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Summer Programs 2024

China Folk House offers three exciting programs:

Building Common Ground (June 9 – June 16

Sustainability Seminar (June 16 – July 7)

China Study Tour  (July 15 – August 7) A China Folk House sponsored travel program with multiple stops in Beijing, Chengdu, and Yunnan Province

This summer we will be offering four weeks of programs at the China Folk House, and a 24-day study tour program in China. If you are interested in any of our summer programs, please fill out our Participant Interest Form down below.  


Expressing interest is not a commitment to attend. We will formally open program enrollment at the end of February, and those who have expressed interest will receive priority placement. 


Students can sign up “à la carte” for the full three-week Sustainability Seminar for academic credit, or week-by-week for community service credit, and/or join the China study tour. Please use the Participant Interest Form for all three programs (more program information below)



Building Common Ground Community Service Week

(June 9 - June 16) 

A return to our early “Camp Wholesome” roots, this week features building projects in the morning and fun activities such as games, hiking, canoeing, craft activities, and scheduled free time in the afternoons.

Student capacity: 24



Summer Sustainability Seminar

(June 16 - July 7)


An experiential three-week multidisciplinary course combining hands-on projects with case studies on sustainable architecture, alternative energy, and water stewardship. Coursework focuses on sustainability issues common to both the China Folk House’s place of origin in Yunnan and its new home in West Virginia. Students work in teams each morning on sustainability projects, complete related academic study in the afternoons, and join seminar discussions each evening.  

Students can sign up week by week for individual topics and get 20 hours of service credit; or they can stay for all three weeks and get one semester academic credit, based on a personal portfolio of accomplishments, on a China Folk House transcript (accepted as one semester elective ½ credit by Sidwell Friends School).

Student capacity: 24 


Seminar Themes and Projects:

Sustainable architecture (June 16 - June 23): Hands-on projects including green building with sustainable design, mass timber, hempcrete, and earthworks 


Alternative Energy (June 23 - June 30): Explorations in renewable energy using solar heating, solar power system installation, hydropower, and efficient combustion.


Water Stewardship (June 30 - July 7): Local service projects of stream monitoring, wetland restoration, reforestation, and watershed protection



Full tuition for Wholesome week and each week of the sustainability seminar is $1,850 or $5,000 for the full three-week seminar, including room and board. We will be offering financial aid.  If you are unable to afford our full tuition, please let us know on the interest form. 

Summer Cultural Curator Positions

Come work with us! We are seeking three graduate students to study issues of sustainability related to China. Interns will complete a research project related to the China Folk House and work with our summer students. These paid positions run from June 1 - July 10.  If you are interested in interning with us this summer, please email us at with “cultural curator” in the subject line.


Cultural Heritage and Sustainability Study Tour to Southwest China

(July 15 - August 7)

China Folk house will pioneer a student trip to Southwest China focused on craft, cultural heritage, and community sustainability. We are working in partnership with the U.S.-based NGO, the Center for Bridging Cultures, and Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu (西南交通大学). Jiaotong University will act as our official host in China. Students will study language and craft in Chengdu for one week as guest of the University, and then travel to Yunnan for 13 days of touring and participation in craft apprenticeships in the area between Dali and Lijiang. We require 16 students aged 15-20 to ensure the trip runs, but the tour welcomes folks of all ages who want to participate.


Land costs will be approximately $5000 for the full 24-day program. We plan to work with a consolidator to get the best possible price on a flight from Washington to Beijing and to help handle our visa applications.

building common ground
sustainability seminar
Southwest China study tour
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