China in-country History intensive

Town and country in China and the West: comparisons and connections

Programme information

This subject, taught in the Yangtze River-side city of Nanjing, offers students an unparalleled opportunity to study urban history in one of the oldest continuous urban settlements in the world. Chinese understandings and experiences of town and country, past and present, are examined in comparative perspective provided by classes in American urban history, a tradition with some surprising connections with China. Students participating in this class live on the historic campus of Nanjing University, in the Drum Tower district, and attend classes in a building five minutes walk away. Lectures and readings provide the basis from which to reflect on subject themes from the perspective offered by old historical sites, monuments, and museums, the plethora of which mark Nanjing as a place that sets store by its own past.

The old city walls, the Confucian temple, Sun Yatsen's mausoleum, and the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum are among the sites visited. Day trips take the class out of the city, to the rural town of Gaochun and its "old street"; and across the Yangtze to Yangzhou, historically one of the great commercial centres of the Chinese empire. Three days are spent in Beijing, studying both the great tradition of the Chinese city and some of its modern transformations. The final days of the class are spent in Shanghai, where a new sort of town took shape in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Dates of travel

Arrive Nanjing 23 November 2016; depart Shanghai 17 December 2016

Programme leaders

The subject is taught by Professor Antonia Finnane, whose research speciality is Chinese history, and Professor David Goodman, a specialist in American history.


There are no pre-requisites for this subject, except that students must have completed either the first year of an undergraduate degree to enter at HIST20073, or the second year, to enter at HIST30070.

Programme price


Programme price covers:

  • Accommodation in Nanjing, Beijing, and Shanghai
  • Distance travel within China (to Gaochun, Yangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai)
  • Entry to museums and other sites

Programme price does NOT cover:

  • University of Melbourne subject fees
  • Airfares
  • Personal spending money
  • Meals
  • Local transport

China in-country history intensive terms and conditions

Travel Insurance

You must register your Uni-Melb (Course Required) Travel (including Incidental Personal Travel days) via the UniMelb Online - Student Travel Registration web page, which will provide (free) Travel Insurance cover.

The policy covers incidental personal travel for some days before and after the time period of the subject.

Students with a pre-existing condition may need to take out other insurance to make sure that they are covered for all eventualities.

Paying the deposit and balance

  • The deposit for the trip ($1000) must be paid by Friday 29 July 2016, using the Faculty of Arts Online Store (link will be active soon)
  • The balance ($1500) must be paid by Friday 30 September 2016, by the same method


  • If a cancellation is made by 26 August 2016, you will receive reimbursement of your deposit, minus a fee of $100 (to cover costs)
  • If cancellation is made after 26 August and before 17 September 2016, you will receive $500 of your deposit
  • Any cancellations made after 30 September 2016 will result in the forfeit of your entire deposit
  • Cancellations after 14 October 2016 may result in forfeiture of the entire programme price, unless we are able to fill the position

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Passport details

All participants must provide a good quality photocopy of the front page of the passport that they will be using to enter China, scanned and sent via email to no later than Friday, 29 July 2016 or in the case of late applications, as soon as you receive confirmation of your place. (We need this for Nanjing University to create a letter of invitation for you).

Please note: If your current passport expires before 28 May 2017, you will need a new passport for this trip.


All participants must take responsibility for obtaining a student visa to China. A letter of invitation will be provided to you for this purpose (necessary for a visa of this class). For information on how to apply, see the China Visa Application Service Center website. You can apply either in person of by post. By post takes a couple of weeks.

Air tickets

Students travelling to Nanjing directly from Melbourne will be asked to book on the same flight, through the one travel agent. This is to ensure convenience of reception at the Nanjing end, and also to obtain cheap fares through a group booking. Further information will be provided in due course.

Funding opportunities

Students will automatically be considered for the Melbourne Global Grant ($1000) when they complete the Online Mobility Registration and Travel Grant Application. The grant is competitive (last year's cut off was around 74).

Loans targeted at supporting overseas study are available. Please see the ask.unimelb OS-HELP Loans web page.

A number of bursaries are available on a needs basis to support students who would otherwise find it difficult to meet the cost of the overseas travel. Please direct any enquiries to the subject coordinator email Professor Antonia Finnane.