Summer in Beijing

Our Summer in Beijing program is designed to provide students with focused exploration of public health in contemporary China alongside an immersive experience in Chinese language or within the Chinese workplace. Students have the opportunity to tailor their summer in Beijing to focus on building practical skills and knowledge related to their own interests in Chinese language, culture, and society.

Program Terms Summer
Credit Hours 6 or 7
Subjects Offered Chinese, Public Health
Language Pre-Requisites None
Field Components Internships
Housing Dormitory or Homestay
Excursions Weekend Excursion
Application Deadlines March 1

All students are encouraged to consider studying abroad for an additional semester in China, whether to deepen their knowledge of Beijing, or at a different Alliance program center to broaden their understanding of China’s regional diversity.

Customize your academic experience for a total of 6 or 7 credit hours: immerse yourself in intensive Chinese language study, gain hands-on internship experience in a Chinese workplace, or focus on public health policy and practice in China.

Our syllabi are currently under development for this exciting new courses. Check back soon!

AVAILABLE COURSES

PUBH 315 / POLS 315 Public Health Policy and Practice in China (3 credits)

Public health policy in China has been shaped by rapid and profound economic, social, and political currents. This course examines those developments and their implications for public health practice. Contemporary issues in health policy at national and local levels will be explored within the context of the health system. Topics include the former One Child Policy and family planning, caring for an aging population, child and maternal health, health literacy, and regional and urban/rural variations in health.

INTS 380 Internship (6 credits)

Interns are placed in Chinese or international non-profits, corporations, consulting firms, or think-tanks focused on promoting public and environmental health. Placements are highly competitive, and other foreign languages and professional skills assist in the placement process as well. Interns spend approximately 25 hours per week at the internship site and complete a final academic paper with an accompanying oral presentation. Internships are supervised by a faculty advisor who meets with students at least twice individually and three times as a group.

Chinese Language (4 credits)

No prior language study is required. A placement exam during on-site orientation determines each student's appropriate language level.

CHIN 100 Beginning Chinese I
CHIN 101 Beginning Chinese II
CHIN 200 Intermediate Chinese I
CHIN 201 Intermediate Chinese II
CHIN 300 Advanced Chinese I
CHIN 301 Advanced Chinese II
CHIN 400 Advanced Chinese III
CHIN 401 Advanced Chinese IV
CHIN 600 Advanced Readings in Chinese

Intensive Chinese Language (6 credits)

Two semesters of prior Chinese language study are required.

A placement exam during on-site orientation determines each student's appropriate language level.

CHIN 200 Intensive Intermediate Chinese I
CHIN 201 Intensive Intermediate Chinese II
CHIN 300 Intensive Advanced Chinese I
CHIN 301 Intensive Advanced Chinese II
CHIN 400 Intensive Advanced Chinese III
CHIN 401 Intensive Advanced Chinese IV
CHIN 600 Intensive Advanced Readings in Chinese

EXPLORING COMMUNITY & CULTURE IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT

Through a creative online format, IFSA-Butler's new Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context course facilitates active engagement with your host community, exploration of cultural identity and examination of diversity in communities in the context of political, economic and sociocultural structures.

This course is worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours and is in addition to the required program courses. Enrolling in this course may bring your course load to, or above, 18 U.S. semester credit hours and requires approval from your study abroad advisor.

Visit here to read more, or download the course outline and syllabus below.

Language classes taught by full-time language faculty selected and trained by the Alliance. Area studies courses are taught by faculty from various universities in Beijing.

Dr. Jeroen Groenewegen-Lau 
INTS 380 Internship

In Beijing, students have the opportunity to participate in an unpaid, credit-bearing internship at sites that may include Chinese or international non-profits, corporations, or think-tanks focused on promoting public and environmental health. Students will spend 20-25 hours per week in their placement and will be expected to complete the academic requirements of their internship to receive credit.  For more information, see the Beijing Internship Handbook.

Students are not required to have experience in Chinese language but will find that a lack of language proficiency may limit placement opportunities. The Alliance makes every effort to place interns at companies or organizations that match the organization’s needs with a student’s skills, experience, and goals, including but not limited to the student’s Chinese language level and communication skills, prior professional experience, and work competencies. Students should not independently seek out organizations; although if a student has an existing personal contact for a specific, preferred placement they may communicate this to Alliance staff who will investigate whether it may be arranged in accordance with Alliance academic policies. The placement process begins with the submission of the Field Component Form upon acceptance into the program, and placements are typically finalized after an in-person interview in China.

Potential Beijing Internship Placements

Although the Alliance makes every effort to accommodate student preferences during the placement process, applicants are also encouraged to be flexible. Certain fields and industry sectors may limit the types of work available to undergraduate interns. The internship field in China’s large cities is highly competitive and the number of available placements is limited.

  • International Committee of the Red Cross, a humanitarian organization assisting victims of war and violence
  • Huiling Community Services, a local non-profit helping mentally challenged individuals learn basic life skills
  • North Head, a strategic communications and public affairs consulting firm working in public health and related areas
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s largest non-profit global network addressing environmental issues
  • Prore Pharm Co., a marketing and sales team for traditional and Western medicine and medical instruments
  • International Economic Law Institute, a think-tank servicing multinational corporations and organizations

A study abroad experience is first and foremost an academic experience. All Alliance for Global Education courses have undergone a faculty review and approval process, and are transcripted by Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. While in most cases students who have received approval from their home institution to study on an Alliance program can be assured of credits transferring, it is each student’s responsibility to work with the home school study abroad advisor and faculty or academic departments to ensure credit transfer for specific courses.  

Credits and Accreditation

Credits granted for Alliance courses are identified in course listings on the Curriculum page for each program, and appear on the official transcript issued at the completion of a student's term. Credit is issued in U.S. semester hours, ensuring that students continue to make progress toward their degrees and verifying the full-time course load they completed while abroad.

All Alliance courses have been reviewed and approved by Butler University’s Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee. Butler University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Programs approved by the Butler University College of Business—which include the Alliance’s International Business in China Program—are accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Grades

Students receive a letter grade on a scale from A to F for every course taken while enrolled on an Alliance program. Withdrawals may be granted due to exceptional circumstances. Although policies at students' home institutions may differ, the Alliance does not permit students to take courses on a credit/no credit or pass/fail basis. Student grades are determined by criteria set forth in course syllabi. The grading scale used in determining letter grades is as follows:

Excellent      A 93-100% Acceptable C+ 77-79%
A- 90-92% C 73-76%
C- 70-72%
Good    B+ 87-89% Unsatisfactory D+ 67-69%
B 83-86% D 63-66%
B- 80-82% D- 60-62%
Failing F < 60%

Transcripts

At the conclusion of a program, an official transcript is sent to the participant's home school, with an unofficial copy forwarded to the participant. Please use this form if Alliance has accepted you into a program and you have changed your home, school, or billing address. Federal regulations require official documentation and a signature for address changes.

Because timelines for final evaluation may vary due to respective program calendars or administrative structures of partner universities abroad, transcripts may take longer to issue than they do at U.S. institutions. While the timeline varies by program, a general timeline for issuing transcripts is:

  • Fall programs - transcript issued in late February
  • Spring and Summer programs - transcript issued in late September

Transcripts are not released for students with an outstanding balance of program fees or other charge incurred while on the program. Students enrolling in consecutive terms with the Alliance do not receive their first term transcript until their second term fees are paid in full.

Students in Alliance programs from Summer 2014 and beyond can request additional transcripts of their transcripts online at any time from Butler University's online transcript ordering service provided by the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization serving the higher education community. 

For all Alliance programs through Spring 2014, transcripts were issued by Arcadia University. Students enrolled during that time can request additional copies of transcripts online or in writing from the Arcadia University Registrar's Office.

If you have a question about the transcripting process or timeline, please contact your Academic Records Coordinator.

Academic Record Appeal

The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University (IFSA-Butler) can assist you with your academic record appeal for any IFSA-Butler or Alliance program by contacting the host institution you attended and/or program instructor as well as our staff abroad for further information.

Academic record appeals can be varied in nature, including grade appeals, credit appeals, courses missing from the transcript, course title, etc.

Students may appeal the content of their academic records according to the official procedures set by the host university and/or program. All appeals must be submitted to IFSA-Butler promptly after receipt of the Butler University transcript via our online Academic Record Appeal Form. IFSA-Butler allows students one year from the program end date to submit appeals, however it is the student’s responsibility to be aware of and meet the deadlines set by the host university and/or program attended. The earliest deadline takes precedence.

No appeals will be undertaken for those students who have taken early examinations, have arranged to submit any course work outside the scheduled dates, have a financial hold on their account or have been accused of academic dishonesty for the course in question.

The appeals process may be lengthy due to differences between universities abroad and the U.S. academic systems and calendars. Therefore, you should expect that an appeal may take three weeks to three months to resolve.

What constitutes a valid academic record appeal?
You must have reason to believe that an error has been made in calculating your grades or credits (i.e. submitted work was not received; an error may have been made in marking your final exam, etc.) or that you were exempt from a portion of the coursework due to a documented medical or personal emergency.

The following arguments, on their own, are insufficient reason for an appeal:

  • “My home university requires a higher grade for transfer of credit.”
  • “I feel I deserve a better grade.”
  • “I was over my head in this class.”
  • “I worked hard and spent a lot of time, effort and money on this class.”

Instructions
Complete the IFSA-Butler Academic Record Appeal form, clearly describing the nature of your academic record appeal. Upload any supporting documentation. You must be polite, specific, and when appropriate, substantiate your well-written logical appeal by providing relevant documentation. Upon receiving a response from your host institution and/or program instructor, your academic records coordinator will notify you of the results as soon as they are available.

All decisions made by the host university and/or program instructor are final. An academic record appeal may result in a higher or lower grade. IFSA-Butler reserves the right to withhold the submission of those appeals that do not meet the above criteria and to issue a final decision.

Click here for the academic record appeal form.

Academic Calendar

  • Summer 2015 term: June 17 - August 17
  • Summer 2016 term: June 15 - August 13

The Alliance Orientation is mandatory. You should make your travel plans accordingly. More details can be found on our Pre-Departure Information pages.

Given the program’s busy academic schedule, weekly local activities, and excursions, the Alliance strongly discourages students from hosting visitors until the end of the term. Please encourage family and/or friends to visit after the program has ended.

2016 Summer Beijing Program Calendar

  • Suggested flight departure: June 14
  • Arrival in Beijing: June 15
  • Orientation: June 16-18
  • Classes begin: June 20
  • Field Study Trip*: July 1-3
  • Independent Travel Long-Weekend*: July 22-24
  • Final exams: August 11-12
  • Program ends (students must depart by 12:00pm): August 13

*Organized trip dates are subject to change at any time.

Students who are not enrolled in the Intensive Chinese Language option are housed in the International Student Dorm #17 in double rooms with other Alliance students. Rooms include: two single beds, two desks, two chairs, small book shelves, cabinets, desk lamps, TV, and air-conditioning, and a private bathroom. They are also wired for high-speed internet. Bed linens, including blankets and pillows, are provided by the dorm and cleaned once a week. Towels are not provided. Each floor is equipped with washing machines. Students can purchase tokens for the machines at the front desk of the dorm. Tokens cost approximately 4 RMB for the washing machine and 8 RMB for the dryer. There is also a kitchen with a stove and microwave on each floor. Students are able to borrow some basic cooking equipment from the Alliance.

All students studying Intensive Chinese Language are required to live with a host family. Other students who have completed at least two semesters of Chinese may also be eligible for the homestay option.

Through placements with a Chinese host families for the duration of the summer term, students gain an in-depth understanding of Chinese family dynamics and traditions through sharing meals and participating in other family activities.

Homestays provide students with an excellent opportunity to develop a more intimate understanding of Chinese culture and language through discussing and witnessing topics on Chinese culture, tradition and social life raised in the classroom with locals working and living in Beijing up close. Moreover, students who choose this option find countless opportunities to improve their Chinese language skills.

Certain meals are provided by students’ host families. See the Food and Meals section for more information on which meals are included in the program fee.

Each student who enrolls in summer Chinese language study is paired with a Chinese graduate student whose major is teaching Chinese as a foreign language. Alliance students and language partners meet one-on-one for Chinese tutoring three times a week for an hour per session. However, students and their language partners often meet more regularly than the minimum requirement to explore Beijing together. Language partners provide Alliance students with additional opportunities practice their Chinese in an informal setting, pick up popular Mandarin slang, and deepen their cultural understanding. In addition to tutoring, language partners help orient Alliance students to campus life and serve as valuable cultural resources throughout the summer.

Chinese language partners are not currently available for Alliance students pursuing a summer internship.

Students not pursuing the Intensive Chinese Language option are responsible for providing their own meals. Students can choose to eat at the small restaurants on or nearby campus or eat in the dining halls, using meal debit cards. Students should budget around $10 per day for meals on or around campus.

Students enrolled in the Intensive Chinese Language option are provided breakfast and dinner by their Chinese host families, while students are responsible for their own lunches throughout the week. Host families provide all three meals on the weekends unless students attend organized excursions or choose not to dine with the family due to other plans.

Vegetarians will find that good food is available in China. Most restaurants serve lots of vegetables, tofu dishes, and staples such as rice, noodles, or dumplings. Note that some restaurants may use animal fat in preparing dishes.

The Alliance arranges extra-curricular classes which may include Chinese painting, calligraphy, cooking, taiji or other martial arts, pottery, seal carving, or paper cutting. These classes offer a wonderful opportunity to learn more about traditional Chinese culture.

Throughout the term, students are invited to take part in a full schedule of excursions, events and lectures - all designed to enhance their understanding of China and the historical and modern influences that impact its culture and people. Students explore the great historical and cultural monuments of the capital and benefit from visits to Beijing's art districts, lectures on China's environmental protection policies, or workshops on Chinese food culture. Below is a sampling of activities from previous terms. Specific activities for future terms are subject to change.

Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square Tour

Students visit the Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square, typically during their orientation. The tour is followed by Wang Fujing shopping street tour and Chinese acrobat show.

Olympic Games Facilities

Students attend a lecture tour through the nearby facilities constructed to support the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, including the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube. The guide will engage students in discussion about its lingering environmental impacts and the Chinese relationship with competitive sports.

Meetings with U.S. and Foreign Diplomats

Students have the opportunity to meet with various diplomats stationed in Beijing and building strategic relationships with China and the greater Asia-Pacific region. Discussions may focus on topics related to public health initiatives, environmental issues, and inter-governmental collaboration.

Cooking Class at a Local Restaurant

A culinary lesson with Beijing chefs introduces students some of China’s most popular dishes, while providing a hands-on opportunity to learn about local food supply and dietary considerations.

Houhai Lake Hutong Tour

This tour includes some of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Beijing, with beautiful traditional Chinese courtyard houses. Previous students visited a local artist's house and paper cutting gallery. They also enjoyed lunch with a family in one of the courtyards and learned to make dumplings.

Hiking the Great Wall of China

For the hiking expedition, students travel to Hebei province to hike an 11 kilometer stretch of one the best-preserved original sections of the wall.

American Chamber of Commerce

Four "AmCham" staff members met with Alliance students to talk about US-China relations, trade policies, and cooperation between the American Chamber of Commerce and the US and Chinese governments. They also introduced their personal study abroad/work abroad experience and offered suggestions for professional development in a China focused career.

Lectures and Film Screenings with Local Artists

Past Beijing students had the opportunity to learn firsthand from local writers, filmmakers, musicians, and/or calligraphers about Chinese art forms.

Program Fees

Summer 2016 Program    $ 7,100

WHAT'S INCLUDED

The program cost includes tuition and fees, housing, pre-departure materials and advising, student visa authorization documents, orientation, organized activities, course materials, the services of a full-time resident staff, medical and evacuation insurance, and a three-day field study trip.

what's not included

The program price does not include airfare to China, the cost of your student visa, meals, transportation, phone and internet, deposits required for local services, independent travel, and other items not mentioned as included.

out of pocket expenses

When making your budget, think about your spending habits – are you a “Just the Essentials” Traveler, happy to eat all meals at the campus canteen and exploring the city on foot? Or are you more of the “Everything Extra” Traveler, who wants to experience everything – nights out at the clubs, shopping at boutiques, and traveling every weekend?

Estimated Out of Pocket Expenses for One Summer

Roundtrip airfare to China $ 1,500
Visa application in U.S. $ 260
Visa application in China (required for internships) $ 200
Meals $ 475
Local transportation (varies by distance) $ 300
Phone usage (varies with data plan) $ 25
Internet usage $ 40
Incidentals and personal care items $ 25
Entertainment $ 200
Independent travel (weekends and travel week) $ 300
Estimated Total $ 3,325

*Estimated in-country expenses based on 1.00 US Dollar = 6.5 Yuan Renminbi

FUNDING AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Remember to check in with your home university and visit our Finances pages to learn more about financial aid and study abroad scholarships.

MULTIPLE TERM DISCOUNT

The Alliance encourages students to enroll for more than one term and to consider studying abroad with more than one Alliance program. Students who continue into a second term with the Alliance receive a $500 discount on the program fee for the second term. All combinations (two semesters, semester plus summer, two semesters plus summer) are possible.

Our program center at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) is your home away from home, nestled in the vibrant international neighborhood of Wudaokou. Meet our on-site staff members!

Neighborhood

Wudaokou (五道口) is located in the Haidian District (海淀区) of North West Beijing. Wudaokou is close to a number of universities and research institutes and is home to a growing student population. Minutes from campus, students will find themselves surrounded by a large shopping mall, movie theater, grocery stores, and many restaurants serving Japanese, Korean, Mexican and American cuisines in addition to a wide variety of Chinese cuisines. Students also have easy access to coffee shops and book stores along with other cultural resources and the rich academic ambience in the immediate vicinity of BLCU and the Haidian District at large. The Wudaokou subway stop, located on line 13, makes exploring the entire city extremely convenient. Even the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube of the 2008 Olympic Games are just a short bus ride away. BLCU’s exciting central location is a perfect place for international students in Beijing.

Beijing Language and Culture University

Founded in 1962, the Beijing Language and Culture University (北京语言大学) is considered to be one of the nation’s premier institutions for the teaching of Chinese language and culture to foreigners. The majority of Chinese Language textbooks are written at BLCU by BLCU professors. These books are used in Chinese classrooms across the United States and throughout the world. BLCU confers degrees at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels and is comprised of 11 faculties and research institutes. The university hosts 14,000 foreign and Chinese students. It is located in the Haidian district, which is home to the majority of Beijing’s universities.

Check out this interactive map to locate the Alliance's resources across Beijing:

View Alliance On Location: Beijing in a larger map.

A three-day field study trip exposes students to China’s social, economic, geographic, and linguistic diversity outside of the capital city. This exposure coupled with the opportunity to practice their Mandarin in areas with regional and ethnic inflections to the Chinese language endows students with a richly textured sense of the many realities that exist within China.

The location of the three-day summer field study trip varies each year. Destinations may include Qingdao or Xi'an.

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