Program Site: The Peking University (PKU) campus, located in the Haidian district in the northwestern part of Beijing. The study abroad program in which USC students participate is run by CIEE, which has office space and staff on the PKU campus.
Eligibility: Minimum 3.0 GPA; three semesters of college-level Mandarin Chinese (or the equivalent) for the Intensive Chinese Language (ICL) program; eight or more semesters of Mandarin (or the equivalent) for the Advanced Chinese Studies (ACS) program.
Note: Peking University will not accept students who are citizens of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan (ROC), Hong Kong SAR, or Macau. This includes those who are U.S. permanent residents.
Description: As the capital of the world's most populous nation, Beijing is at the center of much of what happens in China. Beijing reflects China's long and evolving history when different dynasties based here constructed some of the nation's most well-known and culturally important sites such as the Great Wall 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.
Academics: The Intensive Chinese Language (ICL) program offers students an opportunity to improve their fluency in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese through intensive training. Students at the intermediate and high-intermediate levels take Readings in Chinese for 6 credits and Spoken Chinese for 4.5 credits. Students at the advanced level take Readings in Chinese for 4.5 credits and Spoken Chinese for 4.5 credits each. Students at both the intermediate and advanced levels may take Chinese language elective courses. Students at all levels are required to take a 1-credit Language and Culture Practicum designed by the Resident Director to supplement the PKU language training. Electives available to intermediate students include Chinese Characters, Listening Comprehension, and Pronunciation. Electives available to advanced students include Newspaper Reading, Classical Chinese, and English-Chinese Translation. Students may also elect to take one course in English to supplement their understanding of China. Electives in English are offered in the areas of international relations and history.
For students with near-native fluency in Mandarin, CIEE offers the Advanced Chinese Studies (ACS) program. This program is available only in the spring semester. Students take courses alongside Chinese students in Chinese language and literature, history, international relations, or management. Students must take Peking University's initial placement test in Beijing to qualify for this direct enrollment option. These students have often completed Fourth Year Chinese or the equivalent at the college level. Students who do not pass this test will enroll instead in the Intensive Chinese Language program.
For all students there are non-credit extracurricular classes offered including Chinese painting, calligraphy, martial arts, and Chinese musical instruments.
Course Load and Credit: Students can earn maximum of 16 USC units per semester for the Intensive Chinese Language program and a maximum of 19 units for the Advanced Chinese Studies program.
Activities and Other Program Features: Each program participant is paired with a Peking University student for three to four hours per week for one-on-one Chinese language tutorials. These tutorials provide assistance in learning Mandarin while giving students a chance to befriend Chinese peers. Guided field trips are organized to historic and cultural sites in and around Beijing. An extended weekend excursion to Xi'an, Hangzhou, Nanjing, or Henan allows students to learn about areas outside of Beijing.
Accommodation: Students will live either with a Chinese host family or at the recently-built foreign student complex called Zhongguanyuan Global Village, about five minutes from campus. The homestay option is highly recommended for students who want to live in an entirely Chinese language environment and are motivated to make rapid progress in Chinese language outside of class. Chinese family members speak Chinese only. Students have their own bedroom and share at least two meals per week with the host family. Each family has at least one family member on faculty of staff at PKU or retired from PKU. In the Global Village two to three CIEE students share a suite, with each student having his or her own bedroom. Students in the Global Village have the option of living with a Chinese host family for three weeks during the semester.
Dates: Fall, Spring or Year. The fall term runs from late-August to mid-December. The spring term begins shortly after Lunar New Year and typically ends in early June.
Estimated Semester Cost:
Cost Updated: 1/7/15
Text Updated: 7/9/12
*Additional expenses include estimated costs for airfare, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance, and personal expenses (which can vary greatly from student to student). USC financial aid, scholarships, and tuition remission may be applied to program costs. Please visit the Office of Overseas Studies for more detailed cost information.