Summer 2015 Chinese Language Program

  • Summer 2014 students visit the old imperial summer capital of Chengde on an overnight group excursion.

  • A Summer 2014 student enjoys a group lunch at the UChicago Center in Beijing, where classes are held.

February 1, 2015

General Information

The Chicago in Beijing summer Chinese language program offers qualified undergraduate students the opportunity to study Chinese language in a completely Chinese-speaking environment. The program is fashioned on the language “immersion” principle in which students receive daily Chinese language instruction at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing and live in dorms on the campus of Renmin University of China. Beijing, a modern city with a three thousand-year history and a lively art and music scene, is a compelling venue for cultural and linguistic immersion. The program is offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and administered by the University’s Summer Session through the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.

The program’s duration is eight weeks, beginning on June 15 and ending on August 7, 2015. The program fee of $5,700 includes tuition and accommodations in a student dormitory.

The Center of East Asian Studies will provide 10 fellowships to University of Chicago students. Each fellowship is $2,500. University of Chicago College students are also strongly encouraged to inquire whether they can apply for a Foreign Language Acquisition Grant (FLAG) from the College. The FLAG application deadline for UChicago undergraduates is February 13, 2015. Graduate students are encouraged to apply for a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grant to cover some of the program costs.

The program is open to University of Chicago undergraduate and graduate students. Non-UChicago students are also welcome in the program, and are encouraged to apply.

Application Forms

2015 UChicago Student Chicago in Beijing Program Application

University of Chicago students may apply by filling out the application form and turning it in to their Chinese instructor. Applicants may direct additional questions to

2015 Visiting Student Chicago in Beijing Application

Visiting students may apply by emailing their completed application form and materials to program coordinators at Further information for visiting students can be found at the Summer Session website in the "Special Programs" section.

Instruction and Educational Activities

The program provides three levels of Chinese courses: Intermediate, Advanced, and Fourth-Year Chinese. The Program is designed for students who have taken the necessary prerequisite courses (at UChicago these are Chinese 10300, 20300, or 30300, or the equivalent levels) by Spring Quarter 2015. Program participants receive University of Chicago credit, posted with grades on their transcript, for a full year of Chinese language study. Upon completion of the program students coming to Beijing from Chinese 10300 or the equivalent will receive credit for the full year of intermediate Chinese language (Chinese 20100, 20200, 20300); students coming to Beijing from Chinese 20300 will receive credit for the full year of advanced Chinese language (Chinese 30100, 30200, 30300); and students coming to Beijing from Chinese 30300 will receive credit for the full year of fourth year Chinese language. Higher levels of study may be available if sufficient demand exists; auditing is not available.

University of Chicago Chinese lecturers will be in residence to teach and mentor students. Students will take 25 hours of language instruction per week, attending class from 8:00am to 11:50 am followed by afternoon small group drill sessions, Monday through Friday, at the UChicago Center in Beijing. Courses are taught by University of Chicago lecturers who team up with local language teachers.

The program uses the same textbooks and curriculum as in Chicago. Students will also carry out a language project entitled “Interview with Beijing,” supervised by the University’s lecturers. In consultation with the lecturers, each student will decide on a topic and a set of questions, interview a group of Chinese people, and follow with a written report in Chinese. Students are expected to keep a diary in Chinese and hand it in once a week for corrections. Each student will also create four short video diaries and present them to the class. A language pledge must be observed during the 8 week long course. Students are expected to use only Chinese during the program.

The program provides optional courses such as Chinese calligraphy. In addition, the program provides local excursions to famous sites and cultural events on weekends, including trips to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Beijing Opera, the National Museum of China, etc; transportation and admission to sites/shows are included in the program fee. Guest speakers will give talks on Chinese society, culture and politics; optional group travel during and after the program is also possible, at an additional expense.

Living Arrangements

Students will live in a dormitory on the Renmin University campus, in the vicinity of the UChicago Center in Beijing. Our staff will seek to find the best possible accommodations available during this frame.

For meals, students can choose from the campus dining halls serving different styles of food. Dining hall food service will range from $5-10 per day approximately. (Please note that costs are estimated; actual dollar equivalents are subject to exchange rate fluctuations.)

The Beijing Center and Renmin University are located about 8 miles from Tiananmen Square, and offer easy access to shopping, parks, restaurants, and public transportation. A branch office of Bank of China with international currency exchange service and an ATM is located on the ground floor of the building where classes take place.


The Program is open to all qualified undergraduate and graduate students. The chief criterion for judging an application to the program is the quality of the student's work in Chinese. Apart from this, the student should present a solid academic record in general and demonstrate the kind of maturity that is necessary to participate successfully in a foreign study program.

Application forms are available online at The application deadline is February 27, 2015. Notification of acceptance to the Program will be sent by March 15, 2015.

For students accepted into the Program, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $500 and a $140 visa processing fee will be due April 1, 2015. Participants will also need a passport valid until at least February 2016. Please apply for/renew your passport now, if needed, as processing times may be lengthy. All students must submit their passports, deposit, fees, and all other required forms to the Graham School (1427 E. 60th St.) by April 1, 2015, 4:30 pm. Four (4) passport quality photos are required. Passport photos are available at the ID & Privileges Office on the first floor of the Regenstein Library.

Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Beijing.

  • Application/program content questions? Contact your UChicago Chinese instructor or the program director, Ms. Youqin Wang, at 773.702.0778 or
  • General Program questions (application logistics)? Contact Summer Session at 773/702-6033 or
  • Students not enrolled at the University of Chicago may contact Val Huston at the University of Chicago Graham School with any questions at