CFS Spring 2020

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 21, 2020 to May 28, 2020
  • Application Deadline: April 12, 2019
  • Deposit Due: June 7, 2019
  • Full Tuition Due: October 11, 2019

Pre-Departure To-Do List

Please complete each of the following steps in preparation for your China Seminar. 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 April 12, 2019. Be sure to enter information exactly as it appears on your passport. Your program is titled “CFS 2020”.
  2. Secure your passport and visa
    Thoroughly review your Chinese Visa Application Guide and submit all required application items to your faculty leader by November 25, 2019.
  3. Submit your 2018 China Fieldwork Semester deposit
    In order to secure your space in this China Seminar, please make a 4,000 USD personal check payable to “The Chinese Language Institute” and send to the following address by June 7, 2019.

    The Chinese Language Institute
    Attn: Nancy Fried
    25 Long Bow Circle
    Monument, CO 80132
  4. 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 October 11, 2019.

    The Chinese Language Institute
    Attn: Nancy Fried
    25 Long Bow Circle
    Monument, CO 80132
  5. Complete CLI’s Dietary Restrictions and Medical Allergies Form
    Please complete our dietary restrictions and medical allergies form by October 4, 2019. It’s important that your travel logistics providers have access to information regarding any medical allergies you may have or other medical considerations of which we should be aware. Please also use this opportunity to inform us of your dietary restrictions (if any).
  6. 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.
  7. Review CLI’s Pre-Departure Packet for your China Seminar
    In an effort to better prepare you for your time abroad, CLI has put together this detailed pre-departure packet for your Seminar. Be sure to review all information carefully and contact CLI at with any additional questions you may have.
  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.