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“Most Dickinson students who study in China with our Beijing program manage to achieve near-native fluency in Chinese along with good reading and writing skills; they also gain insight into Chinese culture and scoiety, thanks to our fantastic partner institution, Peking University, the home-stay family living arrangements and the culture course."

- Rae Yang

associate professor of Chinese language and literature

Dickinson in China


Beijing, China

As the capital of one of the world's fastest-growing and most transitional economics, Beijing is a fascinating location for study.  A city of nearly 17.5 million people, Beijing is a vibrant metropolitan area that combines ancient tradition and history with the modern issues associated with any rapidly growing urban area.

With 2008 came Beijing's newfound designation as an Olympic city.  As China continues to rise on the world stage as an economic superpower, students on the program have the opportunity to witness history in the making.  Both housing options - home stay with a family or a dorm room shared with other international students - give students a perfect opportunity to hone their language skills while gaining invaluable insight into Chinese culture and the country's future in this constantly evolving city.

Peking University
Peking University is a prestigious institution in China and boasts the most beautiful campus in the country. The university is comprised of nine colleges and schools, ranging from the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering to the School of International Studies.  Of the 13,000 students who attend the university, approximately 1,000 are international students, and Americans represent a small minority.  Thus, those who attend through Dickinson's program will find themselves studying side-by-side with the best students from China and students from all over the world.

Dickinson's Beijing program offers an intensive study of Chinese language, culture and society.  The program is open to students who have completed at least two years of college-level Mandarin.  Courses at Peking University are conducted entirely in Chinese and the majority of students' credits will come from language courses.  During the fall semester, in tandem with three intensive language courses, students take a special culture course, which provides an overview of Chinese culture and society enhanced by experiential-learning opportunities at key sites around Beijing.

Students who remain for the spring semester and who have gained sufficient language proficiency may elect to take non-language courses at the university or participate in an internship while continuing their language studies.

Students who successfully complete the fall semester language and culture courses receive up to 4.5 Dickinson credits.  An additional 4.5 credits can be earned through successful completion of the spring semester, including an internship and/or non-language coursework at Peking University.

In the fall, students on the Dickinson program embark upon a dozen field trips to historical and cultural sites in and around Beijing.  These academic excursions, including a climb atop the Great wall, a visit to a tea house and attendance at various traditional Chinese performances, help students to fully experience Chinese culture.

At the end of December, students, along with the program coordinator, take a weeklong excursion to a different region of China.  The destination of the excursion varies from year to year and is designed to complement the students' study of Chinese language and culture.  In past years, the excursion has taken students on educational visits to Yunan Province, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

On-Site Administration
While at Peking University, students on the Dickinson program are supported by an on-site director, Shangkai Gao.  She has served as the deputy dean of the School for Overseas Study and has many connections within Peking University and the surrounding community.  The Dickinson faculty coordinator, Associate Professor of Chinese Language and Literature Rae Yang, also serves as a primary academic advisor and leader of the December academic excursion.

Participants can choose between a home stay and the regular university dormitory.  Host families live within commuting distance of campus and are carefully chosen by the program director.  Living conditions in the dormitory are basic, wtih double rooms and shared bathrooms.  Washing machines and cooking facilities are available on each floor.  Academic-year students may elect to live in both types of housing during the course of the program.


Quick Facts

  Dates Program Fee* Application Deadline
Academic Year late Aug. to mid-June $49,860 Feb. 15
Fall late Aug . to mid-Jan $24,930 Feb. 15

* This is the program fee for 2009-2010; the program fee for 2010-2011 will correspond to on-campus tuition and fees and will be determined during spring 2010.

Program Fee Includes
• tuition and fees
• room and board
• pre-departure and on-site orientations
• academic excursions

The program fee does not include primary health insurance, airfare, passport, visa, immunizations, optional travel, personal expenses, meals and housing during vacations, books or supplies.

Special Requirements
2.8 GPA
Students must complete at least two years of college-level Chinese prior to studying in Beijing


Dickinson China blog

Beijing Handbook

Beijing Student Budget Sheet

Photos for the Beijing Program
Peking University
General Information on China



For more information, contact

Rae Yang, On-Campus Coordinator

Department of East Asian Studies

Dickinson College
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896
Phone: (717) 245-1403


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