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Quick Info

By Term

  • Fall 2014
  • Spring 2014
  • Spring 2015
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Dates:
08/24/2014 - 12/20/2014
Deadlines:
Extended to: 05/15/2014
Credit:
15 - 18 semester / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

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Dates:
02/09/2014 - 06/08/2014
Deadlines:
11/01/2013
Credit:
15 - 18 semester / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
Dates:
TBA
Deadlines:
11/01/2014
Credit:
15 - 18 semester / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
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Study Abroad in Beijing
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Program Overview

Program Overview

Come gain critical insight into the field of sustainability in contemporary China. Based on a model that articulates the critical necessity to balance environmental, sociocultural, and economic needs in development, you will—through interdisciplinary coursework, experiential learning, and independent research—use all of China as your laboratory to gain an understanding of emerging topics in the field of sustainability studies. You will also be able to consider the relevance of sustainability for the wellbeing of human societies, and for the potential continued benefits from economic growth long-term, for not only China, but for the entire planet.

Study abroad in Beijing and you will:

  • Gain a critical understanding of sustainability and its relevance within the context of China and the larger global context
  • Choose non-intensive Mandarin Chinese language study, without language prerequisites, or choose not to study language and focus entirely on area studies coursework
  • Learn about critical environmental, sociocultural, and economic issues in contemporary China through social science coursework, interactive seminars, guided fieldwork, and extended community stays
  • Participate in two trips, including a 10-day field study, and experience the daily lives of rural and minority peoples in China
  • Be part of a highly acclaimed, multicultural campus community that has the feel of a small liberal arts college
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The CIEE Difference

The CIEE Difference

Coursework

Enroll in a curriculum that encompasses a range of sociocultural, political, religious, economic, and ecological issues. In addition to optional language learning in Chinese, Tibetan, and Uyghur, you’ll look at environmental conditions and public perception in China, ethnic identity, and religion, and study ethnographic methodology that will help direct both group and independent research.

Cultural Activities and Excursions

study abroad in china

Guided visits are organized to historic and cultural sites or events in and around Beijing, and might include traditional sites such as the Great Wall, Zhoukoudian, the original site of Peking Man, Temple of Heaven, Drum Tower, or Hutong cultural areas. Visits may also include contemporary events such as music theater and rock music performances, modern art shows, and interactive or service oriented visits to sites like orphanages or institutes for autistic children.

Field Study Experiences

Enjoy two extended excursions to locations outside Beijing. These trips to rural, frequently minority, culturally-rich communities typically include homestay experiences where you’ll be encouraged to participate in local activities such as harvesting, thrashing grain, small service projects, and teaching English to local children.

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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

Dates, Deadlines & Fees

We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition and housing
  • Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
  • Full-time program leadership and support
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Program
Application Due
Start Date
End Date
Costs
Fall 2014 (17 wks)
Extended to: 05/15/2014
08/24/2014
12/20/2014
$13,850

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$10,435
Housing
$2,800
Insurance
$102
Visa Fees
$213

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee *
$1,100
International Airfare **
$1,550
Local Transportation
$300
Books & Supplies
$50
Personal expenses
$1,600

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* for students in apartments; homestay students may spend less as they are typically invited to family meals four times during the week

** round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

More Information
Spring 2014 (17 wks)
11/01/2013
02/09/2014
06/08/2014
$13,850

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$10,435
Housing
$2,800
Insurance
$102
Visa Fees
$213

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee *
$1,100
International Airfare **
$1,550
Local Transportation
$300
Books & Supplies
$50
Personal expenses
$1,600

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* for students in apartments; homestay students may spend less as they are typically invited to family meals four times during the week

** round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

More Information
Spring 2015
11/01/2014
TBA
TBA

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

Estimated Additional Costs

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

More Information
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Eligibility
2.75 Overall GPA

Eligibility

  • Overall GPA 2.75
  • Previous coursework in sustainability, environmental studies, global studies, anthropology, or sociology is helpful but not required
  • No language prerequisite for Chinese language study
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Recommended Credit

Recommended Credit

Total recommended credit for each semester is 15–18 semester/22.5–27 quarter hours and 30–36 semester/45–54 quarter hours for the academic year.

Chinese language courses meet for 140 hours with 7.5 semester/11.25 quarter hours at the Elementary level and for 112 hours with 6 semester/9 quarter hours at all levels above.

Unless otherwise indicated, CIEE area studies and language electives are 45 contact hours with a recommended credit of 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

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Program Requirements

Program Requirements

A full course load is four to six courses, with total credits falling within the recommended range of 15 to 18 semester credits. Study abroad students may choose either:

  • Any selection of five-to-six area studies and language electives (students who choose this option and who have not completed one semester of college-level Chinese or demonstrate equivalent proficiency are required to include the “Communicative Chinese Language” elective)
  • “Integrated Chinese” plus any selection of three to four area studies and language electives (students are placed into the appropriate Chinese language level based on written and oral placement tests taken during orientation week)

Course Load Examples for Semester Students

Sustainability in Context: 3 credits
Environmental Conditions and Public Perception in Contemporary China: 3 credits
Field Research and Ethnographic Methods: 3 credits
Seminar on Living and Learning in Beijing: 3 credits
Religion and Ecology in Contemporary China: 3 credits
Total: 15 credits

Communicative Chinese Language: 3 credits
Sustainability in Context: 3 credits
Environmental Conditions and Public Perception in Contemporary China: 3 credits
Field Research and Ethnographic Methods: 3 credits
Seminar on Living and Learning in Beijing: 3 credits
Ethnic Diversity and Identity in China: 3 credits
Total: 18 credits

Integrated Chinese—Elementary: 7.5 credits
Sustainability in Context: 3 credits
Environmental Conditions and Public Perception in Contemporary China: 3 credits
Ethnic Diversity and Identity in China: 3 credits
Total: 16.5 credits

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About the City

About The City

As the capital of the world’s most populous nation, Beijing is at the center of much that happens in China. It is a city of over 22 million people adapting as China emerges as a global player. Beijing reflects China’s long and evolving history and is home to some of the nation’s most well-known and culturally important sites such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Summer Palace. In addition to being the political and cultural center of China, Beijing is known as the birthplace of Chinese cinema and modern art, and has China’s largest concentration of top research institutions.

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Meet The Staff

Meet The Staff

Staff Image

Patrick Lucas

Dr. Patrick Lucas, Center Director, graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oregon, with B.A.s in computer and information science, Chinese, and linguistics. He also holds an M.A. in applied linguistics from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. from Minzu University in Beijing in cultural anthropology. He is the first western graduate student to obtain an advanced degree at the University. His research interests include identity, historical memory and narrative, boundaries and symbolic systems, as well as cultural survival and endangerment. First coming to China in 1985 as an undergraduate student, Dr. Lucas has been leading study abroad and international education programs out of Beijing since 1995.

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During the last 30 years, in addition to numerous deep-reaching social and political changes, China has engaged in an immense and unprecedented experiment of explosive economic transformation. This has led to significant improvement in the material lives of many millions of people, but not without substantial social and environmental costs. China is a country that has a vast and still growing population of 1.4 billion people, and in this case Western models of development simply have limited parallel or application. China is finding its own way step by step into an uncertain future. The need for sustainable practices in China is acute, and the consequences of failure to do better will not only compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, but will also impact current generations living today. Of course, China is part of the world—whether as a consumer of the world’s reserve of fossil fuels and producer of carbon emissions, or as a commercial powerhouse and manufacturer of products for the world. Thus what happens in China not only impacts other regions and peoples, but China as a critical case study also teaches us about fundamental principles and issues related to sustainability, with potential application to regions across the world.

Come to learn about this important issue and the sweeping changes impacting diverse ethnicities and communities in China—come to learn about the problems and solutions, conflicts and compromises, different discourses and questions about identity, survival, and the future of a nation. Come to engage the many complex faces of contemporary China.

— Patrick Lucas, Center Director

Staff Image

KuoRay Mao

KuoRay Mao, Resident Director, is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of Kansas. Before joining CIEE, he worked as a visiting research scholar at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Agricultural Policy Center. He also taught globalization and sustainability at the University of Kansas, Baker University, and Lanzhou University in China. In addition, he worked as a coordinator for the international educational exchange program of Lanzhou University in 2011.

His research interests include globalization, environmental migration, sustainability in China, as well as Asian American acculturation. Since 2006, he has conducted research in Northwestern China every year including doing ethnographical research on desertification in rural Gansu for 18 months.

KuoRay was also the recipient of U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award, National Science Foundation EAPSI Grant, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, and the Marvin Olson Award from the American Sociological Association. He was born in Taiwan and moved to the U.S. when he was 15.

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Message from the Resident Director

This is a critical time to be interested and learning about China, and without question, to be gaining Chinese language and culture skills. Of course, with China, it seems that every day is ‘critical.’ China is a country with a vast and still growing population of 1.4 billion people, unprecedented and continuously expanding economic power and international influence, and growing military might, as well as rapidly changing perceptions among Chinese people and leaders of what China’s role and position in the world should be in the future. And China faces very real challenges—over a broad range of issues, from the environment and development models, to domestic governance and international relations. China’s success here is vital—not only in humanitarian terms for the people of China, but also for the world, for what happens in China in this era of globalization deeply impacts other peoples and regions around the globe. Without a doubt, now is truly a fascinating time to be learning about China.

Come to learn about this important issue and the sweeping changes impacting diverse ethnicities and communities in China—come to learn about the problems and solutions, conflicts and compromises, different discourses and questions about identity, survival, and the future of a nation. Come to engage the many complex faces of contemporary China.

- KuoRay Mao, Resident Director

Staff Image

John Urban

John Urban, Student Services Coordinator, holds B.A. degrees in Chinese and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been working for CIEE since fall, 2011. Before joining CIEE, he was a yearlong participant in the CIEE Intensive Chinese Language program at Peking University during his final year of college.

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Staff Image

Hua Ye

Hua Ye, Program Assistant, holds a B.A. in Finnish and an M.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, both from the Beijing Foreign Studies University. In 2008 he studied abroad for an academic year at the University of Tampere in Finland, and served as a language volunteer for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and at the Finland Pavilion during the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. He has been working for CIEE since summer, 2012. Before joining CIEE, he taught Chinese to American students on other university programs in Beijing.

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Xie Yuanyuan

Xie Yuanyuan, Intensive Chinese Language Program Assistant and Homestay Coordinator, holds a B.A. in English and Literature from Bohai University, and an M.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from the College of International Education at Minzu University of China. She has been working for CIEE since spring, 2012. Before joining CIEE, she taught English language and literature to officers in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Artillery Command Academy.

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Where You'll Study

Where You'll Study

The Minzu University of China (MUC), formerly Central University for Nationalities, was founded in 1951. It is a unique community, where faculty and students from China’s 56 ethnic groups learn together. With over 60% of the student body representing Chinese ethnic minorities, MUC is distinguished for teaching Chinese as a second language, as well as less commonly taught languages like Tibetan and Uyghur. It consists of 10 colleges, among which the Colleges of Ethnology and Sociology, Fine Arts, Ethnomusicology, Tibetan Studies, and Uyghur Language and Literature are internationally renowned. The campus facilities include a concert hall, art gallery, ethnic minority museum, and a large research library.

MUC is one of the top universities in China and has long historical ties with prominent scholars and universities in North America and Europe. Many of its founding scholars completed their doctoral studies at Harvard University, Columbia University, and the London School of Economics. These scholars initiated China’s indigenization of Western anthropology, ethnology, sociology, and other social science disciplines. MUC continues to send its young scholars and graduate students abroad for postdoctoral studies and as visiting scholars. Nearly 75% of the faculty members at its School of Ethnology and Sociology have been visiting scholars to North America and Europe. MUC also frequently invites international scholars to China to conduct joint research projects and to give public lecture series. International students have ample opportunities to participate in both formal and informal campus events across different colleges and departments.

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Housing & Meals

Housing & Meals

Housing is included in the study abroad program fee. This program offers two housing options:

International Student Apartments

The College of International Education at MUC has a new housing complex with apartments for international faculty members and students called the West Gate International House, located right outside the west gate of campus. Two CIEE students are assigned to each apartment which includes a bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, washing machine, and Internet access via the MUC campus network. The surrounding area of the West Gate International House is culturally vibrant, offering a variety of ethnic restaurants, shops, bookstores, and even a night market.

Homestays

Homestays are located within 45 minutes from campus by public transportation and have two or three bedrooms. Students have their own room and share the living room, kitchen, and bathroom (in some host families, students may have their own bathroom). Students are invited to family meals typically four times during the week, but should budget for other meals, including lunch on campus and meals not eaten with host families. Chinese family members speak Chinese only. This option is highly recommended for students who want to establish relationships with Chinese people, live in an entirely Chinese language environment, and to make rapid progress in Chinese language and culture study.

Housing for Yearlong Students

Housing for academic year study abroad students between the fall and spring semesters is arranged and included in the program fee. This is to encourage students to stay in China during the break and to continue improving their Chinese language abilities.

Students may not live outside of CIEE-arranged housing.

Meals

Meals are not included in the program fee for students living in the international student apartments and are the responsibility of the student. Students living with Chinese host families share occasional meals together but should budget for others. Meals on campus may be at the local student cafeteria, which provides food from the different regions of China, including halal food for Muslim students. There are also a number of excellent and inexpensive restaurants and noodle shops surrounding the campus.

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Orientations

Orientations

You'll begin your study abroad experience in Beijing even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. Meeting with students online, the resident director shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving you time to ask questions. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. CIEE’s aim for the pre-departure orientation is simple—to help you understand more about the program, and to identify your objectives so that you arrive well-informed and return home having made significant progress towards your goals.

A mandatory orientation session conducted at the beginning of the program introduces you to the country, culture, and academic program, and provides practical information about living in Beijing. Among other activities, you'll tour the National Library and Zizhuyuan Park to familiarize yourself with these nearby resources. You'll also take language placement exams during this time. Ongoing support is provided on an individual and group basis by CIEE staff throughout the program.

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Internet

Internet

Students can use the program office’s wireless network when at the program office to connect to the internet via PCs with the Windows operating system, and Macintosh computers with OS X. Currently, students have both wired internet access and Wi-Fi in student dormitory rooms via the Minzu University campus network—however, please note that the campus network is only accessible via special software you must download once on campus. The Internet usage fee in the dormitory is included in the CIEE program fee. Each host family will have Internet access for students at no extra fee, although availability of Wi-Fi varies by family.

Wi-Fi access is available at some other locations on campus, but Internet access can be quite erratic and slow at times. Internet is also available at some restaurants or coffee shops near campus. There are a few internet cafés not too far from campus.

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Culture

Culture

Cultural Activities and Field Trips

Guided visits are organized to historic and cultural sites and events in and around Beijing, and might include traditional sites such as the Great Wall, Zhoukoudian, the original site of Peking Man, the Temple of Heaven, Drum Tower and old Hutong neighborhoods. Visits may also include contemporary events, such as plays, rock music performances, modern art shows, and interactive or service oriented visits to an orphanage or institute for autistic children. Additional site visits supplement the area studies courses. Cultural activities may include group meals and cultural panels by local students.

Field Study Experiences

study abroad in china

Each semester study abroad students take part in two trips. One trip is an extended weekend excursion to a much-less-traveled area outside Beijing, and typically includes a rural community visit, interactions with local people, a modest hike, as well as discussion and reflection activities. The other excursion is a 10-day, mid-semester field trip to an ethnically-diverse and culturally-rich location in another part of China, such as the culturally Tibetan areas of Western China or fascinating minority areas of Southwestern China. The field trip typically includes homestay experiences with rural, and frequently minority, communities, and you will be encouraged to participate in local activities, such as harvesting, thrashing grain, small service projects, or teaching English to local children. You'll prepare for the experience by discussing and contemplating your roles as a guest or participant in these communities and homes, as well as completing reading assignments and seminar discussions on subjects like sustainability, social issues, religion, environment, and ethnic diversity in China. You will engage in reflective discussions, both during and following your trip, to contextualize your broader experience living and studying in China.

Language

This program does not have a CIEE Community Language Commitment. If you are interested in taking part in a program that requires speaking Chinese at most times, you should consider applying to one of the two CIEE programs at Peking University, which have different program prerequisites and requirements.

Peer Language Tutors

Study abroad program participants are paired with local students for weekly one-to-one language tutorials in Mandarin Chinese. These required tutorials for students taking Chinese language courses provide extra conversation practice in Mandarin and extra guidance on language coursework as needed. The tutorial experience will give you the opportunity to experience, firsthand, the lifestyle of your peers from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and through periodic activities mutually determined by you and your tutor, provides you with additional ways to engage the Minzu University China (MUC) campus community as well as the Beijing society as a whole. You'll meet four hours each week, as arranged between you and your tutor, with more tutoring hours available upon request.

Target Language Meals

CIEE arranges group meals with language teachers, peer tutors, and resident staff twice a month to encourage you to utilize your Chinese language skills in an informal setting. Those attending the optional meals practice speak in Chinese only.

CIEE Chinese Language Advisory Committee

The CIEE Chinese Language Advisory Committee (CCLAC) is comprised of specialists in the field of teaching Chinese as a second language and serves to promote the highest standards of education at the CIEE Study Centers in Greater China. Specifically, the committee advises CIEE administrators and language instructors on curriculum issues such as learning goals and objectives, instructional innovations, assessment of proficiency gains, program evaluation, and course articulation.

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Academics

Academics

The CIEE Study Center in Beijing was established in 1980 and has been managing study abroad programs at Minzu University of China since spring, 2007. The Environmental, Cultural, and Economic Sustainability program began in spring 2013, and introduces the critical field of sustainability through lecture, discussion, student research, and first-hand experiential activities in China. As defined in 1987 by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Since this initial conceptualization, a "three-pillar" model of sustainability has emerged, articulating the critical need to balance environmental, sociocultural, and economic needs in development. These three pillars are highly interrelated, and in this program, the sociocultural and economic dimensions are viewed as firmly embedded within the environmental—that is, the sociocultural and economic rely upon the environment. This has strong implications on how we view the field of sustainability and the urgent need for sustainable practices for the wellbeing of human societies, and for the potential of continued benefits from economic growth long term.

There is no language prerequisite for this program. This program includes non-intensive Mandarin Chinese language study or an alternative Communicative Chinese Language elective for beginners, as well as electives in Tibetan and Uyghur languages. Students who have completed one semester of college-level Chinese or demonstrate equivalent proficiency in Chinese language have the option to take all their coursework in English. Students who successfully complete Chinese study to a level that meets prerequisites for the CIEE Intensive Chinese Language program at Peking University (PKU) also have the option of transferring to that program the following semester. Academic year participants who meet necessary language requirements by the end of the spring semester can take part in the CIEE summer intensive Chinese Language program at PKU.

The study abroad program takes full advantage of the unique multicultural campus environment and other distinctive opportunities and resources at MUC, and is ideal for students majoring in the social sciences and humanities with interests in sustainability, environment, policy and development studies, sociology, anthropology, religious studies, Chinese language, and multi-ethnic issues. Most CIEE area studies courses are offered each semester; however, a few are offered alternatively in spring or fall semester to make a larger range of course offerings possible each year and provide additional selections for academic year participants.

Academic Culture

Chinese language classes meet Monday through Friday for eight to 10 hours per week, depending on the course level. The Communicative Chinese Language elective, Tibetan and Uyghur language electives, and area studies elective courses meet for a total of four hours per week. Area studies elective class format is seminar-based and students are expected to come prepared to discuss assigned readings. Students taking language courses meet with their peer tutors for two-to-four hours each week.

Nature of Classes

Chinese language classes are offered by MUC to all international students. Area study courses are taught in English and are designed especially for CIEE study abroad students. Language electives are designed and taught specifically for CIEE students.

Grading System

Language course grades are determined by regular exams, homework, quizzes, attendance, and participation. Area study course grades are determined by active participation in class discussions, attendance, writing assignments and presentations, and mid-term and final papers or other term projects. The following letter grades are assigned: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, and F.

Language of Instruction

English
Mandarin Chinese
Tibetan
Uyghur

Faculty

All Chinese language courses are taught by faculty from the MUC College of International Education who specialize in teaching Chinese as a second language. Tibetan and Uyghur courses are taught by specialists in Tibetan language from the MUC College of Tibetan Studies and specialists in Uyghur language from the MUC Department of Uyghur Language and Literature. Their specialization in their native languages, cultures, and literature contributes to the dynamic atmosphere of their classes.

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Course Description

Course Description

All Courses

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.

CIEE Study Center Syllabi

To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.

CIEE Area Studies Electives

Some area studies electives may change from year-to-year depending upon student interest, instructor availability, and new course options.

Fall and Spring

ENVI 3001 BESC

Sustainability in Context
This course systematically introduces the field of sustainability through a "three-pillar" model articulating the critical need to balance environmental, sociocultural, and economic needs in development. Social and economic dimensions are viewed as constrained by, and reliant upon, the environment, thus one critical focus for sustainability is on understanding the environmental effects of various human socio-economic practices in general, and in the discovery of new knowledge leading to more sustainable practices for both the benefit of current and future generations. The course examines sustainability specifically within the Chinese national context, but also through the perspective that China is a part of, and situated within, the world, and what happens in China also interacts with and impacts other regions and peoples. Thus China, as a case study, teaches us fundamental principles and issues of sustainability. In this course we examine the ongoing and evolving field of sustainability, including the environmental, sociocultural, and economic aspects and their interdependencies, nature and urgency of the current situation, impact of policy and regulation, process of consensus building and public involvement, and meanings of sustainability for humans who share this planet as equal heirs.

ENVI 3002 BESC / POLI 3001 BESC

Environmental Conditions and Public Perception in Contemporary China(Spring only)
This course examines the current state and recent changes of environmental conditions in China, including pressing issues like over-utilization of natural resources, urban expansion into farmlands, desertification, loss of grasslands, pollution and waste management, and cross-border impacts, as well as conservation efforts and distribution and protection of endangered species. The course also looks at changing public perceptions and awareness of environmental issues, as well as the works of environmental NGOs and individual activists, and the functions of mainstream Chinese media.

ANTH 3001 BESC

Field Research and Ethnographic Methods
This course trains students in interdisciplinary research methods drawn primarily from anthropology, sociology, and journalism. Selected methods emphasize field research skills that allow students to work effectively with human subjects for intended course projects. Within China as a research context, students use ethnographic mediums such as writing, photography, and film to document their findings through interactions with individual subjects, and observation of and participation in local cultural events.

INDR 3003 BESC

Directed Independent Research
CIEE supports qualified students who wish to pursue an academically rigorous independent research project, under the guidance of CIEE staff, while in China. Independent research in this program requires the student to perform firsthand field research in the Chinese context, meeting and interacting with people, and observing public events and other social activities, in addition to traditional literature review. In order to enroll, students must submit a research proposal including a clearly defined research topic, an explanation of research plans, a description of preparation in the planned area of study, a list of resources, a tentative outline of a final paper, and a suggested schedule of progress. Students complete a total of 135 hours of research and meet regularly with a CIEE assigned advisor to complete an academically rigorous, ethically sound, and culturally appropriate research project and final paper. Independent research topics include, but are not limited to, anthropology, ethnology, sociology, linguistics, philosophy, and Chinese religions. Approval for participation in Directed Independent Research must be obtained from the CIEE center director and the student’s home institution prior to arrival on the program.

CLST 3001 CBEJ

Seminar on Living and Learning in Beijing
The CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning takes an experiential, developmental, and holistic approach to intercultural development. In this course, students will acquire intercultural concepts and skills to apply to their daily experiences in Beijing. Active reflection will help deepen their understanding of the complexity and diversity of Chinese core values and cultural practices; encourage them to develop a more nuanced awareness of cultural background; and help them develop the ability to handle intercultural tensions successfully. This course may meet at another CIEE host university, Peking University, a short subway commute from Minzu University of China.

COMP 3001 BESC

Writing Research for Publication
Academic year participants refine their own original research papers from a previous semester’s CIEE area studies elective to ready for publication in undergraduate journals. Students submit their papers to a panel of peer reviewers who provide suggestions on writing style, argument, relevance, structure, use of references, and research ethics. Students edit and strengthen papers in response to feedback, and meet individually with faculty three or more times over the semester for additional feedback and guidance. Successful completion requires production of a polished paper and actual submission to the Columbia East Asia Review, Berkeley Undergraduate Journal, or similar undergraduate journal or conference. This course is open to year-long students who produced a high-quality final paper in any CIEE area studies course the previous semester in China, and with permission from the center director. Contact hours: 15. Recommended credit: 1 semester/1.5 quarter hours.

EAST 3001 BESC / ANTH 3002 BESC

Ethnic Diversity and Identity in China
Through course readings, discussions, interactions with local people, as well as field trips in Beijing, and covering the period from 1949 until present, this inter-disciplinary course examines the dynamic changes and active negotiations of ethnic, religious and national identities, as well as ethnic relations, in the People’s Republic of China, the most populous multi-ethnic society in the world. Students will explore the various socio-cultural meanings and imaginations of modern “Chinese-ness” and China as a nation-state, and examine how ethnic diversity and identity are constructed and expressed within the overarching, modern, and quickly evolving national identity of China. The course also examines the contemporary rise of nationalism, as both a social movement and as a state ideology, and its multifaceted and increasing impacts on Chinese identity, and worldview.

Fall Only

RELI 3001 BESC / ECOL 3001 BESC

Religion and Ecology in Contemporary China
This course surveys how religious beliefs and rituals are inherently connected with ecological practices, especially among ethnic minority populations in Western China. It offers textual interpretations of this connection as well as provides case studies of different ethnic communities. Course materials are drawn from contemporary scholarly studies of religion and ecology with an emphasis on religions and folk belief systems in China. Students are expected to explore ways and means to include relevant native ecological practices and worldviews in the ongoing global public discourse concerning environmental ethics and the sustainability of nature, culture, and biodiversity. Throughout the semester the class examines both conceptual and material realties of tradition and modernity in relation to religious beliefs and ecological practices. Cases studies in the class include how native communities respond to the impact of tourism, the construction of hydraulic dams, and sedentarization of nomadic populations.

Chinese Language Courses

Integrated Chinese—Elementary
This course is designed for students with no previous Chinese language knowledge and introduces students to modern Mandarin Chinese. The course begins with an introduction to the phonetic system of Mandarin Chinese and moves on to training in the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Through intensive drills and various types of practice, students are able to use vocabulary and sentence patterns in meaningful contexts. The course has an additional aim of introducing students to Chinese culture. Textbook: Liu Xun 刘珣, ed. Xin Shiyong Hanyu Keben (1-2 Ce) 新实用汉语课本 (1-2册) (New Practical Chinese Reader, vol. 1-2). Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Contact hours: 140. Recommended credit: 7.5 semester/11.25 quarter hours.

Integrated Chinese—Low Intermediate
This course is most appropriate for students with two semesters of college-level Chinese, or the equivalent. Students at this level are trained to speak and write coherent and correct paragraphs rather than sentences, and discuss and write about topics related to modern Chinese society. Textbook: Liu Xun, ed. Xin Shiyong Hanyu Keben (2-3 Ce) 新实用汉语课本 (2-3册) (New Practical Chinese Reader, vol. 2-3). Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Contact hours: 112. Recommended credit: 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

Integrated Chinese—Intermediate I
This level is for students with a Chinese vocabulary of 1,000-2,000 words. Students who complete this level should be able to pass the original version of the HSK (Elementary) Level 4, and is approximately equivalent to ACTFL sublevel Intermediate Mid. Textbook: Qian Xujing 钱旭菁, Huang Li 黄立, and Li Xiaoqi 李晓琪, ed. Boya Hanyu: Zhun Zhongji Jiasu (Pian I) 博雅汉语:准中级加速 (篇I) (Boya Chinese: Pre-Intermediate, vol. 1). Contact hours: 112. Recommended credit: 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

Integrated Chinese—Intermediate II
This level is for students with a Chinese vocabulary of 2,000-3,000 words. Students who complete this level should be able to pass the original version of the HSK (Elementary) Level 5, and is approximately equivalent to ACTFL sublevel Intermediate High. Textbook: Qian Xujing, Huang Li, and Li Xiaoqi, ed. Boya Hanyu: Zhun Zhongji Jiasu (Pian II) 博雅汉语:准中级加速 (篇II) (Boya Chinese: Pre-Intermediate, vol. 2). Contact hours: 112. Recommended credit: 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

Integrated Chinese—Advanced I
This level is for students with a Chinese vocabulary of 3,000-4,000 words. Students who complete this level should be able to pass the original version of the HSK (Intermediate) Level 6, and is approximately equivalent to ACTFL sublevel Advanced Low. Textbook: Zhao Yanfeng 赵延风 and Li Xiaoqi, ed. Boya Hanyu: Zhongji Chongci (Pian I) 博雅汉语:中级冲刺 (篇I) (Boya Chinese: Intermediate, vol. 1). Contact hours: 112. Recommended credit: 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

Integrated Chinese—Advanced II
This level is for students with a Chinese vocabulary of 4,000-5,000 words. Students who complete this level should be able to pass the original version of the HSK (Intermediate) Level 7 or 8, and is approximately equivalent approximately to ACTFL sublevel Advanced Mid. Textbook: Boya Hanyu: Zhongji Chongci (Pian II) 博雅汉语:中级冲刺 (篇II) (Boya Chinese: Intermediate, vol. 2). Contact hours: 112. Recommended credit: 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

Integrated Chinese—Advanced High I
This level is for students with a Chinese vocabulary of 5,000-6,000 words. Students who complete this level should be able to pass the original version of the HSK (Intermediate) Level 8 or HSK (Advanced) Level 9, and is approximately equivalent to ACTFL sublevel Advanced Mid or Advanced High. Textbook: Jin Xunian 金舒年, Chen Li 陈莉, and Li Xiaoqi, ed. Boya Hanyu: Gaoji Feixiang (Pian I) 博雅汉语:高级飞翔 (篇I) (Boya Chinese: Advanced, vol. 1). Contact hours: 112. Recommended credit: 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

CIEE Language Electives

CHIN 1001 BESC

Communicative Chinese Language
(This course is required for students with no previous Chinese language knowledge and who do not enroll in “Integrated Chinese—Elementary.”)
This course introduces students to modern Mandarin Chinese for basic communicative purposes, and begins with a basic introduction to the phonetic system of Mandarin Chinese and trains students in the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing at an essential level. Class instruction emphasizes communication, interaction, performance, and group work. Interactive classroom activities such as role-plays, interviews, group discussions, and trips outside the classroom will be used to encourage students to use Chinese in meaningful contexts. Students will complete a number of speaking tasks, including regular oral assignments, in-class oral activities, oral exams, as well as occasional real-life speaking activities during fieldtrips outside the classroom. Textbook: Liu Xun 刘珣, ed. Xin Shiyong Hanyu Keben (1 Ce) 新实用汉语课本 (1册) (New Practical Chinese Reader, vol. 1). Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Contact hours: 45. Recommended credit: 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours

TBET 1001 BESC

Tibetan Language—Elementary
The main goal of this course is to ensure that students have the ability to speak the Tibetan Amdo dialect at a basic level by the end of the semester. Students will be able to create sentences that are commonly used for self-introduction, daily functional needs, and learning about one’s surroundings while traveling or living in the Amdo region of China. Although this course is designed as a spoken language class, students start with Tibetan phonetic system, writing, grammar, and vocabularies. By the end of the semester, students will gain a 1,000-word vocabulary, basic listening skills, and the ability to make sentences. Contact hours: 45. Recommended credit: 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

UYGR 1001 BESC

Uyghur Language—Elementary
This course introduces students to the basics of writing, reading, speaking, and understanding modern Uyghur. Emphasis is put on training students to be able to engage in simple situational conversations with native Uyghur speakers. Students will learn how to create sentences for self-introductions, making friends, asking directions, and shopping in a Uyghur social environment. By the end of the semester, students will be able to read and write simple dialogues on topics studied, as well as communicate with and comprehend Uyghur native speakers at a basic level. Contact hours: 45. Recommended credit: 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

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