Arts, Culture, and Spirit on Silk Roads

Fall 2019
Winter 2020
OlympiaStudy Abroad
Olympia +
study abroad option
Class Size: 25
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

visual arts, Chinese studies, human development

This interdisciplinary half-time program will examine artistic and spiritual traditions on the Silk Roads with emphasis on China. We will consider the Silk Roads as a metaphor for social and cultural interactions and exchange. We will study foundational concepts and practices in  Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam and Jewish faiths. We will engage in various artistic, meditative and self cultivation practices including Taiji, calligraphy, and art making inspired by our learning.

During the fall quarter, students will develop foundational knowledge by reading philosophical, historical and aesthetic texts. They will keep an art journal and will cultivate their own spiritual, meditative, and artistic life. Field trips destinations may include Chinese and Japanese gardens, a Native American reservation, museums, concerts, meditation retreats, and other spiritual resources in the community.

In winter quarter, students will continue studying the arts and cultures of the Silk Roads at an intermediate level.  Students' focused and individualized study will include a research project. They will be able for example to pursue the study of art, or health and meditative practices, or practice the Way of Tea with the instructor’s guidance. Winter quarter will have an accelerated schedule and will include a three day Lunar New Year Taiji seminar. Winter quarter will culminate in presentations of students’ research projects in week 8.

Students registered  in the program can earn up to 12 credits in Winter quarter. by participating in 3 weeks of study abroad in China. Approximate dates: March 10-30. On study abroad students will visit important cultural centers and will study at Daoist and Buddhist colleges. A signature requirement is required for students seeking 12 credits. Please contact the faculty for more information. 

Community members may participate as Special Students, registering with CRN 20159 for 2 credits for study abroad.  This will include 3 orientation sessions on Saturdays, 4-6 PM, to apply for visas and preparation activities.  Dates TBA. 

Credits will be awarded in Chinese and Cultural Studies, and in Visual Arts.

Study abroad:

An optional 3 weeks study abroad is offered in China at the end of Winter quarter.

Estimated Costs: 

Special Expenses: $800   (Estimated expenses students will cover themselves including Visa and Airline ticket)

Required Student Fee: $2000 (Fee covers group expenses for services organized by college)

Administrative Fee:   $400  (Nonrefundable deposit to cover administrative costs of running study abroad)

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

Arts, International and Cultural Studies


Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers 25 - 49% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.

Fall: $50 for field trip, Winter: $15 for Lunar New Year Tai Ji Seminar. Study abroad will be optional at the end of winter quarter; the cost including transportation will be approximately $3200. 


Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 25

Scheduled for: Weekend

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 9:00 am
SEM 2 A1105 - Lecture

Located in: Olympia

2020-01-09Winter fee updated to $15 (was $10)
2019-12-16Signature requirement added for 12-credit study abroad section
2019-05-17Study Abroad Special Expenses Reduced to $800 (was $1200)
2019-05-172-credit study abroad only option added for community members