Student Programs

The University of Chicago’s spirit of hands-on intellectual inquiry extends to its Center in Beijing, which provides a gathering place for students across disciplines who want to study or undertake research in China.  The Center includes classrooms, group study rooms, and individual work spaces, highlighting the importance of student programs at UChicago’s Beijing home.

University of Chicago undergraduates and graduate students interested in using the Center as a home for their undergraduate thesis research or graduate work can email Program Coordinator Misha Berrien (mberrien@uchicago.edu) for information about desk space and logistical support.

A UChicago MFA student confers with a Shandong University undergrad during an arts workshop.

Support for Graduate Students

Graduate students can apply for desk space at the Center as well as modest financial support for research and the opportunity to participate in the numerous international workshops and conferences held at the Center each year. Students can use the Center as a base while collaborating with peers and faculty, visiting local libraries and performing field research.  Logistical aid and venue space for workshops may be made available.

Undergraduate Programs

UChicago study abroad programs are designed to expand a student’s intellectual horizons through firsthand knowledge of a new culture and place. The Center hosts a number of programs that foster this intellectual expansion by introducing students in the College to China’s history, language, and contemporary society. College programs at the Center in Beijing bring together UChicago faculty and local experts. Students live in Renmin University’s international dormitories near the Center.

Professor James Hevia points out a feature of a 3D scale model of Shanghai during an excursion for students during the East Asian Civilizations study abroad program.

Autumn East Asian Civilizations: Students in the College may opt to study abroad at the Center to help fulfill their Common Core Civilization Studies component, focusing on East Asian culture and history. In addition to local excursions, past group trips have included visits to the cities of Xi’an, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Tianjin; the Autumn 2012 group visited Japan. The Civ program was the University’s first undergraduate Study Abroad quarter in China, and was initially hosted at Capital Normal University. In Autumn 2010, East Asian Civ moved to the Center and was the space’s inaugural undergraduate program.

Spring Social Sciences: For those interested in an even deeper engagement with social and economic issues in contemporary China, the Social Sciences Program enhances academic work with excursions to government agencies, nonprofits, and museums. The Spring Social Sciences quarter is a thematic (non-Common Core) program founded in 2011.

Summer Session Chinese Language: Overseen by the University’s Graham School, the Summer Language Program provides rigorous Mandarin instruction and includes small discussion groups and field trips to cultural sites. Past excursions include group trips to the cities of Xi’an and Chengde. Hosted at Qinghua University from 2008 to 2010, the Chinese Language Program moved to the Center in Summer 2011.

Professor Wei-jen Tang enjoys a workshop presentation by Jennifer Hu, a student in the laboratories internship program which Tang oversees.

Internships: The Center also provides a platform for College students interested in engaging with China through internships, which are mostly offered in the summer. The Jeff Metcalf internship program, administered by the University’s Career Advancement office, provides a growing number of internships based both at the Center and at a wide range of companies, labs, and nonprofits throughout Beijing. Non-Metcalf internships in Beijing can also be discovered through Career Advancement’s international resources.

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