Chinese Lanterns

SIT China: Health, Environment and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Language of Instruction: Chinese, English
Term: Spring, Fall

Broaden your perspectives on major issues and challenges confronting China today.

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SIT China: Health, Environment and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Kunming is a a field study program designed for you to learn, observe, and practice Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophies and treatment methods. During the program, you gain a deep understanding of China’s rich multicultural history and broadened perspectives on the major issues and challenges confronting China today. In addition, you have the opportunity to take Chinese at any level to develop or enhance your language ability while abroad. While the program does not require you to have Chinese language skills prior to departure, it is always recommended to take language courses prior to departure to deepen your understanding of the language and culture.


You enroll in a number of courses while abroad which are related to the following topics:

  • Health, Environment and Indigenous Knowledge Seminar
  • Intensive Language Study: Mandarin
  • Field Methods and Ethics
  • Independent Study Project (ISP)

The ISP gives you the unique opportunity to apply your learning from the semester to an independent field-based research project supervised by a local adviser. Please note that CU students are unable to complete the internship experience for transfer credit.

Program Features

SIT programs emphasize learning by experiencing, and with that in mind, you participate in several educational excursions throughout the semester. Past excursions have included visits to Beijing, the Great Wall, Dali, Lijiang, Tibetan areas of Zhongdian and other less visited rural minority locations.

Because of the highly mobile nature of the program, you live in a variety of housing styles, which include: homestays, hostels, educational institutions and small hotels.


Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.

Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites. Note the program language requirements.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

  • To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.

Fact Sheet

Humanities, Social Sciences
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Columbia Undergraduates, Junior, Senior, Study Abroad
Language of Instruction:
Asia and the Pacific
Spring, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 1, 2021