Students in Santa Barbara City College’s Pacific Rim Study Abroad program will have the opportunity to visit such places as Tiananmen Square in Beijing. (Matthew Mooney photo)

The Santa Barbara City College Pacific Rim Study Abroad program will spend the fall semester in China and Vietnam.

About 35 SBCC students will accompany co-directors Drs. Ayanna Yonemura and Matthew Mooney to one of the most dynamic regions in the world, one that is likely to be of growing strategic and economic importance to America’s future.

The program will be based at Shandong University in the Chinese city of Jinan (about eight hours southwest of Beijing by train) for the first seven weeks and in the Vietnamese capitol of Hanoi during the latter portion of the trip.

“I am very excited to co-direct the Pacific Rim program,” said Mooney, a professor of American history at SBCC. “I was fortunate enough to study abroad myself as an undergraduate and it was absolutely the best thing I did in college. The opportunity to offer this transformative experience to a new generation of students is a thrill.”

The Pacific Rim Study Abroad program was founded nearly 25 years ago by SBCC global studies and political science professor Dr. Peter Haslund, and the program has continued to evolve to include opportunities typically unavailable to the independent traveler.

While in Vietnam, for example, students will visit the Hanoi offices of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. In addition, students will have the opportunity to participate in an internship program teaching English to Chinese university students.

Fifteen units of transferable college credit will be offered for classes in comparative Asian-American history, Modern East Asia and the American military experience in Vietnam. The program also includes a variety of cultural exclusions including Shanghai, Beijing, Mount Tai Shan, and the Great Wall in China along with Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam.

The Pacific Rim Study Abroad program to China and Vietnam is open to any graduate from an accredited high school who is age 18 or older on the departure date (Sept. 8), and students who qualify for financial aid can usually apply it to Study Abroad. Participants do not have to be enrolled at SBCC.

A few spots are still open for the program. Anyone interested should contact Mooney at, or click here to visit the Web site for more information.

Matthew Mooney is a professor of American history at Santa Barbara City College and co-director of SBCC’s Pacific Rim Study Abroad program.