University of Vermont

Asian Studies Outreach Program

The Governor's Institute on Asian Cultures (GIAC)

The Governor's Institute on Asian Cultures is co-sponsored by the Asian Studies Outreach Program at the University of Vermont (ASOP) and the Governor's Institutes of Vermont (GIV). The institute provides a unique opportunity for Vermont freshmen and sophomores to learn about Asia and to travel in China over a two-year cycle.

Applying to the GIAC-Vermont Summer Program

For any questions about application and selection procedure, please contact the Governor's Institute of Vermont (GIV) at (802) 865-4448 or


Students must apply directly to the Governor's Institute of Vermont in order to participate in this program. In the first year of their involvement, selected Vermont freshmen and sophomores spend one week on the University of Vermont campus to learn about many aspects of Asian culture, including history, art, politics and more. Previous GIAC-VT programs have included the following activities:

  • Lectures by faculty from Middlebury College and the University of Vermont
  • Lectures on the environment in China from the Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Chinese Language Lessons
  • J-POP! Japanese pop song lessons
  • Hands-on Asian art activities
  • Tai Chi Lessons
  • Taiko drum workshop
  • Japanese tea ceremony lesson
  • Authentic Chinese, Thai and Japanese dinners
At the end of the week, students present their individual study plans for the year and work with a staff member to complete the program. High school juniors and seniors may also enroll for UVM college credit using their Dual Enrollment voucher or the Academically Talented Program (contact GIAC Director Brian Nelligan for more information regarding credits). Completion of the week-long program is one of the requirements to be eligible for participating in GIAC-China the following summer.


Over the next year, students work on their individual study plans with help from program teachers. Only students who have successfully completed the GIAC-VT program are eligible for the GIAC-China program. The students that participated in the GIAC-VT program will find out information about the GIAC-China program at the January winter reunion. The China program is coordinated through the Asian Studies Outreach Program. In the spring, planning meetings are held to prepare students for travel in China. At each planning session information about locations to be visited, what to expect abroad, and even how to bargain in Chinese is provided.

Additional Information About GIAC-China

  • GIAC-China Program Fee: The GIAC-China program fee and Chinese tourist fee is in addition to the GIAC-VT fee paid the previous summer. Families will be notified of the GIAC-China Program fee at the reunion the following January.
  • Passports: Students that plan on participating in the program must have a valid passport at the January reunion.
  • Travel dates: The two-week program takes place during the first two weeks of July.
  • Planning sessions: Two planning sessions will be held during weekends in the spring in order to prepare students for their program in China. Parents are encouraged to attend the planning sessions.
  • UVM Credit: Students who complete the GIAC-China program are also eligible for three UVM credits through the Dual Enrollment voucher or the Academically Talented Program.

Last modified March 26 2015 10:38 AM

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