Yu Garden in Shanghai, China
Shanghai, China

Chinese Language & Culture

Summer '25 Applications Open

Language & Culture



4 weeks



Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information



4 weeks



Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview
Advance your Mandarin in the fast-paced metropolis of Shanghai.

Take your Mandarin to new heights with four weeks of language immersion in China’s largest city, Shanghai. After language classes, hit the city’s trendy and ancient streets to practice your language skills with locals. Take a stroll along the Huangpu River, where you can admire the diverse architectural styles that define Shanghai's skyline. Wander among traditional Chinese temples, taste food from family-owned restaurants, and meet local teens. Enjoy traditional dance, sports, and calligraphy workshops and Chinese trivia nights. 

Living with a host family, you’ll grow your Mandarin language and cultural knowledge even further as you prepare and share Chinese meals. On excursions, explore the water village of Zhujiajiao and travel to the ancient city Hangzhou. Along with forging new friendships, you’ll rapidly improve your Mandarin skills in an authentic setting, full of stunning scenery, historical sites, and multicultural influences.

The Take-Aways

Language Growth And Cultural Competence

Come home with a higher level of Mandarin and a greater understanding of Chinese culture. Use your STAMP 4S language proficiency pre- and post-test scores to demonstrate your language growth and help you earn a Seal of Biliteracy. 

College Credit

Earn 4 college credits toward your future college degree. Take advantage of the credits to stand out on your college applications or to satisfy college language requirements.

Life Skills And New Friendships

Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and adaptability. Enjoy a broader worldview and diverse friendships from across the U.S. 


Hours Of Instruction With A Native Mandarin Teacher


College Credits


Life-changing Experience

The Destination
  • Tower in Shanghai, China
  • The Bund in Shanghai, China
  • Students in Shanghai, China

The Destination

Welcome to Shanghai, known as the “Paris of the East.” 

The dynamic and modern city of Shanghai is located in east-central China. The Huangpu River divides Shanghai into two distinctive areas, the Puxi (West bank), marked by its varied western architecture, and Pudong (East bank), with its towering, cutting-edge buildings. Cruising down the river, you can enjoy breathtaking scenery on both sides, such as the Yangpu Bridge, the Nanpu Bridge, and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, gracing the sky. Shanghai’s mix of old architecture and gleaming skyscrapers is truly a sight to see. As the country’s largest and most populous city—boasting over 26 million residents—it stands as a bustling symbol of China’s modern transformation and variety. 

Around town, visit famous sites, like the Yu Garden, the colonial buildings in The Bund, the City God Temple, the shopping district of Nanjing Road, and dozens of specialty museums. Don’t leave Shanghai without tasting delicious dumplings, like xiaolongbao and dim sum, and dan bing (egg pancakes)! 


CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Shanghai. 

Daily Life

Daily Life


Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction and cultural activities with time on your own, too. Morning classes and afternoon activities may swap places.

  • Breakfast at your homestay
  • Engaging Mandarin classes with expert language instructors, all native speakers
  • Lunch in the community with your fellow Global Navigators
  • Out and about for authentic conversations in the community and a cultural activity
  • Dinner and evening discussions at your homestay


  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites
  • Quality time with friends and your host family

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program.


Carefully-screened homestay

24/7 Support

1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Program Blogs


Discovering Shanghai: A Journey through Language, Culture, and Community Service

By Wen Cai at CIEE

The bustling metropolis of Shanghai welcomed us with open arms as we embarked on an unforgettable journey of learning, crafting, and community service during our first week. With eager hearts... keep reading


The Bund is Your Classroom

By Anesce Dremen at CIEE

Students embark on a scavanger hunt that led them to hold conversations in Chinese in Shanghai's famous "The Bund."


Jet-Lagged Journeys: Students' First Encounter with Host Families

By Emily Lin at CIEE

As the plane descended into Shanghai, excitement mingled with exhaustion among these students embarking on a journey of a lifetime. After a long flight that traversed states, continents and time... keep reading


Sample Activities

Martial Arts in Shanghai

Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Master new skills in martial arts, learn to play the erhu (a Chinese two-stringed fiddle), or try your hand at Chinese painting or calligraphy in classes with other Global Navigators.

  • Catch a glimpse of how the city of Shanghai was planned and developed at the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum. 

  • Take a daytrip to the 1700-year-old town of Zhujiajiao, known as the “Venice of Shanghai.” Take a boat along its ancient bridges and streets, Ming-Qing dynasty architecture, old Buddhist and Taoist sites, and more. 

  • Check out the intricate Buddha statues at the Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai’s most famous Buddhist Temple, located in the city’s downtown area. 

  • Pack your bags for a trip to Hangzhou, the capital of the Zheijiang province, where green spaces, lakeside views, and mountain ranges meet. Marco Polo once called Hangzhou “the City of Heaven.” 

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience.  



  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • All proficiency levels
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our scholarship page

For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Application Fee 


Optional College Credit Fee 


Learn more about how to get college credit for your future college degree 

Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.   

Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.   

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations, or contact us


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Program Summer Session I 2025 4 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $7,050
Program Summer Session II 2025 4 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $7,050

What's Included

Interactive Classes


3 Meals/Day

(Dietary Needs Accommodated)

All Ground Transportation

(Once In-country)

Optional Flight Chaperone

(Flight Cost Not Included)

Pre-departure Advice and Orientation

Access to Local Phone and WIFI

All Cultural Activities and Excursions

Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection

24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Our Staff

Our Staff

Jia Ma

Interim Center Director

With over a decade of service at CIEE Shanghai, Jia Ma oversees the operations of the Shanghai center, providing a strong foundation for your experiences.

Ready to change your life?

Request Info