The Summer Chinese Program in Beijing gives UChicago students the opportunity to study Mandarin in a completely Chinese-speaking environment. Hosted at the Center, the eight-week-long, intensive program is offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and administered as a Summer Session program by the University’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies (interested students may apply each winter via the Graham School). Youqin WANG (Director of the University’s Chinese Language Program and Senior Lecturer in Chinese) and Fengpei CAI (also a Senior Lecturer in Chinese) are the head program instructors.
Intermediate, advanced, and fourth-year Chinese language courses are offered. Small class sizes, group drills, and tutoring constitute a rigorous program of learning, in addition to optional courses and excursions. Students have the opportunity to use their language skills while exploring cultural sites and neighborhoods in Beijing and other areas of China, such as Chengde or Xi’an. The program was first held at the Center in 2011, after being hosted for several years at Qinghua University, also in northwest Beijing.
Slots are offered to non-UChicago students if available. Some students opt to combine the Summer Language Program with the preceding Spring Social Sciences Program or the following autumn East Asian Civilizations Program.
University of Chicago students may apply for a language study scholarship from the University, the Foreign Language Acquisition Grant, to go towards the Summer Language Program fee. The FLAG is one of a number of travel grants awarded by the University to undergraduates each summer.
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Ed Shaughnessy, Department Chair of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, spoke to the summer 2011 students on “The Historical Significance of the Qinghua Bamboo Strips”