CFS Spring 2018

The China Fieldwork Semester (CFS) is an intensive interdisciplinary project-based student research program in Xizhou, Yunnan, for sixteen 11th or 12th grade students, working together in a research “collaboratory” housed in a historic residential facility.

CFS transcript and course credits in history, literature, science, and Chinese language are accepted by Sidwell Friends School, Dalton School, Punahou School, ‘Iolani School, and other leading independent schools. Additional tutoring support is provided for completion of each student’s home school math course.

CFS was founded and is led by Dr. John Flower (PhD, University of Virginia) and his wife, Dr. Pamela Leonard (PhD, Cambridge University).

Dr. Flower is director of the Sidwell Friends School Chinese Studies Program. His scholarship includes articles and book chapters on local history and folklife in China and Tibet, as well as the digital monograph Moral Landscape in a Sichuan Mountain Village, co-authored with his wife, Dr. Pamela Leonard.

Dr. Leonard received her PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge University, and served as adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has authored and edited publications on China, “postsocialism,” and environmental issues, and worked with international NGOs on environment and development issues in China.

Program Highlights

  • Study

    landscape ecology, environmental science, Chinese literature in transition, and more while immersed in the culturally rich living environment of Xizhou, China

  • Learn

    the world’s most spoken language through intensive tutorial and through immersion in the local community of Xizhou (note: there is no Chinese language requirement or prerequisite for this coursework; students may start their Chinese learning experience through CFS program)

  • Explore

    local histories as counter-narratives to the history of the nation-state; environmental history and the changing cultural landscape of rural China; place formation and local identity along the ethnic and ecological frontier; and issues of economic development and sustainability in contemporary China

  • Travel

    with your classmates to breathtaking cultural sites and natural landscapes

Dates and Tuition

  • Tuition and Fees:

    22,500 USD

  • Semester Dates:

    January 22 to May 11, 2018

  • Application Deadline:

    May 12, 2017

  • Deposit Due:

    June 2, 2017

  • Full Tuition Due:

    October 20, 2017


Pre-Departure To-Do List

Please complete each of the following steps in preparation for your China Fieldwork Semester. As always, feel free to contact CLI anytime by phone at 888-781-8383 or by email at
  1. Complete CLI’s Student Information Form
    Complete CLI’s Student Info Form by Friday, May 12, 2017. Be sure to enter information exactly as it appears on your passport. Your program is titled “China Fieldwork Semester (Spring 2018)”.
  2. Secure your passport
    If you do not have a passport, please apply for one immediately. If you do have a passport, double check that its expiration date is at least six months after the end of your upcoming China Fieldwork Semester. If your passport’s expiration date is within six months of your Semester end date, please renew your passport as soon as possible.
  3. Secure your passport and visa
    Thoroughly review your Chinese Visa Application Guide and submit all required application items to your faculty leader by Monday, November 27, 2017.
  4. Submit your 2018 China Fieldwork Semester deposit
    In order to secure your space in this China Seminar, please make a 4000 USD personal check payable to “The Chinese Language Institute” and send to the following address by Friday, June 2, 2017.

    The Chinese Language Institute
    Attn: Nancy Fried
    43620 Carradoc Farm Terrace
    Leesburg, VA 20176
  5. Submit your Tuition Payment
    Please make a 18,500 USD personal check payable to “The Chinese Language Institute” and send to the following address by Friday, October 20, 2017.

    The Chinese Language Institute
    Attn: Nancy Fried
    43620 Carradoc Farm Terrace
    Leesburg, VA 20176
  6. Complete CLI’s allergies and dietary restrictions form
    Complete our medical allergies and dietary restrictions form upon reading this prompt. It’s important that we have access to information regarding any medical allergies you may have or other medical considerations we should be aware of. Please also use this opportunity to inform us of your dietary restrictions (if any).
  7. Explore CLI’s list of online learning resources
    A great selection of free Mandarin learning resources is available online. Please take time to review and familiarize yourself with the resources overviewed on CLI’s Online Learning Resources page.
  8. Review important travel information
    Make sure you have thoroughly reviewed health and safety information from both the CDC and the U.S. State Department well in advance of your departure to China. The State Department highlights that “China remains a very safe country” for most travelers. That said, when traveling to any foreign country, it is important that you familiarize yourself with relevant health and safety information.