A comprehensive travel guide will be made available at the orientation meeting on January 11th. The following is a limited checklist of items that apply to US citizens. Non-US citizens may have additional requirements. Please be aware that you will need the following:
- A valid passport that is in effect through October 3, 2006
- Two blank pages available in your valid passport
- One Passport photo
- Completed visa processing forms (these will be made available in class and online)
In order to ensure that travel documents are in order for all, efforts will be made to process visa applications in a centralized fashion. Please click here if you require an extra copy and are not able to access CourseWork or attend class. Air travel arrangements will most likely be coordinated centrally as well.
At the present time, no immunizations are required for travel, however several are to be recommended. For most international travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that your normal childhood vaccines be up-to-date, including tetanus and polio. You should also consult your physician about the advisability of obtaining the Hepatitis A vaccine as protection against viral hepatitis. There are several other travel related vaccines to consider for this trip, depending in part on your underlying health; the most common would include vaccines against the flu and hepatitis B. Again, individual recommendations depend also your medical history as well as personal view on vaccine risk / benefit and you are advised to consult your doctor.
The following information on avian flu is taken directly from the World Health Organization (WHO)’s and CDC’s websites. For the most recent updates, you can access the WHO web site at www.who.int or the CDC web site at www.cdc.gov and search for “avian flu.” Avian flu is a contagious disease that commonly occurs in birds and sometimes in humans and pigs. The disease can occur in any bird, though domestic poultry flocks are more susceptible. Avian flu is caused by the influenza virus type A. Countries that have reported large epidemics of avian flu among domesticated bird populations include Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Pakistan, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. WHO is not recommending any restrictions on travel to these countries. In these affected countries, people who work in poultry farms are at primary risk of contracting the disease.
Check with your personal health insurance provider to see if they have a set of documents and forms for you to carry when you travel; many companies do.
Most of the items suggested are standard to any international travel expeditions. Some suggestions include:
- A wide-mouth lightweight plastic container to carry water
- Sanitizing hand wipes or lotions
- Anti-diarrheal medication (prescribed or over the counter)
- Motion sickness preventatives if relevant
- Any other curatives for commonly experienced concerns (insect repellant, vitamins, analgesics, etc.)
- Your personal medications and any medical records if relevant
- Adapter plugs, extra batteries
In terms of clothing, comfortable wardrobe that you can layer is always recommended for travel. Formal dress is not required anywhere on our journey. However, you may want to bring one outfit that can be dressed up a bit. (This is completely optional and at your discretion). Be sure and pack the following:
- Comfortable walking shoes. Low-heeled, broken-in shoes are best
- Long pants and short pants
- Long sleeve and short sleeve tops
- A collapsible umbrella
- Lightweight rain gear
A complete list of suggested items to pack will be included in your travel guide.
This trip will cost between $3,700 and $3,800. If you are a student, you may wish to apply for a MAP Sustainable Energy Student Travel Grant which will provide up to $1,800 in subsidy funding. Information about the grant will be made available in class. You may also wish to investigate the following options to obtain additional funding support:
- The minor grant carries up to $1,500 for "smaller independent student projects including preliminary or exploratory research". Students could propose a specific research agenda for the China trip (i.e., how the trip fits their educational or research goals), and could focus their directed reading efforts along those lines.
- Stanford students have been successful in the past at receiving scholarship funding from AWMA.
Click here for details.
- This award, given annually, goes to undergraduate students of any major who design an exciting metaphorical "voyage of discovery" to help to make sense of this world (modeled, of course, after Darwin). Awards are announced mid-March - students pursuing this funding option should seek to determine if early awards may be granted.
Click here for details.
Multiple guides will accompany the tour throughout the trip. In addition, some participants are bilingual and have generously offered to act as translators as necessary and appropriate.
Priority positions will be given to enrolled students. Some accommodations will be made for family members where appropriate, and on an individual basis. Unfortunately, family members will not be eligible for the MAP Sustainable Energy Student Travel Grant.
Unfortunately, no. A requirement of attendance on this trip is that you agree to be with the group at all times.
Temperatures can be variable, ranging from the mid-to-high 70s (°F) during the day to the high 40s in the early mornings and evenings. In general be prepared for warm to hot weather during the days and cooler weather in the mornings and evenings. The weather can be quite humid or rainy. Please remember that daily temperature can range widely. You may wish to check current weather conditions closer to departure in USA Today, on the Weather Channel or at www.weather.com.
U.S. dollars can only be used to pay vendors for small purchases amounting to one or two dollars. However, it is difficult for vendors to convert U.S. dollars, so it’s best to use Chinese yuan. All other transactions will be in Chinese yuan and you will need to carry local currency with you throughout the trip. Money can be exchanged at the hotels or shops at a rate slightly lower than the official bank rate. Foreign currency can also be exchanged at bureaus such as Thomas Cook and American Express. Try to keep your receipts when changing money as you may need to show them if you have foreign currency left over and wish to convert it back into U.S. dollars when you depart the country.
The electrical current in China is 220 volts, 50 cycles. If you plan to bring any electrical appliances that operate on 110 volts, you will need to bring your own electrical converter and plug adapters.