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Rural Healthcare & Education Practicum in China

Rural Healthcare & Education Practicum in China
Gain hands-on experience in a qualitative research study and experience Chinese culture first-hand.
Xi'an, China
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Global & International Studies
Community Health
-Open to All Majors
Program Type: 
Fulfills KU Core 4.2

Please note: This program is not being offered in Summer 2021

  • Gain hands-on experience in a qualitative research study
  • Experience Chinese culture first-hand
  • Earn KU internship credit
  • Study Abroad & Global Engagement is offering a significant number of $2,500- $5,000 Freeman East Asia Internship Scholarships to participants in this program.  KU students who are US citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply. 
Program Summary: 

This 6-week internship program offers KU undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to provide project and field support to faculty and researchers working for NGOs, which design and evaluate projects aimed at improving health and education in rural China. 

The NGOs include the Center for Experimental Economics in Education (CEEE) and Northwest Socioeconomic Development Research Center (NSDRC), based at Shaanxi Normal University (SNU), and the Rural Education Action Project (REAP), based at Stanford University.

REAP, CEEE and NSDRC launched the Seeing Is Learning Program in 2012 to document and address the lack of vision care available in China’s rural areas. Since that time it has shown that there are millions of children with uncorrected vision and that only one out of every six rural children with poor vision has eyeglasses.  The current project includes fieldwork such as training teachers, testing village children and evaluating the effectiveness of the program and communicating the results of project evaluations to local and national government ministries within China.


Located in central China, Xian is home to more than 8.6 million people and the capital city of the Shaanxi Province.  It is known for being one of the oldest cities in China, the starting point of the Silk Road, and home to the famed Terracotta Army statues. 

Project work is based out of the CEEE Office in Xian at Shaanxi Normal University (SNU), however, participants may also travel with local students and researchers to research sites in the surrounding province or beyond.

Academic Information: 

Students will enroll in GIST 495 Global Internship Credit (3 credits) with Professor John Kennedy for the duration of the program.   The course requirements include reviewing English language research and policy reports for publication, personal essays (reports) on field site visits to villages, schools and rural clinics as well as collaborative projects with Chinese researchers.  



Participants will live in apartments near Shaanxi Normal University or in on-campus residence halls, where CEEE is located, and can purchase meals in the university cafeteria.  


KU undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. The internship is open to a wide variety of majors who have an interest in education, rural health care and international development. Prerequisites include a minimum 2.75 GPA. Some Chinese language is preferred, but not necessary for internship.

Program Faculty: 

John Kennedy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Office: 521 Blake
Email: kennedy1@ku.edu
Phone: 785.864.9025


Summer 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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