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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Advisor: Ethan Merritt Language Pre-requisite: 2 semesters of Chinese (or equivalent)
Minimum GPA: 3.0 Class Level Required for Admission: Second-semester Sophomore standing
Non-AU Students Accepted by AU: No Language of Instruction: Chinese
Language Courses Offered: Yes Housing: Dormitory, Shared Apt.
Internship: No Program Type: Not Direct Enrollment
Program Description:

Is this Program Right for You?

Great Wall of ChinaThe Beijing program at the China Studies Institute offers a special program track focused exclusively on Chinese language immersion. This is a program track within the Beijing program for the serious student with prior language study who wants to pursue intensive Chinese training. The class size is small with one on one drills and students give a language pledge to speak only Chinese which is enforced inside and outside the classroom.

***Please note, students who are Chinese nationals are not permitted to participate in the program due to Peking University restrictions.  Chinese students should meet with the AU Abroad Advisor to discuss other program options in China.***

Academic Information


For the Chinese Immersion program track, the typical requirement is that students have studied at least two semesters of college-level Chinese or the equivalent.



Students earn a full semester of American University (AU) credit. These credits are readily transferable to other colleges and universities. Immersion courses are offered at all Chinese levels from intermediate and above.

Course Equivalency: Most courses offered on the Beijing program have already been pre-approved and given equivalencies by AU departments. View the Course Equivalency Database to find out which courses on this program have already been equated to AU courses. Please note that you are NOT limited to just these courses. Students will need to request equivalency for courses which have not been previously reviewed.

Immersion Chinese | (15 credits)

The immersion Chinese Language classes (multiple levels) are designed for intermediate to advanced language students.  Students should be aware that the immersion course is very demanding with over 25 hours of in-class instruction per week. In addition to the daily weekday in-class sessions, students should expect to spend significant time in class preparation and self-study.

Optional Mini-courses:

  • Chinese Folklore | ( 1 credit, spring & fall )
    This course is for students on Chinese immersion track. The instructor will discuss Chinese cultural traditions, religions, and all kinds of social practices that permeate Chinese life. It is four weeks in length and readings will be selected from books, articles, and contemporary news.
  • Social Issues | (1 credit ,spring & fall)
    To understand contemporary social issues by reading and discussing is the purpose of this course. Among the major topics are peasant laborers in cities, education, environment, etc. Students will conduct interviews, by using Chinese, as part of this class.
  • Popular Culture | (1 credit, spring and fall)
    The focus of this course is on the youth culture, music, movies, TV programs, and the emerging internet culture. Interactions with college students forms part and parcel of this attempt to understand China's youth.

Student Life

Students with Pagoda

Housing and Meals

During the semester in Beijing, Immersion students are housed in off-campus program apartments very close to campus. Students on the Immersion track are typically housed together separate from other program students so as to facilitate the language pledge.  A language pledge is strictly enforced on the program.  A Chinese instructor typically lives in the apartments with the students to ensure daily immersion.

Students may eat meals on campus at Peking University or elsewhere.  There are numerous inexpensive cafeterias and restaurants in and around campus (the cost of meals is not included in the program fees).


Extensive study trips during the Beijing program give students a first-hand look at Chinese society. Excursions in and around Beijing have included the Great Wall, the Ming Tombs, the Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, and Beihai Park.

With guidance from the Program Director, students also take a lengthy field trips throughout China.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Academic Year 2018-2019 03/08/2018
Varies by program 08/25/2018 04/29/2019
NOTE: Program dates are tentative. Final dates will be confirmed upon acceptance into the program. Do not finalize travel arrangements until exact dates are given by program.
Fall 2018 03/08/2018
Varies by program 08/24/2018 12/07/2018
NOTE: Program dates are tentative. Final dates will be confirmed upon acceptance into the program. Do not finalize travel arrangements until exact dates are given by program.
Spring 2019 10/12/2018 ** Varies by program 01/11/2019 04/28/2019

** The time it takes to receive an admissions decision varies greatly by program; it can take as little as two weeks or as long as several months. Contact AU Abroad for further details on your program's admissions timeline.

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