China - Guizhou

Population facets: 


Partner Organization:  Chain Reaction NGO, Rural Tourism Development Center,  Guizhou Normal University with Notre Dame’s Beijing Gateway and Notre Dame International

Location:  Guiyang in Guizhou Province, China

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  Determined in conjunction with Notre Dame’s Beijing Gateway and Notre Dame International. 

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  Students must be proficient in Mandarin
  • Gender Requirement: None
  • Required Experience: None
  • Major Requirement: None though some marketing and/or design knowledge and experience would be useful.
  • Student Minimum Age: None
  • Special Requirements: None though special training sessions may be added as needed.
  • Other:  Students must be highly adaptable, knowledgeable, and sensitive to Chinese culture.  This site requires an additional application process for formal acceptance into the GAUSF Eco Summer Program (if offered) to be completed when made available and due prior to departure.

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment: (The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the Spring semester. Additional training sessions may be added as needed.)

  • Self Defense Session
  • World Religions

Site Description:  

Guizhou Rural Tourism Development Center
Chain Reaction blog
The province of Guizhou, located in southeast China, home to 49 ethnic groups, is known as the second ethnically diversified province in China. Although being one of the most economically undeveloped provinces in China, it is extraordinarily rich in minerals, energy sources and biological resources.  Over 90% of the land is mountains and hills.

The Guizhou Rural Tourism Development Center strives to protect, promote, and advance local indigenous cultural heritages with the hope of achieving cultural freedom and equality on as many levels as possible.  Housed within the Guizhou Rural Tourism Development of Guizhou Normal University, Chain Reaction NGO specifically works to promote traditional handcrafts such as embroidery, weaving and printing by training village women to learn and practice these skills and through promotion of their handicrafts at their new museum and storefront.  Chain Reaction was founded by the Dean of Guizhou Normal University Rural Tourism Development Center.

Participation in the Cultural Preservation Program provides students an opportunity to experience first-hand the life at ethnic villages in Guizhou, China, to learn about rural Chinese women and the cultural ecology of the Chinese ethnic groups, to promote a better understanding of the local cultures and traditions, and to reflect upon complex issues.  Participants will also learn more about the history, challenges and strategies of NGOS’s and experience first-hand how NGOs operate in China.

 Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival.   

ISSLP and Beijing Gateway/Notre Dame International staff are working closely with site partners to determine specific needs and 2019 projects in advance of our ISSLP’s departure.  

ISSLP 2018 worked together with Taiwanese students in a design organized by the local government, hoping to boost tourism in both Xiu Wen and Yu Qing county in Guizhou Province. Students also went to Tai Jiang to videotape and interview local Miao silversmiths.

In 2017 Chain Reaction opened their second storefront.  The Chain Reaction museum and storefront exhibits and markets handmade cultural products. ISSLP students assisted in moving exhibition pieces and providing English translations for exhibitions for international visitors greater understanding of the artwork and cultural heritage of Guizhou. Students helped publicize the museum opening through social media and wechat platforms and used design software to design posters. In 2016, students spent a majority of their time at the Chain Reaction museum and storefront working on various projects identified by the store manager and Dean Zhang. Students work included translation, photography, creating a Wikipedia page, field research and general marketing. In 2015 students worked six days a week at the Chain Reaction museum and storefront and worked on launching Chain Rection’s platform on a popular social network in China, WeChat, with the goal of increasing visibility, traffic and informing the public of the mission to preserve and promote minority cultures.  In 2014 students filmed three small documentaries about traditional Miao women handicrafts for the Chain Reaction museum and storefront.

In 2016 and 2015 students participated in the GAUSF Eco Summer Program.  The Eco Summer Program is a 10 day symposium, sponsored by Peking University and Guizhou University, by invite only to select universities as part of the Green Alliance of Universities for a Sustainable Future (GAUSF). GAUSF aims to further integrate its member universities’ resources particularly in the area of environmental education for sustainable development. Should GAUSF be offered for 2018, ISSLP students will attend lectures and workshops with a focus on ecology, culture, anthropology and human subsistence; discover Guizhou’s rich natural, cultural, and ethnic heritage; participate in field studies outings with on-site lectures and discussion as well as in workshops where participants will share experiences and insights gained.

As in the past, students may visit rural villages and artisans and attend tourism expos and other meetings with Dean Zhang, her students of Guizhou Normal University and the Guizhou Tourism Bureau.  ISSLP and Beijing Gateway/Notre Dame International staff are working closely with site partners to plan and schedule artisan village visits and expos.

Additionally, past students have assisted in the daily operations of the NGO including office work, planning exhibitions and meetings, and writing blog and twitter feeds.  Students have traveled to villages where they interviewed and registered local villagers, developed a marketing plan to promote the culture and sell traditional handcrafts, and designed brochures, booklets and packaging.

Housing & Lodging Information:

Chain Reaction arranges housing in Guiyang and villages through homestays with villagers or at the village guesthouse.  For the majority of the summer, students live together in a house with the members of the organization. A private room is provided, with beds, sheets and towels. The bathroom is shared. We are anticipating the same accommodations for ISSLP 2019.  For the most part students will provide their own meals while in Guiyang, though in the villages students dine with villagers and/or with university students and staff.  When providing your own meals, the site can accommodate a vegetarian diet.  Gluten free diets are a bit more challenging due to the popularity of noodle dishes but a conscientious student may be able to substitute rice.

For More Information:

Chain Reaction blog
Chain Reaction Weibo (Chinese Twitter)  
China Development Brief, a journal reporting on the civil society in China  
For more information and details on the GAUSF Eco Summer Program, see ISSLP site binders near fireplace in McNeill Library, Geddes Hall.

Former ISSLP Participants:

Joshua Pine ’19, (ISSLP 2016)
Ashley Zhou’19, (ISSLP 2017)
Yanjia Jin’20, (ISSLP 2017)
Zhian Yin’22, (ISSLP 2018)
Xinyuan (Sam) Zhuang’21, (ISSLP 2018)  – Abroad AY 2018-19
Notice: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process.
upd 9.13.18