Lawrence’s Sustainable China program is an avenue for students and faculty to deeply engage with contemporary China’s most challenging, most important questions through LU’s unique liberal arts approach. Funded with a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Sustainable China program connects the classroom to on-the-ground experiences in China by offering courses, speakers, a 3-week study trip, field research opportunities, and post-graduate experiences.
For Lawrence students, the connection to the Sustainable China program typically begins at the end of their freshman or sophomore year when they apply to be part of an upcoming December study trip. Students with demonstrated interest in environmental sustainability, Chinese culture, economic development, and politics are typically the best fit for the program. During the 10-week fall term preceding the December study trip, students prepare by taking a Chinese language course and ECON 208: Sustainable China. Those who are inspired to continue studying these issues and continue their language training may propose independent research projects, and the Sustainable China grant funds 6-8 weeks of intensive summer field research for well-qualified students with promising proposals.
For Lawrence faculty, the Sustainable China program provides an opportunity to engage with new questions, develop place-based teaching skills through short-term study abroad, and connect to colleagues in China. A 3-week study trip typically includes 4-5 faculty leaders, many of whom help develop the itinerary for the trip, contribute to the prerequisite course, and help students engage with challenging questions on the ground in China.