Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs

Beijing, China



Program Overview

China has 3,000 years of richly documented social, political, and cultural history. Today, it is home to one of the world's most closely-observed economies.

Clark University, in cooperation with CET Academic Programs, offers two distinct opportunities in Beijing Intensive Chinese Language and Chinese Studies and Internship. There is no language prerequisite for the fall and spring terms, however, some prior knowledge of Mandarin Chinese is suggested. Students of all Chinese language levels are welcome to apply, but CET only accepts beginning-level students who can demonstrate their commitment and seriousness of academic purpose on their application.

Intensive Chinese Language Program

This is a program for students who have the grit, determination and desire to dedicate themselves to full-time Chinese language learning. Chinese language class placement is determined by the student’s application materials, including a letter of recommendation from language faculty, and the results of a placement exam taken on site. Adjustments are made during the first week of classes in consultation with the Academic Director. Students enroll in a full load of intensive Chinese language classes. Classes are fast-paced and target every aspect of language skills. Lecture classes introduce new material. Drill classes reinforce accurate usage. One-on-one classes troubleshoot individual errors. One-on-two classes target fluency. Discussion classes provide real conversation practice. Language practicum takes students out of the classroom to speak with locals. Students take at least 20 class hours per week and can expect to spend at least one hour preparing for every hour spent in class.  All students uphold a full-time Chinese language pledge (even beginners!) The language pledge can be challenging at first, but in the end well worth the struggle. Because the language pledge depends on the commitment of the students, CET accepts only those who are excited for the challenge.

Housing & Meals: The program is hosted by Capital Normal University (CNU), a large university with a longstanding relationship with CET.  CNU has many amenities: a gymnasium, sports fields, libraries, student centers and cafeterias. The university is near subway and bus stops, giving students easy and inexpensive access to all of Beijing.

The Intensive Chinese Language program is based at CNU’s main campus, and students reside in a building designated solely for CET use. The main campus is separate from the north campus, where most of CNU’s foreign students (including students from other CET programs) reside. This distinct location is exceptional for two reasons: it gives students full access to CNU’s main resources and amenities, but preserves for them a Chinese-only environment. Students will not hear a lot of English spoken on their section of the CNU campus. Students share rooms with local roommates in a dormitory on CNU’s main campus. Dorm rooms are simple, but comfortable, with basic furnishings and attached bathrooms. The building is equipped with wi-fi, and offers shared laundry and kitchen facilities. Meals are not included, but students can explore the area’s numerous eateries, or use their CNU-issued student ID card to access the many, and very inexpensive, campus cafeterias.

Activities:  The program arranges excursions in and around the city, so that students can practice Chinese in new settings.  Once each fall and spring term, students depart Beijing and venture on an overnight excursion, known as “the historical trip.” This excursion is conducted entirely in Chinese, and takes students to a city of historical significance like Xi’an, Pingyao, Anyang or Nanjing. Part of the experience is the getting there. Students travel as locals do—by hard-sleeper or bullet train, and stay in simple, but comfortable hotels.

Chinese Studies and Internship

CET Chinese Studies is a study abroad program for serious students. Classes and academic excursions are scheduled Mondays through Fridays. Students can expect at least one hour of prep time for every one hour of class time. Participation in classes and all excursions is mandatory. All students enroll in Chinese language classes. Small classes provide exceptional levels of individual instruction. Each student also has one-on-one sessions that can be customized to cover vocabulary pertinent to any interest.  Students may participate in an internship at a local organization. They also take Working in China: Service, Culture and Internships, a course that contextualizes on-the-job experiences and provides an opportunity for reflection and discussion. Students enroll in one elective. Electives are innovatively designed by seasoned faculty. Each course includes academic excursions that connect students to the city. Disciplines include environmental studies, film, history, philosophy, and political science.

Housing & Meals: The program is hosted by Capital Normal University (CNU), a large university with a longstanding relationship with CET.  CNU has many amenities: a gymnasium, sports fields, libraries, student centers and cafeterias. The university is near subway and bus stops, giving students easy and inexpensive access to all of Beijing.

Students on the Chinese Studies program share rooms with local roommates in CNU’s International Culture Plaza. In additional to dormitory space, this modern building also contains eateries, a convenient store, a bookstore, kitchen and laundry facilities, a gym and an indoor swimming pool. Dorm rooms are simple, but comfortable. Rooms have basic furnishings and attached bathrooms. The building is equipped with wi-fi and air conditioning. Meals are not included, but students can eat at CNU cafeterias or explore the numerous inexpensive cafés and restaurants around campus.

Activities: The program uses its longstanding connections in Beijing to arrange exceptional excursions for students. Depending on the electives they choose, students might have a round-table discussion about media censorship with editors of the China Youth Daily, visit an organic farm to learn about food safety in China, tour the Summer Palace with a local historian, visit a Peking Opera school to watch a rehearsal and interact with actors, view the taping of a live television show, or head to a Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital to see how medicine is prepared and even try out acupuncture. Each term, the program leads students and their Chinese roommates on an overnight excursion to another city. Students might head to Xi’an and visit the city’s famous Muslim Quarter or Terracotta warriors. Or they might head to Hangzhou, the beautiful city touted in centuries of Chinese poetry, to see the Dragon Tea Garden and bike around stunning West Lake.

Clark Credit

Students participating in the Beijing programs receive the equivalent of four Clark units per semester, provided all coursework is completed, all required exams are taken, and final papers are submitted. All courses receive letter grades, which show on the Clark transcript and are factored into the overall GPA. Please check with the Study Abroad Office to ensure transferability of credit.


All applicants must fulfill Clark University's eligibility requirements.  Students must also meet the CET program requirements. Applications may be rejected for any number of reasons by the overseas program.

Program Costs

Your student account will be billed for Clark tuition each semester that you are abroad. There is a one-time $1000 study abroad fee that will appear on your Clark tuition bill. Clark will pay your tuition/academic fees to CET. These include mandatory insurance and visa processing fees. You will be billed by CET directly for your housing, and you will need to provide for your own meals (i.e. cooking or purchasing meals) if they are not provided. Books, non-academic fees, and travel expenses are your responsibility. You are also responsible for all of your personal expenses and for your pocket money while abroad. Remember that here might be a whole array of fees in Beijing for using the gym, clubs, computers, laundry, transportation, books, cell phones, etc. These fees vary from year to year and we recommend that you check the website of your program to see if further information is available. Any additional expenses related to individual courses, such as travel, are also your responsibility.

Studying off-campus always generates additional and unexpected expenses. If you are a financial aid recipient, you should continue to receive financial aid. However, be sure to check with the Office of Financial Assistance to see if there will be any changes in your financial aid package. You will not be able to receive Work-Study money while you are abroad. International Scholarships are granted to enrich the Clark campus with international students and cannot be applied to off-campus programs.

You will receive an invoice from Clark's Student Accounts Department, indicating that the tuition payment will be due by mid-July for the fall and mid-December for the spring. The exact due date will appear on your bill. Failure to satisfy your financial obligation to Clark University by the due date may result in your withdrawal from the program. Failure to satisfy your financial obligations to your host institution may result in no transcript being issued for your participation in their program.

Under NO circumstances will Clark University be responsible for independent travel you choose to participate in, which is not an official part of the Clark program. Clark will not assist in any personal travel arrangements.

Approximate additional costs per semester for 2016-17

  • Housing - $3040
  • Meals - $ 1250
  • *Personal Expenses - $1400
  • Airfare - $1750
  • Books and Supplies - $300
  • Study Abroad/Away Admin. Fee - $1000

NOTE: These costs are estimates based on exchange rates at time of publication, and are subject to change.

*Personal expenses are based on student feedback, and vary dramatically based on individual spending habits. Estimated personal expenses include items such as food, personal travel, clothing, etc.

Application Information

In addition to Clark approval to study abroad, students must fill out the program specific application. Students should begin both processes at the same time.

1. Submit your CET application through their website.

2. Select the desired program and click on the "Apply Now" tab

3. Create a login and password (you do not need to submit the application fee)


Other Resources