People standing in a line dressed in colorful clothing on top of a red mountain

Hmong Language & Cultural Immersion in China

  1. Program Details

    Explore the cultural richness of China while advancing your Hmong language skills.

    Location Kunming, China
    Term Summer Session
    Housing Dormitory, Homestay, Hotel
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, Graduate Students
    Language Preference given to students with a basic level of spoken Hmong. Reading and writing ability is recommended but not required.
  2. About Hmong Language & Cultural Immersion in China

    Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province, located in the south of the People’s Republic of China. The Hmong community traces their most recent roots to China as the ancestral country. Through this course, you will cover in depth Hmong history and cultural roots in the different regions of China, as well as different dialects associated with different regions. You will have the chance to explore similarities and differences of social norms, clothing, art, and customs of the Hmong in China from the perspective of the Hmong diaspora in the US. Through firsthand research with villagers and cultural exchanges, you will learn in depth what cultural life is like for the Hmong people in China.

    Throughout our time in China, we will analyze and reflect on the Hmong community in the United States compared to Hmong in China. We will discuss Hmong in diaspora and how it has affected, changed, and shifted Hmong language and culture. You will be able to apply your Hmong language skills to connect with other students and teachers abroad.

    Course Description

    Within this course, you will learn about the differences of the Hmong reading and writing systems in China, compared to Hmong American texts. You will have ample opportunities in the classroom with Hmong Chinese professors, as well as in-the-field oral and written language experience through homestays and language exchange with other Hmong students in China. You will also learn more in depth about Hmong terminology, in both formal and informal contexts, in everyday social settings and in music, art, and songs.

    Housing & Meals

    You will live in a hotel with other program participants—generally two to four per room. Some meals, including a welcome and farewell meal, are included in the program fee. In the final week of the program, you will experience a short homestay with host families in Xiaodala to get a taste of Hmong life in China.


    The course will be primarily centered around Kunming, China, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself into the language and culture. Excursions may include:

    • Yunnan Nationalities Museum and Village
    • Kunming Zhuanxin Agricultural Market
    • Guandu Old City (Shaolin Temple, Tuzhu Temple)
    • Vue Village and Hmong Museum


    All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

    It might be possible to deviate your return flight. Inquire with your program contact if interested.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Learn about the differences among Hmong oral traditions and dialects in China, compared to Hmong American practices
    • Learn important Hmong terminology, used in both formal and informal contexts, such as in everyday social settings and in music, art, and songs
    • Learn the Hmong historical and cultural roots in the different regions of China, as well as the dialects associated with various regions
    • Discover the range of social norms, fashion, art, and customs of the Hmong in China, with a comparative eye toward the Hmong in the US
    • Apply learned Hmong to connect with students and teachers abroad

    Faculty & Staff

    This course is led by Bee Vang-Moua, the Director of Hmong Language Program at the University of Minnesota who is also a part of the Hmong Women Leadership cohorts in the Twin Cities. She led the Moua Women Cohort to China in 2016, the summer 2018 Hmong Language Immersion & Culture program in China, and the summer 2019 Hmong Language & Cultural Immersion program in Thailand.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Instructor-Led
    Program Level 3000-level coursework

    One 3-credit course

    Course Schedule

    This course will take place over summer 2021.


    Coursework will include daily journals, group presentations, digital stories, and discussions.

    Receive credit for: AMES 3773

    Prerequisites: Beginning Hmong speaking skills

    Liberal Education Fulfillments: Global Perspectives

  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Application Deadline
    Summer 2021 July 2021 Mar 15, 2021

    Program dates are subject to change.

    If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 16 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.


    On Campus Dates

    This course has all instruction abroad.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    Summer 2021 TBD East Bank
  5. Fees for Hmong Language & Cultural Immersion in China

    Summer 2021 Cost of Participation forthcoming

    The cost of participation includes educational costs, group flight airfare, program administration, housing, most meals, international health insurance, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, and local transportation. Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. Generally, program fees range between $7,000-$8,000. You must also budget for visa, passport and passport photos, meals not included (most are included), spending money, and miscellaneous living expenses.

    If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  6. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term Summer 2021
    Program Name Hmong Language & Cultural Immersion in China
    Track Name Hmong Language & Cultural Immersion in China
    Country China


    University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee.

    Non-University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for this program.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.


    After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

    • Application Essay

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

    Next Steps

    After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
  7. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Amy Garwood-Diaz or call at 612.624.1537.

Passport Information

If you do not currently have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months past your return date, or are still needing to apply for a new one, start the process as soon as possible. Visit the UofM Passport Office website for more information.

Virtual Info Session

Learn more about this program and other Learning Abroad Center May & summer seminars through this virtual info session.

Tuesday, December 15th 2:30–3:30p.m.

More info & registration