Chinese Study Abroad

Chinese Study Abroad Advisor - Shannon Dubenion-Smith


Procedures for Studying Abroad

Collecting Information

When you decide to pursue a program for studying Chinese abroad, you should first visit the Office of International Programs and Exchanges at Western Washington University in order to learn about general procedures. Then talk with your Chinese professors and students who have returned from study abroad. You should also visit relevant websites to collect sufficient information about studying Chinese abroad. You should think about when you will arrange the study, where you want to study, and what you want to accomplish while you are abroad. Normally, if you want to pursue Chinese study abroad in summer , you should start collecting information in October. Most programs have their application deadline in November

Making Decisions

Once you have sufficient information about various Chinese study abroad programs, you should narrow down the prospective programs and discuss them with your Chinese professors. You should also talk to the director of the study abroad program which you are interested in and review their curriculum before making your decision.

Preparing the Application

After choosing a study abroad program or two, you should obtain the application package and complete it by the deadline. Meanwhile, make sure the credits you will receive from the study abroad program can be transferred to Western Washington University and that they will count toward graduation credits. You should ask your Chinese professor to evaluate the study abroad program and to ensure the number of credits you can transfer to Western.

Preparing to Leave for your Study Abroad Program

When you are accepted to a program, it is time to prepare for departure. Below is a list of items to prepare for:

  1. Entrance Exam: Most abroad programs have this type of exam. The purpose is to determine students' proficiency level of Chinese. This exam is normally conducted during the first few days of the program.
  2. Items to Take: These include clothing, books, money, etc. Often, the program will provide a list of things that you should bring.
  3. Airfare and Travel Documents

Places You'll Visit

Beijing, China

  • China’s capital city of Beijing is the nation’s political, educational, and cultural center and provides access to more universities and research institutes than any other city in China
  • Join WWU faculty and students during the Summer on an intensive study of Chinese language and culture in Beijing and Hangzhou, earning 15 credits towards Chinese Language & Culture. Students will pay WWU tuition and must have at least one year of Chinese language in order to participate  
  • *Please note this program runs every other summer
  • The Alliance for Global Education, CET Academic Programs, and CIEE all offer an intensive language program where students commit to only speaking Chinese and includes an immersive 20 hours of language instruction per week
  • Participate in other intensive language programs while having the option of other elective coursework through programs like CAPA International Education, IES Abroad, or The Education Abroad Network
  • Housing options include Homestays or Residence Halls
  • Quarter, Semester, Academic Year & Summer  terms available
  • WWU Global Learning Program
  • Alliance for Global Education
    • CAPA International Education
    • CET Academic Programs
    • Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE)
    • IES Abroad
    • The Education Abroad Network

Chengdu, China

  • Often referred to as the most “livable mega city” in China, Chengdu is both modern and traditional, and is known as one of the major transportation and communication hubs in China
  • Students can study at Sichuan University through ISA, a comprehensive university offering courses in Chinese language, literature, as well as other areas in the humanities, social sciences, education, sciences, and engineering. Or take courses at Southwest University through USAC located in the heart of Chengdu, and surrounded by the Tibetan area of the city
  • Students can study Chinese at all levels, and take English coursework in a variety of areas
  • Housing options include residence halls and apartments depending on program
  • Semester, Academic Year, & Summer terms available
  • International Studies Abroad (ISA)
  • University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC)

Harbin, China

  • Study in the northern city of Harbin where students can study at the Harbin Institute of Technology, a large institution full of amenities
  • Intensive Chinese language and culture courses are available, a full load of intensive Chinese language classes cover at least one year of Chinese in a term
  • The CET program is ideal for intermediate and advanced learners ready for full immersion
  • Housing options include residence halls with Chinese roommates
  • Research available
  • Semester, Academic Year & Summer terms available
  • CET Academic Programs

 Kunming, China

  • Kunming is known as the “city of eternal spring” and enjoys year round mild climates, blue skies, and plenty of sunshine
  • Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Kunming for access to outdoor activities, mountains, and fresh air
  • Students can take intensive Chinese courses ranging at low intermediate levels to high advanced levels that cover one year of material in 8 weeks through the CET summer program
  • Intensive Chinese language in addition to electives in English can be taken through IES Abroad
  • Study China’s cultural diversity and minority relations while earning up to 15 credits of Chinese language study on SIT’s Language, Cultures, and Ethnic Minorities
  • Homestay options include residence halls with Chinese Roommates
  • Semester, Academic Year, & Summer terms available
  • CET Academic Programs
  • IES Abroad
  • School for International Training (SIT)

Nanjing, China

  • Study in Nanjing, one of the safest and most livable cities in China, located just an hour from Shanghai by high speed train
  • Students can study at Nanjing University, one of the most prestigious universities in China, best known for its liberal arts and social sciences
  • Students can take intensive Chinese language in addition to area studies courses in English or Chinese
  • Students must have taken 1 year of college level Mandarin Chinese or equivalent by the program start date
  • Housing options include Homestay or Residence halls with Chinese roommates
  • Semester and Academic Year terms available
  • CIEE

Shanghai, China

  • Study in one of China’s most cosmopolitan cities, and one of the most important financial and business centers of Asia
  • Study The Alliance for Global Education, and CEA, and ISA offer an intensive language program where students commit to only speaking Chinese and includes an immersive 20 hours of language instruction per week
  • Gain up to 15 quarter credits on CIEE’s summer intensive Chinese language program, learning up to a year’s worth equivalent of Mandarin language through homestays and small one-on-one classes
  • Study through The Education Abroad Network or USAC and take Chinese language courses as well as English coursework in a variety of subjects
  • Internships, service learning, and language intensive programs available
  • Homestay, Residence Hall, and Apartment living options depending on the program
  • Semester , Academic Year & Summer terms available
  • Alliance for Global Education
  • Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA)
  • Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE)
  • The Education Abroad Network (TEAN)
  • International Studies Abroad (ISA)
  • University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC)

Taipei, Taiwan

  • Study in Taipei, the vibrant political, economic, and cultural center of Taiwan (officially the Republic of China)
  • Study intensive Chinese at Intermediate or Advanced levels
  • The CIEE Chinese language commitment and Chinese language practicum allow students to participate in language clinics, excursions, and tutors to enhance their immersion and learning
  • Study Chinese language on WWU Direct exchange through National Chengchi University where students can take Chinese language courses at all levels
  • Homestay, Residence Hall, and Apartment living options depending on program
  • Semester & Academic Year terms available
  • Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE)
  • Direct Exchange- National Chengchi University

Other Programs

U.S. Dept. of State Critical Language Scholarship Program

  • The CLS program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs allowing American undergraduate and graduate students a fully funded overseas language and cultural immersion program with the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical need languages and building relationships between the people of the United States and other countries
  • For Chinese Language eligibility students must have completed two years of Chinese language or equivalent; this program is for students at the intermediate language ability
  • Must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. Citizen and enrolled in an accredited US Degree granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level
  • Program costs are fully covered including: intensive overseas group based learning courses (20+ hours per week), Room & Board, often with a host family, a full cultural program, host community language partners, US academic credit, domestic and international airfare
  • Summer terms available
  • U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

Programs Previously Attended by Western Students

Associated Colleges in China

Associated Colleges in China (ACC): ACC is an intensive language program which offers many unique features such as Host Families, Language Practicum, Language Pledge, and highly individualized classes.

Associated Colleges in China, Hamilton College
198 College Hill Rd.
Clinton, NY 13323
1-315-859-4326, 315-859-4778
Where: Beijing, Minzu University of China
When: Fall, Summer, Academic year, Spring

CET Academic Programs

Chinese Language Program in Beijing and Harbin: Classes are held at Capital Normal University, College of Foreign Languages.

Curriculum Highlights: Small classes taught by specially-trained teachers.

CET Academic Programs
1000 16th Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20036 USA
Where: Beijing and Harbin

Columbia University

Columbia University in China: The program features a home-stay program and offers a nine-week course of language study equivalent to two semesters at Columbia.

Columbia University
1140 Amsterdam Avenue, Mail Code 3907
New York, NY 10027 USA
Where: Beijing
When: Summer

Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Study at Tsinghua

Intensive Chinese language training at third year level and above in small group and individual classes.

Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies
Institute for East Asian Studies, 2223 Fulton Street, Room 511
Berkeley, CA 94720-2318 USA
Where: Beijing
When: Academic year, Summer

Other Chinese Study Abroad Programs

Council on International Educational Exchange

205 East 42 Street
New York NY 10017-5706
212-661-1414, ext. 1110

The Hopkins-Nanjing Program

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20036-2213
202-663-5806; 1-800-3NANJIN

Princeton in Beijing

211 Jones Hall
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1008

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