Program Overview

Spend the semester discovering China’s rich history and culture while attending China’s “Ivy League” university. Founded in 1911, Tsinghua University is the alma mater of current President Xi Jinping and former President Hu Jintao. Study Mandarin language and Chinese History and Culture with instructors trained to teach non-native speakers. You can also choose from many electives instructed in English. Boost your resume with credits from a highly-ranked university while enjoying language and culture immersion in Beijing.

GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
Fall: April 15th
Spring: October 15th
Avg Course Load
5 courses (15 US credits)
Language(s) of Instruction
English and Chinese
  • Live in Beijing, the political and cultural hub of China
  • Exceptional academics at China's No. 1 university
  • Small class size, ideal for language
  • Internationally recognized university
  • Vibrant campus life with numerous club and sports opportunities
  • Optional organized excursions to explore the Chinese countryside
Your Journey Begins Here
  • Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.

  • Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.

  • Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.



Our Semester in China program is located at Tsinghua University (pronounced ching-hwah), one of the world’s most beautiful university campuses. Founded in 1911, Tsinghua is a top-notch university, similar to an “Ivy League” here in the US. The campus was formally a royal garden belonging to the Qing Dynasty, which means you’ll get excellent academics in a serene setting.

Don’t let the quiet campus fool you—you’ll also be in the heart of Beijing, one of the word’s most exciting cities. You’ll study close to famous historic sites such as the Summer Palace and Yuan Ming Yuan Park. The campus itself is an intersection of traditional Chinese architecture and modern, state-of-the-art buildings. Take a break from studying at the gorgeous lotus pond located on campus. Nestled in the neighborhood of Wudaokou, Tsinghua’s campus is a short walk to many other top-ranked universities. You’ll notice a distinctly vibrant and young atmosphere. Furthermore, you can join over 137 student societies and meet friends for dinner in ten dining halls.

The University is a member of the prestigious C9 League of Universities. Additionally, Tsinghua is an AACSB-accredited research university. The 2015 QS World Rankings named Tsinghua as the top Chinese university, top BRIC university, and #47 overall university in the world. What’s more, Tsinghua has prominent alumni, which include former President Hu Jintao and current President Xi Jinping.


Accredited research university and a member of the prestigious C9 League of universities (similar to US Ivy League); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

How to Choose Your Courses

Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page. Once you’ve decided which courses you want to take, fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.

Course Approval

Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. 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.

GPA Requirement

If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.

Course Information

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.

Academic Courses:

Students can take up to two courses outside of the Social Sciences Department. Additionally, students will be required to take two Chinese courses, one in Mandarin language and another in Chinese culture.

You will find the full list of previous terms’ undergraduate courses taught in English & available to international students here: Tsinghua University Courses

Mandarin Classes:
You 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.

Chinese Culture and Society Classes:
If you’re wishing to engage with China’s rich culture, you will also be able to choose from classes such as ‘Chinese History and Culture,’ ‘Chinese Tourism’ and ‘Analysis of Popular Topics in Modern China.’ Please contact us for details.

Life in Beijing

Welcome and Orientation

Upon arrival you’ll take part in both the university and CISabroad orientation program. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of living in China. Where to go out, how to stay safe, where to shop are just a few of questions that will be answered by our staff. We’ll also tell you all about our favorite places in town (restaurants, museums, markets etc). Oh, and you’ll join in on a welcome meal, something traditional and yummy (dumplings, anyone?) so that you can start to taste the local flavor.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights and, yep, we’ll feed you again as part of our farewell to China.

Housing Options

Live in shared apartments with fellow students or expatriates. Some features of your apartments include:

  • Single bedrooms with shared common areas
  • 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
  • Ten-minute bike ride to Tsinghua University and in close proximity to public transportation and affordable dining options

Local Life

  • 798 Art Zone: Get a sense of the newer, commercial art in Beijing. The galleries represent the current smaller artists and the streets are filled with sculptures and various installations.
  • JingShan Park: A tranquil place with a viewing platform to see the Forbidden City from above. The park dates back almost 1000 years!
  • Temple of Heaven: Full of temples, this park is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Forbidden City. This is a place where you can feel you have escaped the city.
  • Hutong Tour: Experience what it was like to walk down the streets of Beijing hundreds of years ago! Hutongs are narrow streets and alleyways commonly associated with Beijing. Many hutong streets retain their original cultural charm and many are also modernized and have interesting spots like restaurants, unique bars, and cafes.

More About Beijing

Beijing is the political, cultural, and educational center of China. This “Capital of a Thousand Years” is now home to over 12 million people. A booming and bustling city, Beijing offers an unparalleled level of energy at all times. Beijing is also one of the most historically significant places in China.

You'll 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. During the winter months, you can even view the ice lantern shows. For foodies, Beijing's cuisine doesn't disappoint. From high-class dining to street food and Beijing's signature jianbing (a savory breakfast pancake), you can tingle your tastebuds, even on a student budget.

Despite its size, Beijing is easy to navigate. Thanks to playing host to the 2008 summer Olympic Games, the city is extremely friendly to visitors. Thus, most signs are written in Chinese characters and pinyin (the most common Romanization for Mandarin). In fact, many signs are also written in English. Beijing is a major transportation hub and offers you dozens of railways, expressways, and roads that enter and leave in all directions. The Beijing Metro has its own app, and travel from one end of the city to another is possible via this network. If you've got the travel bug, Beijing's airport can connect you to the rest of China and beyond. Get ready to explore both the city and the country of China with ease!

Program Excursions

While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program forbidden city china

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, this ancient metropolis is steeped in history.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program great wall of china excursion

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 2,000 years ago during the Qin dynasty to serve as a line of defense, it was more often used as an elevated highway. At approximately 5,500 miles long, there is definitely a lot to discover.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team

Travel Tip: We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us be it through a phone call, email or personal visit, you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Alexandra Woolner
Manager of Programs - Asia, Pacific, and Africa

Travel Tip: Expect the unexpected! Sometimes culture shock is stronger in countries where you expect things to be more similar to your home country and environment. Traveling abroad is an excellent way to learn more about your own culture, habits, style, and adaptability.

Learn more about Alexandra

Julia Sementilli
Program Coordinator for Asia, Africa, and the Pacific

Travel Tip: Be open to meeting new people! Some of my favorite memories while traveling include meeting people in hostels, or by getting involved at my school abroad. You never know who will be a lifelong friend! Try all of the local foods, even if you don’t think you will like it. Write everything down in a journal- you will appreciate those stories later!

Learn more about Julia

Student Feedback

Thanks to CISabroad, I had the opportunity to boost my mandarin while taking classes for my major at one of the top universities in the world. This will definitely boost my career. If you have the opportunity to go to China one day, do not hesitate, you’ll have a great experience and the CISabroad onsite staff will take great care of you.

Matheus Menezes, Semester in China, Flagler University

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Fall 2019
    Application Deadline
    April 15
    September 9 (Estimated)
    January 15, 2020 (Estimated)
  • Spring 2020
    Application Deadline
    November 1
    February 17 (Estimated)
    June 29 (Estimated)
    $17,590 (Estimated)

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

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

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
  • Tsinghua University transcript
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program