Dates:  May 21-June 20, 2014

Costs:  $4700 plus airfare, subject to BOV approval  



Any current student in good standing with an accredited university is eligible to apply. VMI students need only submit an application. Applicants from other universities should include a faculty letter of recommendation, an official transcript, and a short essay outlining the applicant's personal and academic goals for the program, along with the application. Applications must be received no later than 28 February 2014.


Program Description 

Students will spend two weeks at VMI in a traditional classroom setting before departing for China.  In China, students will visit important battle sites (Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan) and important museums from the Sino-Japanese War to better understand conventional aspects of war, as well as how war is memorialized in China.  They will also study China's contemporary political culture and practices and their social evolution and economic development over the last 20 years.


Room, Board, and Travel

Room and board in Lexington will be at the cadets' expense.  Barracks rooms are available, although not mandatory, as is a partial meal plan.  In China, hotel rooms are covered by the cost of the program.  Each student will share a room with one other student.  Aside from two large banquets, students will be responsible for buying their own food while in country. Travel within China will take place by train and is included in the cost of the program. Travel from the United States to China is a separate cost.

Program Directors

Professor Mark Wilkinson earned his doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1983 and joined the VMI History Department in 1993. Professor Wilkinson teaches the introductory courses in United States history, along with upper level courses in the history of American foreign relations and modern East Asian history. His research and publications concentrate on the history of the American community in China in the years prior to the Communist Revolution. He is currently working on a book on the 1937 Battle of Shanghai.  During the 2000 school year, Dr. Wilkinson was a visiting lecturer at Lanzhou University in the People’s Republic of China, under the auspices of the William J. Fulbright scholarly exchange program.

Howard Sanborn is in his sixth year as Assistant Professor of International Studies and Political Science at VMI.  He received his Ph.D. in political science, with a focus on the comparative politics of East Asia, from the University of Iowa in 2009.  He has spent several months in Asia over the past few years and last took VMI cadets to China in 2010.  

Bing Jiang received her Ph.D. in economics from Emory University in 2013. She also earned master’s degrees in economics from Emory and the University of Mississippi, and a bachelor’s degree in finance from South-Central University for Nationalities, China. Her teaching and research interests are in applied microeconomics, with a primary focus on behavioral and experimental economics. Drawing on findings from interdisciplinary research, her recent work attempts to incorporate economics, psychology, and neuroscience into the study of decision-making processes and relevant implications for policy and practice.