What’s it really like to live in China? With CIEE Gap Year Abroad you’ll have the chance to find out for yourself.
Spend your evenings conversing with your host family, getting to know each member while practicing your Mandarin. Relax among the sycamores and stuccoed villas surrounding Fuxing Park in the French Concession, or explore 5,000 years of history at the Shanghai Museum. Give back to the local community by helping teach English to migrant children at the local elementary school.
With CIEE Gap Year Abroad you’ll immerse yourself in a rich history and culture and discover what it means to be Chinese. You’ll develop an understanding of what it’s like to live in a country that is rapidly becoming a global superpower and gain life skills you can draw upon in college and beyond.
The CIEE Difference
The CIEE Difference
For four hours a day, you’ll enroll in an intensive Mandarin Chinese language program taught by CIEE staff. Couple this with two hours of language tutorials each week with a local East China Normal University Chinese student majoring in teaching Chinese as a foreign language and you’ll be fluent before you know it!
You’ll also take a culture class titled Experiencing China’s Transformation: Culture, History, and Business at the CIEE Study Center. In English, you’ll discuss books and articles related to Chinese culture and society, and participate in field trips and cultural activities—such as a Chinese martial arts class or instruction in Chinese musical instruments—designed to give you a better sense of the Chinese people and their daily lives.
Give back to, and make a difference in, your host community.
Volunteering is an essential component of a gap year abroad, and a fantastic way to build fluency and insight into Chinese society and culture. In Shanghai, you’ll spend six to 10 hours a week teaching English at a local elementary school for migrant children. Want to dedicate more time to giving back to the local community? Other volunteer opportunities include working at a retirement center, public garden, or public school, or for a local sports team.
This volunteering will allow you to build relationships and develop professional skills and experience, while helping to create positive change in your new community.
Additionally, gap year abroad students interested in gaining work experience in a professional environment have the opportunity to intern with a local business.
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in another culture than by living with a local family. Not only will your host family provide you with daily meals and a place to stay, they’ll help you develop your Chinese language skills, introduce you to local customs, and offer support and guidance in an unfamiliar environment.
Our host families are as diverse as our students. Whomever you’re placed with, all host families are carefully screened and matched with you based on personality profiles and common interests. Through your host family, you’ll build a home away from home and develop relationships that endure long after you’ve finished your Gap Year Abroad program.
During your gap year abroad you’ll have time to discover your host country both with CIEE during sponsored excursions and cultural activities and through your personal explorations. Visit places of historical, religious, or cultural significance or try out a new hobby such as martial arts or calligraphy. You’ll leave China with a better understanding of what it means to be Chinese today and gain important skills in the process.
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
We want to make sure you get the most out of your gap year abroad experience with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.
- Transportation to and from a local Chinese airport
- Language classes with CIEE
- Volunteering opportunities
- CIEE-sponsored trips and excursions
- Room and board with a host family
- Supervision and support by a student services manager
- Orientations prior to leaving the U.S. and upon arrival in China
- International medical insurance through iNext and 24-hour worldwide travel assistance and support services
May 23, 2014
May 23, 2014
November 15, 2014
*Prices are subject to change and will be locked in for the participant on the day CIEE receives the completed application and program deposit.
- Students must be a high school graduate in good academic standing
- No previous language experience required
- Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, their flexibility, maturity, adaptability, and readiness to face the challenges of living in a new culture
The CIEE Study Center in Shanghai is responsible for the supervision and support of CIEE participants throughout the duration of their stay. The Gap Year Abroad program coordinator at the Study Center will remain in regular contact throughout the semester/academic year in order to check in on your language progress and to make sure that the homestay and volunteer placements are going well. The office selects, screens, and interviews all host families and will place students with a family that best matches their student profile.
All CIEE Gap Year Abroad participants take part in an online orientation prior to their departure. In addition to providing logistical information, the orientation helps students set realistic expectations and goals. It also affords students and parents the opportunity to ask questions of CIEE Study Center staff.
In-country orientations offer the perfect start to your gap year abroad experience. For one week when you first arrive in Shanghai, you’ll receive an introduction to local customs and culture, set expectations for your time in the country, take a language placement test, and participate in exciting cultural activities—all while settling in with your host family and before starting classes.