China Gap Years

Overview and Highlights

China is vast, both in terms of its geography and the richness of its social and cultural history. Anyone considering a gap year trip to China should certainly do some research into the world’s most populous country, which is home to an astounding 1.39 billion people.

China has emerged from the shackles of Maoist communism to become an economic powerhouse in the 21 st century, and the impact of its wealth can be seen all over the country. The bright lights and technologically advanced cities of Shanghai, Shenzhen and the capital Beijing are a draw to many. For others the appeal lies more in the fascinating and bewitching natural beauty of places like Guilin or Yangshou, with its sheer karst hills, or the aptly named Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye.

Add to that a host of manmade wonders including the inimitable Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Army in Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum and the Forbidden City in Beijing and visitors have some tough choices to make.

We found 5 programmes in our database that matched your search. Choose one below to learn more.

1-WEEK CHINESE CULTURAL IMMERSION AND ADVENTURE PROGRAMME IN GUILIN

Programme Overview:

Ni Hao and Welcome to China. In this fun-filled 1-week Culture Immersion Programme in Guilin Province you'll meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Chinese customs. Your mornings will be spent learning how to speak Chinese and understanding cultural customs before adventuring into the local towns and cities and exploring the streets while socialising with the locals.You have opportunities to visit a Confucius temple and a Guangong temple, local fairs, and some amazing natural scenery sites in groups or individually during free time.

From: £485
Country: China
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 17
VOLUNTEER WITH CHILDREN IN A KINDERGARTEN IN GUILIN IN CHINA

Programme Overview:

Ni Hao and Welcome to China. Help to support the children in this rural kindergarten. Your work will mostly be focused around assisting the kindergarten teachers in teaching the children basic English words and phrases through fun activities like songs and games. You may also be asked to provide assistance to the Care Centre Manager to look after the children.Your programme will start with a cultural immersion week where you?ll meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Chinese customs. Your mornings will be spent learning how to speak Chinese and understanding cultural customs before adventuring into the local towns and cities. You?ll have opportunities to visit a Confucius temple and a Guangong temple, local fairs, and some amazing natural scenery.If you can only do one week, you?ll go straight into the Kindergarten and won?t take part in the Cultural Immersion week.

From: £545
Country: China
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 18
PANDA CONSERVATION IN CHENGDU IN CHINA

Programme Overview:

Chubby black and white cute bears, chewing on bamboo, peaceful yet playful at times, it?s hard not to be charmed by the Giant Panda! Volunteer in the largest Panda base in China helping to protect and build a safe environment for the Giant Panda.There are only 1,600 left and they are listed as the most endangered species in the world, making this experience a true once in a lifetime opportunity. The focus here is on protecting and building a safe environment. The Project is located near the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Leshan Giant Buddha.

From: £995
Country: China
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 16
MANDARIN LANGUAGE COURSES IN GUILIN IN CHINA

Programme Overview:

Ni Hao and Welcome to China. Immerse yourself in the Chinese language and culture through our Mandarin language courses in Guilin. Suitable for Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced levels. You'll learn from trained professionals who have studied TCFL (Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language).The modules are flexible so that you can apply your newly acquired language skills in practical situations according to your specific needs, such as learning the language for leisure or for work/business purposes.Your programme will start with a cultural immersion week where you?ll meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Chinese customs.

From: £695
Country: China
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 18
1-WEEK CHINESE CULTURAL IMMERSION PROGRAMME IN CHENGDU

Programme Overview:

Immerse yourself in a whole new culture! You'll get to know Sichuan Province, meet the people, taste the food, make a traditional hot pot, or even paint an opera mask!This dynamic inter-cultural experience is where you'll learn its language and traditions, discover refreshing perspectives that will expand your international view. "We are so much more alike than different", but there still are tons of things to surprise and captivate us as we explore this new territory.The capital of Sichuan Province in China, Chengdu is famous for its bustling streets, new magnificent buildings, historical towns, beautiful monasteries. Our Chengdu Cultural Immersion Programme is a great way to start your volunteering adventure in China. You?ll get stuck into the local way of life ? and be ready to begin your next placement in no time at all.

From: £595
Country: China
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 17

Gap Year Opportunities

As China endeavours to sustain its economic power, and indeed its global influence, there are literally millions of people seeking to learn English in the country. It should come as no surprise that opportunities to teach English as a foreign language are plentiful for those so inclined. There are numerous teaching possibilities, so whether you would prefer living it up in one of the modern metropolises, or you would rather explore the rural beauty to be found off the beaten track, you should find a programme to suit.

While China is steaming ahead in technological and developmental terms, there is an increasing emphasis being placed on the environment. As such there are a growing number of conservation projects seeking volunteers, such as working with giant pandas in one of the National Nature Reserves such as Dujiangyan or Gengda.

Those on a career break who are seeking to expand their linguistic horizons can learn Mandarin in situ, with some language placements also including Kung Fu tuition in the package. If you are that way inclined, how about a trip to visit the mystical Shaolin Temple on Mount Songshan? Of course, many people who visit China will simply want to explore and there are innumerable opportunities for trekking in all areas, with some great options in Tibet and Sichuan.

Of course any trip to the country would be incomplete without a visit to the Great Wall, but it pays to avoid the crowds of the most popular sections of Mutianyu and Jinshanling and instead opt for one of the more challenging and rarely visited options such as Jiankou or Simatai, the latter being open for breath-taking illuminated night tours.

Practicalities, Health and Safety

China covers an area of almost 10 million square kilometres, but despite its humongous size, getting around the country is relatively easy. With a reliable and efficient internal flight network and an increasing number of cities and towns being connected by high speed rail, it is relatively easy to criss-cross the country to take in your desired highlights.

The vast majority of visitors to China experience no trouble in terms of crime, but it is worth being aware that there are occasional scams aimed at tourists to extort money at bogus ‘tea tastings’ or similar. If you keep your wits about you and take common sense precautions there is little chance of falling victim to any kind of crime or harassment in the country.

Before travelling, be sure to check the latest travel advice at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office site, and also consult your nearest travel clinic for the relevant health advice as some areas of the country may require vaccinations.