportation will be provided from Dulles to Gallaudet. Overnight stay in a campus residence hall will be provided to those who are not taking a connecting      flight from Dulles.

  • Intra-China Flight: Depart Beijing on Tuesday, May 27, 11:40 a.m., flight CA1833, arriving in Xiamen, 2:30 p.m.


  • Depart Xiamen on Sunday, June 1, 7:50 a.m., flight CA1802, arriving in Beijing, 10:20 a.m. (Note: Due to the international time difference, the flight departs and arrives on June 1.)

6. Am I allowed to make changes to my flight after conclusion of the Program?

Gallaudet University Travel Policy item #22 states, "Travelers on a Gallaudet sponsored trip who desire to extend their stay or join the group at a later date must secure written permission from the tour organizer/leader PRIOR to the start of the trip and before group tickets have been issued. The travelers are responsible for any charge assessed for deviation from the group itinerary."

7. How much does the trip cost?

Each participant is responsible for paying $600 towards expenses. ($200 nonrefundable deposit paid at time of acceptance, $400 by January 31). Actually, the cost of the trip exceeds $4,000 per person; the remainder is being paid by a grant from the U.S. Department of State (S-ECAAS-12-GR-127KF).

Financial aid resources are available for students. Please visit the Gallaudet University Financial Aid Office to learn more about using your federal financial aid for study abroad.

8. How much money should I bring to China for personal expenses? Should I use cash or credit?

It is recommended that you bring at least $300 in cash for personal expenses in China. These include

  • Currency exchange fees
  • Souvenirs
  • Room charges such as in-room entertainment and laundry
  • Extra fees, such as change of route, additional tickets, excess baggage charges, etc.
  • Any meals taken on your own, away from the scheduled program.

While transactions in the U.S. are commonly made using credit cards, China, on the other hand, is a very cash-driven economy. Most small shops and restaurants accept only cash, while large hotels, world-renowned retailers, and big restaurants are more likely to accept credit cards. You may also find that some cities can either be far cheaper or far more expensive than in the U.S., depending on the nature of the merchandise you wish to purchase.

Exchanging Money

Foreign currency and traveler's checks can be changed at border crossings, international airports, branches of the Bank of China, tourist hotels, and some large department stores; hours of operation for foreign-exchange counters are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (later at hotels). High-end hotels will generally change money for hotel guests only. The official rate is given almost everywhere and the exchange charge is standard, so there is little need to shop around for the best deal. Note: Keep at least a few of your exchange receipts. You will need them if you want to exchange any remaining Chinese currency you have at the end of the trip.

Getting Cash on Arrival

You can get cash on arrival in the Beijing airport. There are machines in the baggage area and after you exit customs, both on the arrival and departure levels. There are also counters that always seem to be open and you can change cash and traveler's checks. Another recommendation is that you have a fair amount of Chinese cash--RMB 600-1200 (about $100-200 in U.S. dollars)--before you travel to China.

Using ATMs in China

Using ATMs is recommended. They are everywhere in major cities. Xi'an and Guilin may have less ATMs. The RMB's largest note is 100, thus ATMs in China can put out only 25 bills in a transaction, so the most you can do is RMB 2500. For safety reasons, avoid using ATMs at night if possible, especially if you're alone.
Note: Please don't forget to call your bank or credit union before the trip and advise them that you plan to use your debit card in China. Ask if your Personal Information Number (PIN) will work overseas.

9. What is our daily itinerary?

The following itinerary is based on the information we have at this time. Please be aware that details of any trip are subject to change. With this in mind, be assured that RSIA's staff is experienced at adapting to disruptions in plans due to unforeseen circumstances, and will do its best to make the trip an enriching and enjoyable experience.

  • Sunday, May 18-Depart from Dulles Airport, flight UA 897, 12:20 p.m.
  • Monday, May 19-Arrive at Beijing Capital Airport, 2:20 p.m.; transfer to BUU and check into room; welcome dinner.
  • Tuesday, May 20-Morning lecture, "Chinese Tradition Culture and Architecture" (two hours); afternoon tour of Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall, Beijing Capital Museum, and Mao Zedong Memorial Hall; evening free time.
  • Wednesday, May 21-Morning and afternoon tour of Great Wall at Simatai or Jinshanling; evening free time.
  • Thursday, May 22-Morning lecture, "Film and Photography" (two hours); afternoon tour of Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City (aka Imperial Palace Museum); evening visit to deaf family's home (Beijing traditional courtyard house-Siheyuan and learn to make dumplings.
  • Friday, May 23-Morning lecture, "Chinese Traditional Dance, Opera, and Theater" (two hours); afternoon performance of Beijing Opera (arrive early to watch the performers apply their elaborate makeup); tour of Temple of Heaven; evening performance of Chinese style dance and Taichi class.
  • Saturday, May 24-Morning lecture, "Modern Art and Fashion" (two hours); afternoon tour of Dashanzi Art District and Panjiayuan Antique Market (aka dirt market); evening free time.
  • Sunday, May 25-Morning tour of the Summer Palace; afternoon deaf art/culture exchange activity.
  • Monday, May 26-Morning presentation by Gallaudet students; afternoon free time.
  • Tuesday, May 27-Depart from Beijing Capital Airport, 11:40 a.m., flight CA1833, arriving in Xiamen, 2:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 1-- Depart Xiamen on Sunday, June 1, 7:50 a.m., flight CA1802, arriving in Beijing, 10:20 a.m.
  • Sunday, June 1-Depart Beijing Capital Airport at 6:25 p.m., flight UA 898, arriving at Dulles, 8:05 p.m.

Note: BUU's College of Special Education will assist with activities in Beijing. Activities in Xiamen will be handled by a Chinese agency that has been vetted by Gallaudet University's official travel agency, Travel Place.

10. Who will be responsible for coordinating our daily programs?

All programs will be coordinated by Hansel Bauman, Gallaudet's executive director of campus design and construction, and Ms. Jiayi Zhou, a former World Deaf Leadership Scholar from China who received her master's degree in international development at Gallaudet. In addition, Dr. Charles Reilly, executive director of RSIA, will assist with logistics during our time in Xiamen.

11. How will interpreting be handled?

Gallaudet will provide two English/ASL staff interpreters from Gallaudet Interpreting Service. BUU will supply two Chinese classroom interpreters and a Chinese interpreter for the museum tour and visit, as well as deaf guides for three tours/visits. Communication on your own with Chinese-speaking individuals will often require some innovation in expressing yourself.

12. Should I be concerned about my health and safety while abroad?

No, you do not have to be concerned, as resources and precautions have been taken care of to ensure your safety, such as:

  • Onsite faculty and staff are trained in how to handle any type of problem that may arise during your study abroad experience.
  • Onsite faculty and staff are in constant contact with the Gallaudet University Emergency Management Team regarding any potential emergencies that could affect this program.
  • Registration with the United States Travel Alert web portal during your travel period in China.
  • Onsite faculty and staff will adjust activities to avoid any potential problem that may affect the program adversely.

13. What happens to me if a medical emergency happens while I am abroad?

If a medical emergency occurs, we will make sure your emergency contact is notified before making any major decisions, and the University's Travel agent will make referrals.

14. In case of an emergency, what is the protocol?

We will provide the Gallaudet University Department of Public Safety, the first point of contact for all emergencies for the University, with all participants' emergency contact names, addresses, numbers, a photocopy of each participant's national passport, duration of the program, flight numbers and time of departure and arrival from and to the United States, intra-China flight numbers, and departure and arrival times.

All travelers will be registered with the United States Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service to U.S. citizens who are traveling to a foreign country. STEP provides an immediate alert of important safety and security information, support during a crisis, and/or evacuation of U.S. citizens.

Emergency contact numbers for group participants and their parents:

USA: Gallaudet University Contact Information for the Group While in China

Contact Person: Hansel Bauman
Phone: 415-845-0409 (emergency only)
Contact Person: Ms. Jiayi Zhou
Email:, and

Office of Research Support and International Affairs
Contact Person: Ms. Shirley Hack-McCafferty
Phone: 202-651-5150

Contact Person: Lawrence Musa
Phone: 202-250-2366

CHINA: Beijing Union University Contact Information

(Note: If you are calling China from the United States, you must preface the following numbers with the U.S. International Direct Dialing [IDD] number, 011. For mobile phones, the plus sign [+] can be used instead of the prefix.)

Contact Person: Dr. Mingjung Wang, Dean, Special Education, BUU
No 1 A 2nd Lane, Puhuangyu, Feng Tai District, Beijing, 100075 CHINA
Phone: 86-10-6768-2451

Contact Person: Amy Shi Yang

China Study Abroad Program
Contact Person:

CHINA: General Emergency Numbers
Police: 110
Fire Department: 119
Ambulance: 120

USA: Travel Place Contact Information:
Videophone contact during normal business hours: 866-844-3649
Telephone contact during normal business hours: 240-387-4000
Telephone contact during business hours, toll free: 800-333-6778
After hours emergency service from USA: 888-878-40221 (reference 1F7F)

CHINA: Travel Agency Contact Information:
Name: CYTS International Travel Service Co., LTD
Address: 19/F, CYTS Plaza, No. 5Donggzhimen South Ave., Dongchen District, Beijing, China
Phone: 86-10-58158840

CHINA: U.S. Embassies in China:
Embassy of the United States of America in Beijing
Address: No. 55 An Jia Lou Road, Beijing 100600
Tel: 86-10-8531-3000
Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays except public holidays

Consulate General of the United States of America in Shanghai
Address: 1469 Huai Hai Zhong Road (Near Wulumuqi Nan Lu), Shanghai 200031
Tel: 86-21-6279-7662
Office Hours: 8-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. weekdays

Consulate General of the United States of America in Hong Kong
Address: 26 Garden Road, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2841-2211

15. What are my responsibilities while on this trip?

The main intent of the trip is to learn, enjoy yourself, and have fun. You are encouraged to develop friendships with others in our group, as well as with the many Chinese people you will meet at BUU, on our tours, and on other occasions. Above all, remember that you are representatives of Gallaudet University, and your behavior will reflect directly on the University. Gallaudet has worked hard for many years to create its reputation as the center for learning, culture, and opportunity for the world's deaf community. Always keep in mind that you are ambassadors of Gallaudet and stewards of its good reputation. Maturity, respect, cooperation, safe practices, and strict observation of all laws are required of all individuals traveling abroad under the auspices of Gallaudet University.

You will be required to sign an agreement reflecting these practices. Violating this agreement could result in you forfeiting your right to continue as a member of the study abroad program and to be immediately sent back to the U.S. at your own expense.

16. How will I be graded for the course?

At the end of the spring 2014 semester, you will be assigned a temporary grade of "IP" ("in progress"); this will be converted into a letter grade upon completion of a final summary report and assessment, due after returning from China.

17. Who do I contact if I have more questions?

You can email if you have more questions. Additional information on the trip can be found in the trip's brochure or on Gallaudet's study abroad page.