2015 China Study Abroad

Spring 2015

"WLC 395 - Exploring DeafSpace Principles in Ancient Chinese Architecture and Language"  

China 2015 FAQ

                       Only eight students will be accepted into the course/trip; each will receive a monetary award to cover most of the trip to China. See cost details below   


The course is composed of two modules: (1) an on-campus class taught by experienced instructors with diverse specializations that meets in the spring 2015 semester, and (2) an educational trip to China,for two two weeks (May 17- May 28, 2015). The course is worth three credits. Students who are accepted must register for WLC-395 during the spring registration period.

Goals for the on-campus component (January-May 16, 2015)

  • Get an introduction to the Chinese Deaf approach to visual expressions through painting, photography, dance, theater, and architectural design.
  • Learn about traditional and contemporary artistic media and concepts in both China and America.
  • Learn about the Deaf Chinese way of life. Students will have the opportunity to learn basic Chinese Sign Language (CSL), Deaf culture in China, and the history of the Deaf in China. They will engage in learning activities using visual-gestural communication techniques and visual exercises.  

Goals for the educational trip in China

  • Provide an opportunity to gain real-world experience and learn valuable insights into Deaf people's daily life in China while becoming immersed in traditional and local culture;
  • Encourage participants to practice and improve their CSL skill, as well as build in-depth knowledge and international experience in China. Students will discover the way of life in China with all its subtleties by getting to know people who live there and experiencing their culture.

Note: Learning activities will be led by Deaf Chinese people based at Beijing Union University (BUU).Activities include a field trip to the Fujian Tulou (Xiamen) area in Southern China to see and learn how its architecture influenced the development of DeafSpace concepts at Gallaudet.   


  • Be highly interested in:
    • Visual expression--painting, photography, dance, theater, design, and architecture
    • Foreign languages, including sign language
    • Both Deaf and hearing Chinese culture
  • Be a current full-time Gallaudet student.
  • Demonstrate high academic achievement and active involvement in an organization.
  • Be willing to step out of their comfort zone and think outside of the box.
  • Submit their application, transcript, and letters of recommendation from two Gallaudet faculty or staff members who are familiar with the applicant's academic/personal ability.
  • Have an interview with the course supervisors after November 14.
  • Register for WLC 395- "Deaf Chinese: Visual Expressions and Daily Life" for the spring 2015 semester.

***Only eight students will be accepted into the course/trip; each will receive a monetary award to cover most of the trip to China. (See cost details below). Decisions on who will participate will be made by November 24.


Contact the Office of Research Support and International Affairs (RSIA) in Dawes House 304 for application materials. All documents and the completed application must be submitted by the application deadline of November 14. Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis. Acceptance into the program will depend in part upon the quality of the application and the strength of the letters of recommendation. Applicants who are not accepted will be notified prior to the beginning of the spring semester and must withdraw from the course.  Students accepted to the program are expected to immediately make a non-refundable deposit of $200.


  • Round trip economy airfare from Washington Dulles to China          
    • Depart from Washington, D.C. on May 17 (to Beijing).
    • Return to Washington, D.C. on May 28, 2015.
  • Van transportation to /from Gallaudet and DC airport.
  • Airport transfers in Beijing
  • Travel Insurance (basic medical/trip cancellation/baggage/emergency evacuation and more



The student is responsible for paying $1,000 for fees related to the China trip ($200 nonrefundable deposit that was paid at the time of acceptance, $800 by January 16). These fees are itemized in a separate document with this letter. They are for expenses that are not covered by Gallaudet University, or by a generous grant (S-ECAAS-12-GR-127KF) from the U.S. Department of State, which together pay for approximately 85 percent of the trip. Note: A portion of these personal expenses may be defrayed by students who are receiving Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) support to attend Gallaudet, and/or for students whose major may permit them to use the trip to China as an internship. RSIA strongly suggests that these students check with their VR and/or Career Center counselors.


Some "out of pocket" expenses should be anticipated, depending on the individual's choices. For example:

  • Currency exchange fee 
  • Souvenirs \
  • Room charges such as in-room entertainment and laundry
  • Extra services, such as additional tickets, excess baggage charges, etc. 
  • Meals that are not part of the scheduled program   


Please read the following information carefully and retain this letter for your records. There are several additional requirements that must be completed for you to participate in the program.  They are:

  1. Apply for a U.S. passport if you do not have one already. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the last day in China. (For example, the trip is May 17 to 28, so your passport must be valid through December 1, 2015.)
  2. If you have not yet done so, please submit two passport-sized photos (must be printed on photograph paper) to Danilo Torres, RSIA international relations specialist, Dawes House 304. These will be included with your visa application when submitted to the Chinese Embassy.
  3. RSIA will send you the official application for a visa to travel to China. Please visit http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/ if you would like additional information on Chinese visas.
  4. Read and become familiar with the Policies and Procedures handout pertaining to your study abroad experience that you will receive during the WLC395 course.
  5. Complete and submit the Study Abroad Contract (this will be shared later).
  6. Complete and submit the Liability Waiver Form (this will be shared later).
  7. Register for WLC395 for the 2015 spring semester. (Note: You are personally responsible for class attendance and successful completion of the coursework.)
  8. Receive all mandatory and recommended vaccinations before departure, and keep a full record with your passport. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/china
  9. Attend mandatory pre-departure orientation (date and time to be determined).

Please do not hesitate to contact china@gallaudet.edu if you have any questions or need clarification on the above information. In the meantime, RSIA looks forward to working with you and broadening your educational experience! We sincerely wish you a memorable course and study tour, one that opens your eyes to the fascinating cultures, languages, and other experiences that, although very different from our own, help us better understand others, and therefore make us better, more enlightened, human beings.

University policy regarding travel The trip will comprise up to eight students led by 3-4 Gallaudet staff, faculty, and interpreters. The travelers are expected to strictly follow the set itinerary and return with the group to Washington, D.C.  

*All travel must be conducted according to Gallaudet's travel policy (2.05 Travel).  

Questions? If participants or their parents have any questions or require additional information, please contact RSIA at:


Responsible office: Office of Research Support & International Affairs (RSIA), Dawes House, Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-3695.

Contact person: Danilo Torres, M.A., International Liaison Specialist

Program administrator: Charles Reilly, Ph.D., Executive Director. RSIA is under the supervision of Gallaudet University's Office of the Provost (Carol Erting, Ph.D.).  

This activity is funded by U.S. State Department grant S-ECAAS-12-GR-127KF, with the aim of strengthening Gallaudet's study abroad program, esp. in China.