Why Shanghai?

Beginning in Summer 2018, the Beijing Summer - Language Intensive Program will be held in Shanghai.

Immerse yourself in the language and culture of the largest city in China when you study abroad in Shanghai. In eight weeks, rapidly improve your language skills in the classroom and in your daily activities as you interact with Shanghai residents from all over China and around the world. The IES Abroad Shanghai summer program provides intensive beginner, intermediate, advanced intermediate, and advanced level Chinese language courses.

What You'll Study

Designed to help you acquire or improve Chinese language skills through intensive language instruction, an entire year of college-level Chinese is covered during this program. Small class sizes and one-on-one instruction with Chinese language faculty make this program perfect for vastly improving your language skills. You will study with IES Abroad Shanghai faculty and follow a Center-wide language pledge to maximize language learning.


Students in the program will complete 8 credits of Chinese language. Each week, you will engage in 12 hours of classroom instruction and 4 hours of private tutorials with Chinese language faculty. Chinese language courses are offered from beginning through advanced levels.

You can also take a 2-credit elective course, Understanding China.

Please note - Additional upper-level language courses will be made available for advanced students.


This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.

Asian Studies

Course name Term Language Credits
SO/AS/HS 201 - Understanding China Summer English 2

Chinese Language

Course name Term Language Credits
CN 102I - Chinese Language in Context: Novice Abroad II Summer English 8
CN 203I - Chinese Language in Context: Novice Abroad IV Summer Chinese 8
CN 301I - Chinese Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I Summer Chinese 8
CN 351I - Chinese Language in Context: Independent Abroad I Summer Chinese 8
CN 353I - Chinese Language in Context: Independent Abroad II Summer Chinese 8
CN 403I - Chinese Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad II Summer Chinese


Course name Term Language Credits
SO/AS/HS 201 - Understanding China Summer English 2


Course name Term Language Credits
SO/AS/HS 201 - Understanding China Summer English 2

Daily Life

IES Abroad’s Shanghai Summer study abroad program offers enrollment in IES Abroad courses, housing in either apartments or homestays with Chinese families, cultural activities in Shanghai, and a field trip to Beijing. Discover what it’s like to live in China’s largest business center, and gain a deeper knowledge of what it means to be a citizen of the world.


Upon arrival, IES Abroad provides you with a two-day orientation full of information about Shanghai and Chinese culture, as well as basic language instruction. The Resident Assistant helps you adjust to the city and make the most of living in China. Additional noteworthy activities include a welcome banquet and a session on navigating Chinese culture.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Shanghai, it will feel like home.

Campus hotel - Live in a double room with an IES Abroad roommate in the Xitianyou Hotel on Donghua University campus in west Shanghai.

This option does not include a meal plan, but you can eat inexpensively in the campus cafeteria or at nearby restaurants.

Homestays – Homestays offer the ideal environment for learning about China and improving your Chinese. While living in a local home may require an initial adjustment period, our Chinese homestay families are eager to get to know you and share their ideas, language, and culture.

You have a private bedroom and are provided two meals a day by your host family (breakfast and dinner) five days a week while the program is in session.

PLEASE NOTE: Homestay opportunities are extremely limited.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Shanghai through our cultural activities, such as:

  • Joining student clubs
  • Volunteering for community service
  • Watching professional soccer, baseball, and basketball teams
  • Boating on the Huangpo River
  • Visiting local museums and historic sites

Get to Know Your New City

1. Enjoy Local Festivals

Immerse yourself in Chinese customs and traditions at the Lantern Festival in the spring semester or the Shanghai Tourism Festival in the fall.

2. Eat & Shop in Xintiandi

Explore Xintiandi’s North and South Blocks, where the past meets present in this chic shopping and dining district.

3. Go on a Huangpu River Night Cruise

Take a boat ride around the Bund to see the beauty of Shanghai architecture in all its glory!

4. Visit Yuyuan Garden & City God Temple Bazaar

See the extensive Chinese garden with its classic architecture, beautiful sculptures and carvings, then walk the photogenic Nine-Bend Bridge that connects the two to shop and dine at the Bazaar.

5. Visit Shanghai Disneyland

It is a small world after all! Plan a trip to the famous Disney theme park, filled with attractions you know and love, and new ones, too.

Shanghai Summer - Intensive Language Application Requirements

Eligibility Requirements:

  • 18 years of age
  • In good standing at your home school
  • 2.5 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale (GPAs under 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-base basis)
  • Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing when program begins
  • No previous Chinese language study required

Application Requirements:

  • Online Application: Applications may be considered after the published deadline on a space available basis. Please note that late applicants may be required to submit a non-refundable confirmation deposit upon acceptance in order to secure a place in the program. Please contact us with questions about applying after the deadline.

Submit the following in your MyIESabroad account after your Online Application is processed:

  • Home School Authorization: Your on-campus study abroad advisor can either complete the Home School Authorization electronically through IES Abroad’s PartnerPortal system, or by filling out the PDF form linked above. Consult your study abroad advisor to determine how they would prefer to complete your Home School Authorization.
  • Official Transcript(s) for each college/university you have attended since high school. If you have multiple transcripts, IES Abroad will average the GPAs for all colleges/universities you have attended and use that cumulative GPA when reviewing your application.
  • Color Copy of valid passport photo page. Passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the program end date.
  • Students attending higher education institutions outside of the U.S. may need to submit English language proficiency exam results. Contact your IES Abroad Representative for more information.


  • Professor Recommendation Letter: Although there is no length requirement, the recommendation must indicate a professor’s opinion of the applicant’s academic ability to pursue university-level coursework in a foreign country, in addition to any information that would help IES Abroad gain a better understanding of the applicant.
  • Personal Academic Essay: Although there is no length requirement, the essay must address your GPA, any particular academic challenges faced, reasons you chose this IES Abroad program, and how it fits into your academic career.

Passport & Visa Requirements:

  • A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, with at least two blank pages is required. Visit travel.state.gov to locate U.S. passport agencies in your area.
  • A student visa is required to enter China. Upon admission, you will receive more information about the application process and any related fees. The visa application process for non-U.S. citizens can be extremely lengthy, please contact us for more information.


  • Language prerequisites: None
  • Language of Instruction: English, Chinese
  • Credits: 8-10 credits
  • Housing: Apartment, Homestay
  • Estimated Cost: $6,990
  • Upcoming Program Dates: Summer 2018: June 15 - August 11
  • Upcoming Application Deadlines: Summer 2019 - April 01, 2019
Program taught in:
  • English (US)
  • Chinese
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Last updated November 13, 2019
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