Students attending the SIT: China Health, Environment, and Traditional Chinese Medicine program study the environmental and health spheres of China particularly as they relate to broad societal trends and issues specific to the numerous ethnic minorities in Yunnan Province. Yunnan Province is home to many ethnic minorities including the Bai, Yi, Naxi and Tibetans. SIT seminars are conducted in both English and in translation and include lectures by Chinese academics, researchers, development workers, and experts in the fields of health and healthcare, environment studies, history and religion, social issues, arts and the humanities, and minority issues. Participants engage with and learn from experts from a wide variety of institutions including Yunnan Minzu University, Yunnan University, The Nature Conservancy, Kunming Medical University and the Yunnan Provincial College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Fields of study:

Mandarin Chinese language, traditional Chinese medicine, public health, environmental studies, race and ethnic studies.


Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 (Whitman requirement); a minimum of two semesters of Mandarin Chinese highly recommended but not required

Language Prerequisite:



16 credits per semester - Required Courses:
Health, Environment & Indigenous Knowledge Seminar, 3 credits
Mandarin Chinese language, 6 credits
Independent Study Project or Internship or Intensive Language Study, 4 credits

Credit Conversion:

1 SIT credit = 1 Whitman credit


Students who opt for the month-long internship at the end of the program typically engage in internships in the fields of health education, traditional medicine, food systems, cultural preservation or local entrepreneurship.


Students live in variety of housing while attending this program including university accommodations, a three-week host family stay in Kunming, and a 4 to 5 day homestay in the rural town of Shaxi.


Students take their meals with host families when living in homes. When living in university accommodations or hostels/hotels, students typically eat in university cafeterias or in local eateries.

Semesters Offered:

Fall, Spring


Late Aug to early Dec; Mid Feb to late May


Rolling Admission – students are encouraged to apply early.


SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

Program Link:

SIT: China Health, Environment, and Traditional Chinese Medicine