The Whitman in China (WIC) Program was established in 1982 by Professor David Deal (Chinese history) to provide an international educational exchange opportunity between Whitman College and universities in China at a time when both the U.S. and China were opening up relations and in need of opportunities to learn about each other. The exchange began in 1982 initially with relationships between Whitman College and Yunnan University in Kunming and Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi'an.  At various junctures in the program's history in the 1980s and 1990s, partner institutions included Sichuan International Studies University in Chengdu and Wuhan National Minority University in Hubei.  Since 2000 when a new partnership with Shantou University, Guangdong Province, was established, the College has partnered exclusively with NPU, Shantou and Yunnan University.

The Whitman in China Teaching Program offers year-long teaching positions at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an (Shaanxi Province), Shantou University in Shantou (Guangdon Province), and Yunnan University in Kunming (Yunnan Province).

Our exchange program brings one student, a China Sherwood Scholar, from Shantou to Whitman each fall semester as a visiting student. The program was designed to give students in China an opportunity to take classes at an American college in order to learn about American culture and to polish their English skills. During a semester at Whitman College, in addition to being enrolled as a full-time student, the China Sherwood Scholar helps promote understanding of Chinese culture on campus by getting involved with extracurricular activities like the Pioneer student newspaper or debate team, and helping to organize activities such as a Mid-Autumn Festival at the Asian Studies House.