Study Abroad in Beijing

College Study Abroad

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study abroad beijing china

Explore Beijing, China

Beijing is not only the center of activity in China, but also a reflection of China’s long and evolving history. Amongst its 22 million inhabitants sit some of the nation’s most culturally important sites, like The Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China, waiting to be explored by study abroad students.

When you study abroad in Beijing, you’ll experience the ancient history and remarkable sites of China’s capital city. One of the best Asian countries to study abroad, China offers students a unique study abroad experience where they can learn Mandarin and complete a variety of relevant coursework.

where in china is beijing on a map
explore beijing in the old vs new city
student jumping on the great wall of china in beijing

Every CIEE semester program has frequent cultural excursions and a multi-day study tour uniquely designed to complement the program’s academics and enhance students’ cultural immersion. In Beijing, past study tours and excursions have included:

  • Long weekends to alluring destinations like Xi’an, Hangzhou, or Nanjing
  • Visits to fascinating sites loaded with history, like Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City
  • Trips to the birthplace of Confucius in Qufu to examine traditional Chinese philosophy; the bustling port city Dalian to explore urbanization; or a village in northern Shanxi province to dig into the environment and rural governance
  • Tours of the Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty, the lavish and elaborate burial sites of thirteen Ming emperors, which have been designated as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visits to the 798 Art Zone or Dashanzi Art District, a complex of 50-year-old decommissioned military factory buildings boasting a unique architectural style that blends aesthetic and functionality in rapidly growing cities

If you’re a student looking to study in Chinese, experience China as a student, and learn about China’s rich history and culture, CIEE’s tours and excursions allow you to do just that! Whether you want to learn the history of Beijing or explore the city’s famous sites, studying abroad in China offers something for everyone.

Study abroad cultural excursion in beijing china for students

Where Students Study

Peking University (PKU)
Founded in 1898, the prestigious PKU has a long tradition of scholarly excellence and political activism. One of Beijing’s best universities, PKU focuses on advanced research in the natural and social sciences. The campus, previously an imperial garden in the Qing Dynasty, hosts 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Minzu University of China (MUC) 
Minzu University of China is one of the most prestigious and respected universities in China in ethnology, anthropology, ethnic economies, regional economies, religion studies, history, dance, and fine arts.

students volunteer in beijing china in traditional clothing

Internships & Volunteering

Depending on their program of study and availability, students may be able to participate in an internship or volunteer. Students interested in interning in Beijing may be able to intern at a variety of businesses in marketing, retail, economics, and more. 

Students looking to volunteer in Beijing can connect with Chinese people and give back by preparing meals at a soup kitchen or helping environmental activists raise awareness among the public.

Study Abroad Programs in Beijing

Pocket Guide to Beijing

  • Currency
    Chinese Yuan

    Spoken Languages

    Available Transportation
    Feet, subway, bus

    Famous Local
    Zhang Ziyi – actress and model, internationally recognized for her role in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

  • Climate
    Long humid summers, cold dry winters

    Places to Explore
    Nearly 370 miles of the Great Wall of China is located in Beijing (mainly suburban areas)

  • Airport
    Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)

    Social Norms
    It’s considered rude to stand your chopsticks vertically in your bowl

    What to Pack
    Backpack, comfortable shoes

Frequently Asked Questions


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Beijing is a good place to study abroad for students looking to study Chinese, explore China’s history and culture, and take relevant courses at a top-rated university. With over 3,000 years of history, Beijing is a good study abroad destination for students looking to explore China’s capital city with a rich history, delicious cuisine, and ancient sites. 


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With about 3 million foreign visitors every year, Beijing is a very safe and tourist-friendly city in Asia. As with any study abroad destination, we recommend that students stay aware of their surroundings, travel in groups when possible, and keep their belongings safe.


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While both Beijing and Shanghai offer students an authentic study abroad experience in China, the cities have different characteristics. Beijing is the more historical city with prestigious universities and drier, more polluted air, while Shanghai is the more international, developed city with a unique Shanghainese dialect.


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Perhaps best known for hosting The Great Wall of China, Beijing is known for its multitude of historic sites, from the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven to its delicious cuisine, including Peking duck and jiaozi Chinese dumplings. Additionally, Beijing is home to some of the country’s top universities, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Beijing Institute of Technology.


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In order to ensure our students feel welcomed, supported, and empowered while studying abroad, CIEE staff completes comprehensive diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) training. Staff provide students with advice, resources, and ongoing support both before and during their study abroad program in Beijing.
For more detailed information on diversity in Beijing, visit our Diversity in Beijing page.

Study Abroad Scholarships & Grants

study abroad in china to learn history and culture

APPLY IN 1,2,3!

You may be wondering if there are any scholarships to study in Beijing. CIEE offers scholarships and grants for study abroad programs in Beijing to students with demonstrated financial need, proven academic merit, and for specific CIEE programs. Students can apply for scholarships through 3 simple steps:

  1. Search for and apply to your dream program
  2. Review all available funding opportunities
  3. Complete the Scholarship & Grants portion of your application

famous pagoda in beijing on an excursion



Based on students' Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) from their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and enrolled institution. Complete the Scholarships & Grants portion of your program application to be considered for all awards to which you are eligible. 


Based on academic achievement. Complete the Scholarships & Grants portion of your program application, along with an essay, to be considered for all awards to which you are eligible. 


Other scholarship awards are based on program or alumni status. 


Beijing Study Abroad Reviews

  • "I would recommend because of the stress-free environment that they provide in terms of the planned excursions and helping students get settled when they first arrive."

    Aurelio M., Purdue University Main Campus
  • "The program has a lot of support and is well organized."

    Briana P., Carthage College