Kunming provides MAIS students with an unequaled opportunity to experience the beauty and complexity of life in China's western regions. Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province, home to 26 of China's 55 ethnic minority groups and a wealth of tourist destinations. Kunming's strategic location close to Southeast Asia makes it a transportation and relational hub for the Mekong region. Known within China as the "Spring City", the climate is pleasant year round. With approximately 3 million people residing in the urban area of Kunming, it is a smaller city by Chinese standards. A variety of non-profit organizations are based in Kunming and opportunities exist to intern or volunteer for these organizations. Many foreigners feel that Kunming is the best city to live in China due to the weather, the cultural opportunities, and the smaller nature of the city which makes it easier to make friends and find new opportunities.
What can MAIS students expect to experience in this cultural and dynamic city? They will enjoy the more laid back nature of the city, the opportunities to make friends, and the vibrant cultures that simultaneously exist. The city itself has a modern lifestyle with many things to do including shopping, cultural shows, museums, restaurants, and coffee shops. There are also many great tourist destinations close to Kunming including Dali, Lijiang (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and many others. Transportation is convenient with taxis, buses, and a new metro line set to open in 2013.
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