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CIEE Beijing Advanced Chinese Studies

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

- Fall, Spring, Academic Year


- Beijing, China


- Resident

- 15-18s.h./sem


- 3.0 GPA

- Junior standing

- Superior Chinese

Application Due:

- Spring 10/15

- Fall 3/15

- Summer 3/15

Program Cost:

- Click the Application tab

Study Abroad Advisor:

Toni Bartolutti

old Chinese city with shops inside of old walls

Secret places to explore in Beijing

CIEE's Advanced Chinese Studies Study Abroad Program in Beijing is designed for students interested in using their superior level of Chinese to study international affairs, business, history, or Chinese literature alongside Chinese peers. The Advanced Chinese Studies program provides support for superior level language students while taking coursework, entirely in Mandarin, in normal PKU courses.

This gives you an unparalleled experience of directly enrolling in one academic department or school at Peking University; attending weekly tutorials with Chinese peer tutors; taking a core course focusing on using Chinese in a professional context; choosing either an optional homestay (highly recommended for students on this program) or student dormitory housing near the university, and even conducting individual research.

Overall, you will advance your Chinese to a professional level with one-on-one tutorials and Chinese language meals with tutors and staff. You'll also participate in meaningful, topic-oriented cultural activities and lectures in Beijing as well as extended weekend trips that focus on specific topics of interest around China.


In addition to a required CIEE Advanced Research and Writing course, you’ll directly enroll in one of Peking University’s many schools or departments, including the School of Mathematical Sciences, School of Physics, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Department of History, School of International Studies, School of Economics, Guanghua School of Management, or School of Journalism and Communication. You can make your academics as challenging and diverse as you desire.

Cultural Activities

CIEE offers guided field trips to cultural destinations or events in and around Beijing, which can include historic sites such as Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, and the Forbidden City. Activities may include more contemporary events, such as plays, rock music performances, art exhibitions, day hikes near Beijing, and interactive visits to orphanages or institutes for autistic children. Through experiential learning, students connect empirical experiences to content they learn in their classes, learning more about contemporary Chinese society and culture from the local people they meet. Extracurricular classes in Chinese calligraphy, painting, seal carving, and martial arts are also offered each semester.


Two extended weekend excursions are offered to study abroad students during the semester.

For the first excursion, students and staff travel together to a selected destination, allowing students to learn about areas outside of Beijing and utilize their Chinese language skills under the leadership of the CIEE resident director. Past trips have included Xi’an, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and the Shaolin temple.

For the second excursion, CIEE offers a few different excursion itineraries under leadership of CIEE staff teams, each going to different locations with different trip themes. Each student signs up for, and takes part in, the trip that interests him or her most. Past selections have included visits to the city of Shanghai, under the theme of “Modern Architecture and Urban Landscapes;” the birthplace of Confucius in Qufu, under the theme “Traditional Chinese Philosophy;” and a village visit and hike in the mountains of northern Shanxi province, under the theme “Environment and Rural Governance in China.”


Fall Semester is from early September through mid-January

Spring Semester is from early February through late June

For More Info

If you have questions or are ready to apply to this program, please make an appointment with program advisor by calling the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 (M-F, 8-5).

Toni Bartolutti
Study Abroad Advisor & Program Coordinator
Tel: +1 319-335-0353


Peking University

CIEE students jumping for a camera shot in Beijing

Kicking it in Beijing

Founded in 1898, Peking University (PKU) was, and still remains, one of China’s most prestigious universities. Its long traditions of scholarly excellence and political activism have produced many figures that have played instrumental roles in China’s post-Imperial history. The university focuses on advanced research in the natural and social sciences, and its campus, which was previously an imperial garden during the Qing Dynasty, is home to the university’s 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The PKU campus has modern classrooms, recreational facilities, and numerous cafeterias, as well as convenient access to Beijing’s mass transit system, all within a short walking distance of each other.


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 the 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. Beijing also has China’s largest concentration of top research institutions.


China, officially known as the People's Republic of China, is the second largest country in the world by land area. Its 1.3 billion citizens live mostly near the eastern seaboard. China has grown and evolved for over 5000 years and due to its growing economic power, is set to be one of the world’s superpowers during the 21st century.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Housing and Meals

epic meal, family style in Beijing.  countless plates on the table, all filled with amazing treasures.

Traditional Meal Anyone? Yes Please!

Housing is included in the study abroad program fee. Students live in either the PKU foreign student complex—Zhongguanyuan Global Village dormitory—or in a homestay. Students may not live in accommodations that are not arranged by CIEE.

Zhongguanyuan Global Village

Living conditions in Zhongguanyuan Global Village are inviting and comfortable, and provide standard amenities such as beds, desks, armoires, private bathrooms, and Internet access. Shared kitchens are available, but location varies by building. Students live in suite-style units and each student has his or her own private bedroom. Each unit shares a common living space and bathroom and, depending on the layout, students will live with one to two other roommates. Roommates are either CIEE study abroad students or other international students.


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.


Meals are not included in the program fee for students living in the dormitory and are the responsibility of the student. Students usually eat at the student cafeterias or at the wide range of inexpensive restaurants in and around campus.

Travel Arrangements

Airfare is not included in the program fee but students will work with CIEE to determine the best time for arrival. Students will also receive support from CIEE when applying for a Chinese visa. More information on travel arrangements will be provided by CIEE after the application cycle has concluded.


This program is open to all UI students who are in both good academic and also disciplinary standing. Applicants must also meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, be a Junior in standing, have Superior Level Chinese language skills and also pass Peking University's placement test.

Eligibility Policy

It is the University of Iowa’s policy that all students who study abroad must be in both good academic standing and also good disciplinary standing. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad.

In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance and will NOT be allowed to study abroad. Any student that must forfeit their acceptance and/or attendance on a study abroad program due to a probationary status is wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.

Program Cost Sheet

This is the Cost Sheet for Fall of 2013. This document outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship Opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.

Withdrawal policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
After Confirmation of Participation is signed Administrative fee: $400
Portion of program fee: As determined by the program contract with CIEE
After Program Start Date Administrative fee: 100%
Portion of program fee: As determined by the program contract with CIEE

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. Check with your specific provider/host university for details. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

Application Deadline

The online application for the Spring Session will be available from 8/1 to 10/15

The online application for the Fall and Academic Year Sessions will be available from 1/1 to 3/15

Any supplemental materials are due to the study abroad office one week later

How to Apply

Click here for UI's online study abroad application.

Note, students must fill out two applications. In addition to UI's online study abroad application, you will also be required to fill out CIEE's online application. BEFORE applying to CIEE, students MUST make an appointment with the study abroad advisor for this program. Please call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Orientation Information

Accepted applicants will be required to attend two orientations (one pre-departure hosted by the University of Iowa, and one upon arrival by CIEE onsite), as well as participate in an ongoing online pre-departure orientation hosted by CIEE.

CIEE Online Pre-Departure Orientation

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.

On-site Orientation

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.

There are no photos available for this program yet. Do you have any photos to share with us? If you do, please contact us at:

1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802

Phone: (319) 335-0353
Fax: (319) 335-0343