Semester in China

Culture, history, and full language immersion await! Spend the semester getting to know China’s language, history, and culture while living in the heart of Beijing on a Chinese campus where all students know at least some English.

Intensive Mandarin language plus courses for the STEM, Humanities and the Business major or minor. You will fulfill your requirements and study on one of the world's most beautiful campuses. 

We adore China, and we know you will too. At CISabroad, all of our advisors have studied or lived abroad. We’ve been there, we know what it’s about, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Our Semester in China program is located at one of the oldest programs in Beijing. Did you know the current and past president of China graduated from Tsinghua University? The campus is located close to famous historic sties as the Summer Palace and Yuan Ming Yuan Park.

On the Semester in China program, you will study where the former President Hu Jintao and current President Xi Jinping of China are alumni. We've selected a university where you may study Mandarin and major and minor electives along with fellow international students and Chinese classmates. 

Live in Beijing – Studying abroad in the capital of China has tons of perks! A great public transportation system, all kinds of Chinese and international food, the most amazing markets you can imagine...You’ll never be without something to do.

Academic Reputation – Top rated faculties include Engineering and Technology; Art and Humanities; Natural Sciences; Social Sciences and Management taught in English. 

Boost Mandarin Language Skills - Option to take a full semester of Mandarin language courses or take just one (from beginner to advanced). 

Getting involved on campus – A great way to immerse yourself as a student abroad is to join one of the 137 student societies - take your learning beyond the classroom.

Day trips and excursions – We know that part of studying abroad in China is seeing the sites and we’ve got you covered. From the Great Wall to the Olympic Stadium, you’ll get to see some of the truly amazing spots in Beijing and beyond. Weekly meet ups on and off campus may include tai chi, calligraphy, etc.

If you've always wanted to study abroad in China, check out our Semester in China program. Here are just a few of the key highlights that make this program unique:

  • Live in the vibrant capital city of China, rich with history, culture, and some amazing street food!
  • Exceptional academics - study Mandarin in Beijing or fulfill your major or minor
  • Easy access to all the sites of Beijing
  • Ideal location for easy travel throughout China
  • Internationally and nationally recognized University
  • Vibrant campus life with numerous club and sports opportunities

On the Semester in China program you will get to participate in a number of day and weekend excursions. There is so much to do in and around Beijing, here are just a couple of the excursions you might be taking:

Forbidden City
Off limits to the people of China for more than 500 years, the Forbidden City is one of Asia’s best preserved collections of ancient buildings. Built in the 15th century and home to the Emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties, when you visit the Forbidden City it is difficult not to feel the history of this ancient metropolis.

Tiananmen Square
In the center of Beijing, you will visit the world’s largest public square. As the site of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests that attempted to free China, Tiananmen Square is highly monitored but steeped with history. Building restrictions are in place in this part of the city, allowing great views over the surrounding soviet-style buildings.

The Great Wall of China
One of the ancient wonders of the world and visible from space, the Great Wall of China is an excursion you won’t want to miss! Originally built over 2000 years ago during the Qin dynasty to serve as a line of defense, it was more often used as an elevated highway. At approximately 5500 miles long, there is definitely a lot to see!

Fragrant Mountain
A little over 20 miles outside of Beijing is Fragrant Mountain, a favorite retreat for many Chinese emperors. Originally named "Fragrant incense-burner Mountain" because of the way it looks like an incense burner surrounded by mist, it was later shortened to simply ‘Fragrant Mountain.’ With spectacular views (especially in the autumn) it is well worth taking a chair-lift ride to get an all-embracing view of the Chinese countryside or even take a hike over to the Western Hills. Also make sure to check out all the temples, statues, and monuments inside this fabulous park!

Semester in China includes two semesters running from September to January and from February to June. Because the spring semester falls after the Chinese New Year (based on the lunar calendar), the start dates may vary as much as 3 weeks from year to year. With the exception of language courses, you may take all of your courses in English.

GPA Required: 2.75.
If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found on your Participant Portal. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses.

Course load: 4–5 classes (12–15 US credits).

Course approval: It is best to get 7–8 classes approved before you go abroad. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements. 

Students can choose from three types of courses during their semester at Tsinghua. Students who have no prior Mandarin experience will be required to take at least one Mandarin course.

Academic courses – Tsinghua University has over 200 combined undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught in English in a wide range of disciplines.  

For the full list of undergraduate courses taught in English for the Fall 2016 Term Click Here.

Chinese Culture and Society Classes – For students to fully engage in China’s rich culture, they will be able to choose from classes such as ‘Chinese History and Culture’, ‘Chinese Tourism’ or ‘Analysis of Popular Topics in Modern China’ (see full list here).

Mandarin classes – Students will be able to choose between four levels of difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2.
Courses are split into listening, speaking, reading and writing disciplines. A course in Business Chinese is also available.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 


For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Beijing, a booming and bustling city in a rapidly developing nation, is the political, cultural, and educational center of China. This “Capital of a Thousand Years” is home to over 12 million people and offers an unparalleled level of energy at all times. Beijing is one of the most historically significant places in China: visitors have easy access to such well-known sites as the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, Mao’s Mausoleum, and the Great Wall of China, and can view the ice lantern shows during the colder months.

Despite its size, Beijing is easy to navigate. In preparation for the 2008 summer Olympic Games, the city was made even more user-friendly to visitors. As a result, most signs are written in Chinese characters and pinyin (the most common Romanization for Mandarin), and many are in English. The city is a major transportation hub and offers travelers dozens of railways, expressways and roads entering and leaving in all directions, and has an airport for those who wish to travel around the country on a larger scale.  Beijing’s modes of transportation will allow you to explore both the city and the country of China with ease!

Our Semester in China program is located at Tsinghua University. Founded in 1911, Tsinghua is an AACSB-accredited research university and member of the prestigious C9 League of universities. According to the 2015 QS World Rankings, Tsinghua University is ranked the top Chinese university, top BRIC university, and #47 overall university in the world. The current and former presidents of China are both alumni of the university.

Semester in China participants will study at the revered Tsinghua (pronounced ching-hwah) University. A top-notch university, similar to an "Ivy League" university here in the US. Founded in 1911, Tsinghua University has since established itself as one of the world’s leading institutions, and in the 2015 QS World Rankings made it to 1st Chinese University. Tsinghua alumni include former President Hu Jintao and current President Xi Jinping. Formally a royal garden of the Qing dynasty, the Tsinghua campus has been voted one of the world’s most beautiful university campuses. Located in the heart of Beijing, Tsinghua University is close to famous historic sites such as the Summer Palace and Yuan Ming Yuan Park. With 137 student societies and over 10 dining halls, Tsinghua University promises a vibrant campus life beyond the classroom.

In the 2015 QS World Rankings, Tsinghua University was ranked:

• 1st Chinese university
• 1st BRIC university
• 47th in the world

The CISabroad on-site team will pick you up from the airport and provide a comprehensive orientation at the beginning of the semester. You and your fellow students will be introduced to all the “basics:” health and safety on campus in Beijing and in China; learning at a Chinese university, teaching styles, and where to shop.

Additionally, you will take part in the University’s orientation for international students. This orientation program will give you all the tools you need to settle in quickly and make the most of your time at the University and in China. It is also a great opportunity to meet other international students and locals. 

While living and studying in Beijing, you will get a chance to live in the city where the most elite Chinese universities and their students are located. Because the cost of food and attractions are so low, you will really be able to go out and do many activities in the city itself. You can visit the famous Beijing zoo or tour the historical sites—which are very easy to get to on Beijing’s tourist friendly subways. You will love going to the various markets and bargaining the price of jewels, gems, clothing, and various other goods. Experience real Chinese food from the many different provinces in China, local treats and sweets, as well as try a McDonalds or KFC in another country—which you soon realize out is not always the same! Beijing is a great place for the youth of any country to come out and experience all that China has to offer.

Although located in the heart of Beijing, the campus is quiet and peaceful. There’s a feeling of being removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The campus is very green, with lots of open spaces for enjoying the outdoors and studying. There are numerous athletic fields as well as indoor athletic facilities. The Chinese love soccer and basketball and you will be most welcome to join in. There is an active Student Union on campus, and you can participate in any student clubs and activities that interest you.

Accommodation: Live in shared apartments with fellow students or expatriates.

  • Single bedroom
  • 10 minute bike ride to Tsinghua University and in close proximity to public transportation and affordable dining options (renting recommended)
  • Shared facilities include bathroom, dining area, washing machine, TV, air conditioning and lounge
  • Equipped with a kitchen, microwave and fridge for self‐catering option
  • Electricity, water, gas, internet and weekly cleaning provided as part of the program fee

1. What is the cost of program tuition? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for the Semester in China program can be found on the Price and Dates page. 

2. When are the program fees due?

Program fees for Semester in China program are generally due 45 days prior to the start of the program. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline with specific due dates. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due? 

The application process can be broken into easy steps!

1. The first step is to fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. (Only takes five minutes!)

2. After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms. 

3. The next step is to pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost. 

4. Within a day after submitting your deposit, you will receive a welcome email from your Program Coordinator—the person you will work with until departure. Your Program Coordinator will then give you program-specific items in your portal. (Note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program-specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

#CISabroadTip: Contact your school’s registrar and have them send us your transcript early on in the application process (you can send us your transcript even before you’ve made the $200 deposit!) since snail mail makes this the slowest piece to submit. (We also accept electronic OFFICIAL transcripts if your school provides them.)

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. For application deadline, please check here or contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

For almost all CISabroad programs, you WILL NEED A PASSPORT. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For the Semester in China program, you WILL need a visa - CISabroad suggests using a visa agency. More specific information about applying for a Chinese visa will be provided upon acceptance to the program. 

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes! For the Semester in China program, the GPA requirement is 2.75.

6. What are my housing options?

The Semester in China program offers single rooms in shared apartments.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For the Semester in China program, you will enroll in 4-5 courses (12-15 U.S. Credits). 

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

Asiya is originally from Siberia in Russia and has lived in Beijing for 5 years. She speaks fluent English, Mandarin, Russian and German. She enjoys healthy living, the gym and has a wealth of local knowledge about food and shopping, excursion ideas and is friendly and lovely to deal with.

Term: Spring 2017
Arrival Approx. Mid February
Classes Start February 20
Departure Late June
Application Deadline Extended: November 1
Term: Fall 2016
Arrival Fall 2016 September 6
CISabroad Orientation September 7 - 11
Classes Start September 14
Classes End January 16
Departure January 17
Application Deadline June 1
Term: Spring 2017 Price: $14,490 - $16,190 more info
Term: Fall 2016 Price: 14,990

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Housing 
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • Cultural activities and excursions
  • Welcome packet with Chinese SIM card, phrase book, map, and pre-loaded transport card
  • Monthly professional development opportunities
  • CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Predeparture orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • On-site support
  • University transcript
  • Carbon offset of travel

CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by their partner universities.