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CIEE Beijing Intensive Chinese Language

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

- Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


- Beijing, China


- Resident


- 2.75 GPA

- 2-6 semesters of college-level Chinese

Application Due:

- Fall Semester: 3/15

- Spring Semester: 9/20

- Summer: 3/15

Program Cost:

- Click the Application tab

Study Abroad Advisor:

Ana Jimenez

group of students while out on a CIEE excursion to the Great Wall.

Excursion to the Great Wall

CIEE's Intensive Chinese Language Study Abroad Program at Peking University in Beijing, China, is one of the oldest and most recognized intensive Chinese language programs. The Peking University Center for Teaching Chinese houses over eight different language levels and many other elective courses that benefit the specific needs of each student.

If you're looking to immerse yourself in a rigorous and dynamic language learning environment that compels you to explore beyond the classroom, then you’ve found it. The CIEE Intensive Chinese Language program is designed to enable intermediate and advanced language students to increase their Mandarin proficiency while exploring Beijing’s role in the greater Chinese society.

Through intensive Mandarin language courses, area studies electives, weekly interactions with Chinese peer tutors, a homestay option, and group excursions, you won’t simply study Chinese—you’ll live it.


At the prestigious Peking University, you'll have access to an exceptional range of courses and electives, allowing you to build an academic program suited to your interests and abilities. Enroll in courses that advance your grammar, character composition, and listening comprehension, or build language skills needed to conduct business activities—even study Chinese language through film.

In addition to this course work, a Language and Culture Practicum facilitated by the CIEE resident staff supplements your language learning, integrating many of the activities in the co-curricular program through task-based exercises and assignments using spoken and written Chinese.

Cultural Activities and Excursions

Guided field trips are organized to cultural destinations or events in and around Beijing, and might include historic sites such as Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, and Forbidden City. Activities may also include more contemporary events, such as plays, rock music performances, modern art exhibitions, day hikes near Beijing, and interactive visits to orphanages or institutes for autistic children. Additional site visits supplement the area studies electives. Through experiential learning, you'll connect empirical experiences to content you learn in your classes, learning more about contemporary Chinese society and culture from the local people you meet. Two extended, weekend excursions to regions outside the city are also offered each semester.


This program is not being offered by CIEE for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 term.

Fall Semester is from early September through late December

Spring Semester is from early February through late May

Summer session is from mid-June through early August

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).

Ana Jimenez
Study Abroad Advisor & Program Coordinator
Tel: +1 319-335-0353

Peking University

students holding up traditional paper where they have been practicing their brushwork calligraphy

Learning Calligraphy

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

very traditional Chinese Restaurant with a circular table and a lazy susan in the middle to share all the food.

The Lazy Susan sharing meal

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 University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA- Students must have a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.75 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Sophomore, Junior, or senior standing- Applicants must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing by the time the program begins to participate in this program.
  • Applicants must have completed 2-6 semester of college-level Chinese. One Chinese area studies course is recommended, but not required.

  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Approval by CIEE and UI Study Abroad- Applications will be reviewed by UI Study Abroad and by CIEE. Students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad and CIEE.

Program Cost Sheet

The cost sheet (forthcoming) 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.

Application Deadline

This program is not being offered by CIEE for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 term.

The online application for the Spring Session will be available from 8/1 to 9/20

The online application for the Summer, 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

Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program.

The application process consists of the following steps:

• Complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Please note that for study abroad programs through Spring 2022, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel is assured. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to the application fee being billed, it will not be charged. As part of the UI Online Application for Study Abroad, applicants will need to upload a copy of their passport picture page, a list of courses to take while abroad, and a statement of purpose.

• Complete the CIEE Online Application.

Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

Coming soon.

Health & Safety Planning

In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

Study Abroad Resources

Passports and Visas

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

In addition, take a look at CIEE's Scholarship website for information about scholarships offered directly through CIEE.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.


Any students who will need to apply for a Chinese visa will need to wait until receiving their official admission letter from CIEE before they can begin applying for a visa. CIEE and the UI Study Abroad staff can provide some assistance and advising on the Chinese visa application process, but ultimately the individual traveler (the student) is the person who is responsible for providing correct information on the visa application and securing the visa and all other required documentation prior to travel.

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