Two women riding bicycles and taking pictures in kaiping

The Heritage of Chinese Migration - The Village Fortress/Mansions of Kaiping in Guangdong, Kaiping & Hong Kong, China

Coursework: HIST 482 or ASTU 400 (3 credits)

About the program

Coursework: HIST 482 or ASTU 400 (3 credits)

This is is a 3 credit, 400-level History exchange course offered by UBC's Department of History Professor Henry Yu (Principal of St. John's College). Partnering with Shaw College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Kaiping Village Conservation and Development project, students will have the opportunity to explore different perspectives on the history, cultures, and geographies of Cantonese migration from the "Szeyup" or "Four Counties" area of Canton (Guangdong) Province. In addition, students will explore historical, cultural, and urban landscapes in Hong Kong and Vancouver with CUHK students.  This is a field course that will spend 10 days in rural Kaiping helping conserve the historic heritage buildings while learning conservation philosophy and techniques and history. Coursework will include field trips, workshops, lectures, and guest speakers, as well as bicycle tours of the countryside and hands-on experience in conservation work. The program intends to encourage students to develop and refine their respective writing, research, project management, film and team work skills. In addition, UBC students will have the opportunity to meet, learn from, and work with students from Hong Kong and China. This is ideal for anyone looking for a short yet rewarding academic, social, and travel exchange and field work experience.

Coursework will include a combination of lectures by Professor Henry Yu (UBC), Professor Selia Tan (Wuyi University), and relevant guests; course readings that feature Kaiping, Vancouver, Hong Kong and other areas of the Cantonese migration diaspora as focal points of study, including Vancouver’s Chinatown and Richmond; group discussions; individual weekly journal assignments; field visits around Kaiping, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong (including the famous village of Chikan where director Wong Kar-Wai filmed The Grandmaster, his iconic film about kung fu master Ip Man; workshops; and a final project (paper + film).

General timeline

Program dates: May 15  – May 23: UBC and CUHK Students in Kaiping

May 23 - 28: UBC Students in Hong Kong, hosted by Shaw College at CUHK (Chinese University of Hong Kong) 

May 29 - Jun 16, 2017: UBC and CUHK Students in Vancouver

May 15 - 23: Spend 8 days in Kaiping (part of Siyi or ”Sze Yup," now known as "Wuyi" in Canton (Guangdong) Province, China. This will include side trips to local sites. CUHK students will join UBC students and begin working in mixed teams on course projects

May 23 - 28: Students will stay at CUHK and explore Hong Kong hosted by CUHK students; students who are graduating from UBC are free to return to Vancouver for their graduating ceremonies

May 29 - June 7: Travel along with CUHK students back Vancouver for lectures, workshops, and group coursework. 

June 10 - 16: No lectures - group work for final projects

June 19: Final project presentations (time TBC)


This program is suitable for students second year and up from a variety of majors, not limited to the Faculty of Arts. Students should have a genuine interest in the course material prior to taking part in this program. Graduating students may also apply.

Program fees and costs

The program fee is between $2200 - $2500. The final fee depends on the number of students in the program. Students do not pay the Go Global fee when applying to a Global Seminar. The Go Global fee is built into the Program Fee and is payable upon acceptance to the program.

All qualifying students will receive a $1000 Go Global Award.

Program Fee Includes 
Program Fee Does Not Include

Accommodation in Kaiping


Travel from HK to Kaiping


Travel from Guangzhou to Kaiping


Transportation within Kaiping

Field trips, tours, and entrance fees

Guest lectures


Three group meals

Go Global Fee

*UBC Tuition - Not included. Part of your costs

This amount will differ for domestic and international students. This amount will be assigned to you on the Student Service Centre (SSC) according to normal UBC tuition timelines. Read about tuition fees.

This amount is not determined or applied by Go Global.

All students participating in a Global Seminar will have tuition applied to their SSC account.

*Flights - Not Included. Part of your costs

Travel to China is a separate cost.  You are responsible for arranging your own travel. Go Global can provide suggestions upon program confirmation. 

*Incidentals - Not Included. Part of your costs

Some examples include: personal mobile communication, personal transportation that is not related to the learning outcomes of the program, additional meals that are not already identified as part of the program fee, immunizations, Visas

Global Seminars refund policy

Refund on deposits

Students are eligible for a refund of their deposit minus the administrative fee ($407) if they withdraw from the program within 30 days of paying the deposit; this provides time to fill vacated spots so the cost to other students does not increase. After 30 days, the deposit is non-refundable. Exceptions may be determined at the discretion of Go Global. Any funds allocated to students through the ARA program must be returned in their entirety.

Refund on program fees

Students who withdraw from a Global Seminar after having paid the remaining program fee are not eligible for a refund of their deposit or the program fee. Exceptions may be determined at the discretion of Go Global. Any funds allocated to students through the ARA program must be returned in their entirety.

Students who decide to withdraw their application must submit a request in writing by email to the Global Seminar Advisor at


Go Global Vancouver

When emailing us, please include:

  1. Your student number in the subject line
  2. Your full name and if you are an incoming or outgoing exchange student in the body of the email

Go Global Vancouver

Telephone: 604 822 0942

Fax: 604 822 9885

International House
1783 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2


Mon9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Tue9:30 am - 4:15 pm
Wed9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Thu9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Fri9:00 am - 4:15 pm