OverviewClick to Open
Take your beginner, intermediate, or advanced Chinese language skills up at least two levels while you explore Shanghai — China’s largest city by population. Students take courses at CIEE Global Institute - Shanghai. Students enroll in three classes per semester, including two accelerated courses that focus on rapid language acquisition, designed to move students ahead at least two levels in all four Chinese language skills and facilitate intercultural understanding. Those with advanced level Mandarin proficiency may take a Chinese language elective or area studies course taught in Chinese. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.
Learn about Chinese business
international relations, political science, history, and more in English or Chinese.
Get off the tourist track
as you explore Shanghai and beyond, and practice Chinese in authentic situations.
Live with a Chinese host family
or on campus with a Chinese roommate.
hours to Beijing by high speed train5
universities and colleges30+
Location & CultureClick to Open
Perched on the banks of the Huangpu River and the East China Sea, Shanghai is China’s largest city by population, and a global hub of culture, commerce, and finance. Massively redeveloped over the past 20 years, the city boasts many of the world’s latest and greatest. The list includes: uber-tall buildings stretching up in the new financial district; and the world’s fastest-growing rapid-transit system featuring the world’s first commercial high-speed Maglev train.
- Learn about Chinese business with company visits in Shanghai.
- Join classmates for a thrilling acrobat performance, river cruise, group meals, and more.
- Explore Chinese history and arts with visits to museums, art exhibitions, and plays.
- Travel to beautiful cities such as:
- Suzhou, often called the “Venice of the East” for its many canals and famous for its classical gardens and silk industry
- Hangzhou, known for its natural beauty as well as its textile and tech industries
- Nanjing, one of China’s four ancient capitals and major commercial centers
- Zhujiajiao, a traditional water town lined with stone bridges, cobblestone lanes, and canals
- Gain hands-on cultural experience by learning Chinese cooking, calligraphy, martial arts, or mahjong.
- Connect with the community by volunteering with local organizations or schools.
Students participate in a one-week excursion for an in-depth look at Chinese culture and history. Past excursions have included:
- Silk Road Trade Route – This famous premodern route enabled the exchange of merchandise, as well as religious, cultural, and artistic ideas. Students travel from the head of the northern route in Xi’an to Dunhuang, the City of Sands, a desert oasis at the junction of the northern and southern trade routes. Offered during fall term only
- Tea and Horse Road – This ancient network of mountain paths connected the tea-growing regions of southwestern China to Burma and India by mule caravan through the mountains and valleys of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces and Tibet. Students may travel to Lijiang and Shangri-La, seat of a Tibetan autonomous prefecture near the border of Tibet. Offered during spring term only
- Global Business in China – Explore the Pearl River Delta Region in Southern China and sites such as the Canton World Trading Fair, one of the oldest world's trading fairs. Students visit companies and attend lectures on business development and industry, take a city tour, and visit a local temple.
- Convergence of Cultures – You’ll find some of the most traditional forms of Chinese culture preserved on the island of Taiwan, which maintains a thriving civil society with a democratic political system and capitalist economy. See why this culture is described as a blend of Chinese and Japanese cultures, with traditional Confucian beliefs and contemporary Western values. Visit the National Palace Museum, Taipei 101, aboriginal communities, the port city of Kaoshiung, the night markets of Tainan, and more.
Study abroad students participating in the Organizational Internship course will be assigned to an internship project with a company in Shanghai. The internship sponsors, which vary each term depending on participating organizations and available positions, may include local Chinese companies and multinational companies, as well as international small and medium-sized enterprises and nonprofit organizations. Course curriculum includes class introduction, coached work, and final presentation to earn three academic credits. See the course section for more detail.
Program BlogsClick to Open
Daily LifeClick to Open
Homestays: Chinese host families speak only Chinese, making this a great way to fast-forward your language skills. Students have their own bedrooms in the host family apartment, and share the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Host apartments are a 15- to 45-minute walk or commute by public transportation from campus.
Residence Halls: Students choose to live with a Chinese ECNU student – and speak only Chinese – or with another CIEE student in a five-story hall on the ECNU campus. There are shared kitchens and bathrooms on each floor, plus study areas, and laundry facilities. The hall is a 10-minute walk to CIEE and close to public transportation.
Homestays: Students are invited to most meals, but should budget for lunches and some weekend meals.
Residence Halls: Students are responsible for meals. There are moderately priced cafeterias on campus.
Where You'll Study
CIEE Global Institute - Shanghai
On the downtown Putuo campus at East China Normal University.
EAST CHINA NORMAL UNIVERSITY
Downtown Putuo campus
Students walk or use public transportation to get around the city.
AcademicsClick to Open
CIEE’s Accelerated Chinese Language program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in Chinese language and a deeper understanding of China today. The program consists of intensive Chinese language coursework and cultural immersion, complemented by a wide selection of area studies courses in various disciplines. The program is open to students with no language experience as well as those with superior level proficiency, although it is not intended for native Chinese speakers. At least one semester of college-level Chinese area studies is recommended.
The CIEE Global Institute – Shanghai is located on East China Normal University (ECNU) downtown Putuo campus, and is known as the “Garden University” for its beautiful grounds by the Liwa River. Chinese language and elective courses are taught by full-time CIEE faculty members, including the CIEE language director, adjunct faculty from ECNU and other prestigious institutions, and professionals from the private business sector. A committee of specialists in teaching Chinese as a second language holds these courses to the highest educational standards.
There are no specific language requirements for this program.
Students who are citizens of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan ROC, Hong Kong SAR, or Macau, please contact a CIEE Study Abroad Advisor for details.
One semester of college-level Chinese area studies is recommended.
Students must take 3 courses, for a total of 15 U.S. semester credits, including:
- 2 consecutive Chinese language courses
- 1 additional course – students choose one of the following:
- An elective course in English or Chinese
- An Organizational Internship
- Directed Independent Research
Total credit: 15 semester/22.5 quarter credits
- CIEE courses: 3-6 semester/4.5-9 quarter credits; 45-90 contact hours
- CIEE Organizational Internship: 3 semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 seminar hours, 100-120 internship placement hours
- CIEE Directed Independent Research: 3 semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 contact hours, 100-120 research hours
CIEE courses are designed to follow U.S. academic culture and standards. Accelerated language courses are demanding due to the fast pace of course content, and participation is essential. Attendance is required, and students should avoid scheduling travel during the week. In class, language instructors introduce new content and focus on improving students’ language accuracy and consistency through drills. Outside of class, students meet with peer tutors to reinforce the content and language skills learned in class. Additional hours of language tutoring can be arranged if necessary.
The semester is 15 weeks long and includes a one-week orientation, 12 weeks of instruction, a one-week group cultural excursion, a one-week program break for independent travel, and typically, one national holiday. Courses take place Monday through Thursday for two to four hours with occasional course-related field trips on Fridays and weekends. Class sizes range from 4 to 20 students and are typically co-taught by head instructors and assistant instructors. Students also meet with peer tutors for structured tutorials for at least two hours per week. All Chinese language courses, business electives, and area studies electives are managed by CIEE and specially designed for CIEE study abroad students. Some area study courses may include a limited number of ECNU students to increase cross-cultural and academic exchange.
The U.S. grading scale of A-F is used. For elective courses, students are graded on exams, homework, participation, and attendance. Professors may assign exams, quizzes, research papers, and individual and group oral presentations or projects. For language courses, students are graded on daily homework, quizzes, and written and oral exams.
Language of Instruction
English and Chinese
CoursesClick to Open
- Students will take an on-site placement exam and be registered in the appropriate language levels based on their results.
- Students enrolling in the Organizational Internship are required to change their student visa to an S2 Visa. Students pursuing the internship are responsible for the $150 S2 Visa application fee. The application process includes approval from the internship sponsor, approval from ECNU, and a special application to the Chinese government. Please note that recipients of the S2 Visa are not allowed to leave and re-enter the mainland of China without obtaining a new visa.
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 canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
ScholarshipsClick to Open
Scholarships & Grants
CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.
Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:
- Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
- Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
- Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
- CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.See more scholarship info
Dates & FeesClick to Open
Dates & Fees
You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.
What's IncludedClick to Open
Our StaffClick to Open
Get StartedHere's what you need to do to take the next steps:
START AN APPLICATIONApply Now
You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience!
CONNECT WITH YOUR CAMPUS STUDY ABROAD OFFICE
Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad.
Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.