Issues that will Decide the 21st Century


Duration 10 days
Suggested group size 12 - 20 students / 2 Envoys Field Staff
Suggested ages 14 - 18
Experience China Matters: The Issues that will Decide the 21st Century


China Matters: The Issues that will Decide the 21st Century


China is a rising power that has made significant strides in the 21st century, becoming the world's second-largest economy. As a result, China's actions and policies, including demographic change, environmental conservation, and urban-rural reforms will be critical for China's future and will have a significant impact on the world. Envoys programs delve into these topics, seeking to build understanding and bridges for a more harmonious future.

“Ancient wonders stand in harmony with modern marvels: a tapestry of history woven with the threads of innovation.“


“From the Great Wall to futuristic skylines, China's story unfolds, a journey through time where tradition and progress walk hand in hand.“


Impact Statement Everywhere we go, we carry a promise – to engage with respect, act with purpose, and leave a positive imprint. As envoys of our journey is more than travel; Our footprint is light, but our impact is profound, creating bridges of cooperation and mutual growth across the globe.

Day 1

Students arrive to Beijing and are warmly greeted by their Envoys educators. After settling in, there's a safety briefing and group activity to foster dynamics and set shared agreements. Afterwards we explore the surroundings and enjoy a welcome dinner, introducing students to Chinese cuisine.

Day 2

We visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven, followed by a dumpling-making class in a traditional hutong. We use the public transportation in the city aiming to build confidence in navigating new contexts. The day concludes with reflections on our experiences in China.

Day 3

China's life expectancy is 73, a 30-year rise since the People’s Republic's founding. By 2025, Beijing plans to create 280 community elderly centers and 1,200 stations. Our day delves into this shift, visiting centers and conducting interviews to grasp its impact on individuals and Chinese society.

Day 4

Migrant families in China face financial hurdles for private school tuition, leading many youths to attend "unofficial" schools, bridging gaps from strict hukou laws. We visit Dandelion Middle School, a successful 'gray area' school, engaging in cross-cultural projects for three days.

Day 5

We continue our activities at Dandelion Middle School. Students may assist in English language classes, offer math and science tutoring, and collaborate on cultural projects. They may also learn about Chinese folk songs, calligraphy, and Chinese Zhusuan (abacus math).

Day 6

We spend our last day visiting Dandelion Middle school and continue our cultural exchange projects. We close our time at Dandelion with a festive talent show, celebrating our new connections and understandings of each other.

Day 7

During the day, we explore two organizations driving renewable energy in China, understanding how the nation's governance fosters a green economy. In the evening, we debate the extent to which these advancements signify improvement or temporary solutions.

Day 8

We visit the Great Wall near Mutianyu and discuss the historical and modern significance of the Wall. At Night we stay at a repurposed glazed tile factory outside Mutaniyu. Through empathic interviews, we gain insights into Chinese rural home life and the impact of tourism on locals.

Day 9

We take an artisanal tofu-making class before traveling back to Beijing. Following lunch, we embark on ‘student choice’ final explorations in Beijing. Our day ends with a reflection workshop to process experiences and later share our learnings and growth with our family and community.

Day 10

We wake up and pack our bags. After eating breakfast and completing our program evaluations, we board our bus to the airport for our return flights home.

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Lenses of Inquiry


Demographic Change

For many years, China's population grew rapidly, but the implementation of the one-child policy dramatically altered the country's demographic. Today, China is facing a rapidly aging population and a declining birth rate, which could have far-reaching consequences for the country's economy.


Creating a Green Economy

China is dedicated to fostering a green economy for sustainable growth. Recent policies prioritize clean energy, emissions reduction, and improved air and water quality. Despite challenges the nation's dedication signals a promising future in China and worldwide.


Urban vs Rural

China's stark contrasts extend from urban to rural, with notable gaps in income, education, healthcare, and living standards. Government policies aim to address these disparities, enhancing rural infrastructure, healthcare, and education while promoting urban-rural migration.


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