Summer Study in China

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Registration for the Summer 2018 Trip is officially closed

Differentiate and enhance your college applications! China Institute has taken hundreds of students to China for a life-changing experience. Our program consists of three basic components – classroom language learning, activities and excursions, and the hallmark homestay experience, all of which are discussed in more detail below. Together, the Summer Study in China program aims not just to help students improve their Chinese, and give them an up-close look at Chinese culture as it really is, but also to provide our students with an opportunity to “live like a local” in China.

Check out our 2018 Summer Study in China blog and one of our past program blogs for a day-to-day look at the SSC program in action.


100,000 Strong began as an initiative from President Obama helping to increase and diversify the pool of American students studying Mandarin in China. Learn more

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Registration for the Summer 2018 Trip is officially closed

SSC – Beijing (July 6 to August 4, 2018)

SSC-Beijing 2018 is a four-week program offering high school students the opportunity to receive intensive language training within an immersive cultural environment. Students use their Chinese to communicate in daily life, improving fluency, pronunciation, and confidence. Through rigorous classroom hours five days a week, daily real-life practice, and four weeks of homestay experience, language acquisition in SSC-Beijing is equivalent to a full academic year of Chinese.

Throughout the experience, our students also gain a deeper understanding and awareness of Chinese culture through a number of on-site activities (e.g. tai chi, calligraphy, paper cutting, etc.). In addition, there are weekly excursions into the city and surrounding mountains. These outings afford students the opportunity to use their newly-acquired language skills with native speakers and visit some of the country’s most stunning sites, including the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall, and as well as endless wanderings through old neighborhoods. Meaningful tasks and community service will be given to guide some of the excursions.

Program Features:

• Living with a Chinese host family for the program’s duration;
• A 3:1 student to faculty/staff ratio;
• Four weeks of daily intensive language classes, equivalent to one year of high school Chinese study;
• Cultural workshops, athletics, community service, and city excursions;
• Trips to the surrounding mountains outside of Beijing to catch a glimpse of rural life;
• A pre-program information session and pre-departure orientation session;
• Post-program Student Ambassador opportunities with CI and 100 Thousand Strong. Learn More

Shortly after arrival, each student is given a Chinese proficiency exam and placed into the appropriate class for his/her level. On average, class sizes range between 3-5 students. Formal Chinese language instruction occurs over four periods usually lasting from 8:30am to 12pm each weekday. Classroom learning is supplemented by daily assignments and language practicum, including those requiring students to converse with ordinary Chinese citizens in real world contexts. Language learning is assessed through daily class participation, weekly quizzes and an end-of-program exam and/or presentation.

Contributing to our program’s success is a team of high quality staff and teachers. Lead teachers sourced from top U.S. universities and K-12 schools are responsible for maintaining the Institute’s language learning standards abroad, developing course curricula, recruiting teachers and administering professional development training for our Chinese staff members.

Our Chinese language teachers in Beijing are recruited from some of China’s top universities, including: Beijing Normal University, Beijing Language University and Capital Normal University. All teachers undergo a series of professional development workshops prior to working with students to ensure that they are fully prepared to teach American students a rigorous curriculum.

The language learning curriculum shared by our summer programs is a synthesis of the National Standards for Foreign Language Education guidelines set by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the pedagogical methodology used at programs operated by top American universities. In short, our students learn Mandarin through a variety of methods, each of which emphasizes his/her speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

The program is led on the ground in Beijing by a full-time China Institute staff member who specializes in program management, is experienced in China, and there to ensure quality.

Beijing is China’s cultural and political capital with lots to see and do. Nearly every afternoon after class students launch out into the city for a cultural workshop, site visit, or adventure of some kind.

Our cultural workshops are a way for students to get up close and personal with Chinese culture, and range in things like mask and dumpling-making, music lessons, and paper-cutting. Sometimes this is onsite at school, other times we go into the city to learn from a professional in town.

And as China’s cultural and political capital, we do their best to see as much of Beijing as possible. There are countless ancient and historical neighborhoods to get lost in, temples to see, and sites to visit. But at the same time, there’s so much value in slowing down, and placing quality over quantity. We’re not tourists, we’re not here to tick off boxes while rushing monuments and statues. Many of our visits to places like the Lama Temple or an old Beijing Hutong leave room for time for students to visit with the locals, chances to ask questions of them and practice what they’ve been learning.

The homestay component is the centerpiece of our intensive language program. Living with a host family for the duration of the program offers our students the opportunity to be immersed in the daily life of local Chinese families. During their homestay, students learn and practice Chinese while getting to see and experience everything from authentic Chinese cuisine to family celebrations.

Our students will wake up for breakfast with their host family and will be expected home for dinner each night. Popular after-dinner activities will include - aside from homework - going for walks to explore the neighborhood, playing a game of ping-pong with their host-sibling, or Chinese chess with a host-grandparent. Many families will take our student along to their host-sibling’s soccer practice, out to dinner, or perhaps to meet some extended family.

Living with another family for about 4 weeks can be a daunting task, especially with a language and culture barrier present. Both students and families receive orientations from CI staff on how to get the most out of the experience, leading discussions and helping each side learn about what to expect. While challenging, many of our previous students say that spending time with their host families is what they remember most.

Choosing our host families and placing our students appropriately is a task we take very seriously. All host families include a corresponding Chinese host brother or sister carefully selected by our partner host school. Most host families will provide the student with his/her own room. Children around the world easily bond with their peers, and having this relationship with a young Chinese student provides a terrific amount of depth to the experience.

Customized Independent Study Project (ISP) is a signature piece of the program. We offer each student the opportunity to self-select an independent study project, perform community service at an organization of choice, or conduct a work internship at one of our partnering institutions and companies. Whether our student is volunteering at a school in Beijing built for migrant workers’ children, an educational center for kids to learn Chinese cultural roots or a Chinese company in technology, publishing, or global marketing or delving into a specific subject matter such as the comparison between Buddhism and Taoism, China Institute’s SSC program allows the opportunity for students to enhance not only themselves but differentiate their college applications.

Cost for Summer Study in China in 2018: $5980

The cost of the program includes:

• All language instruction and material costs
• All lodging, transportation, and meals within China
• Room and board with host families
• All cultural workshops, excursions, trips and related expenses scheduled by China Institute
• Pre-departure orientation and packet
• Pick-up/drop off at Beijing Capital Airport on your arrival/departure date

Expenses not included are international airfare as well as passport fees, travel insurance, and spending money. China Institute can assist you in procuring a Chinese Visa for a small fee.

China Institute reserves the right to cancel any program that fails to garner sufficient enrollment and raise program fees with due notice in the case of unforeseen circumstances.

Participation in China Institute’s Summer Study in China programs is open to all high school students. To apply to our programs, applicants must be in good academic and disciplinary standing. We look for well- rounded students prepared to make great efforts in learning the language and understanding the culture.

Admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis. The sooner we receive your application materials and fee, the sooner we will be able to schedule your interview. The process of reviewing applications and rendering decisions will start in January 2018.

Dates for SSC Beijing Summer 2018 are July 6 to August 4.

Still unsure? Attend one of our SSC Information Sessions at our office on Washington Street:
Saturday February 10, 12:00-4:00PM

How to Apply?

STEP 1: Please fill out an on-line application form below

Online Application Form

STEP 2: Pay for a $50 non-refundable application fee below:

You can also mail application fee $50 to:
Summer Study in China
China Institute in America
40 Rector Street
New York, NY, 10006

If you have any further questions regarding the application process, please feel free to contact Aaron Nicholson at [email protected] or call 212-744-8181 ext.138