In Beijing, skyscrapers compete for space with historic temples and crowded courtyard homes, while bicycles have given way to countless cars. Although Mandarin Chinese is spoken in some form by the majority of China’s population, the form of Chinese spoken in Beijing is considered the standard, making it an ideal location for learning correct pronunciation. Offering an ideal environment for acquiring and improving Chinese language skills, the IES Abroad Beijing summer program provides intensive beginner, intermediate, advanced intermediate, and advanced level Chinese language courses.
IES Abroad’s Beijing Summer study abroad program offers enrollment in IES Abroad courses, housing in student residence halls, regular meetings with local students as language and culture partners, and field trips in Beijing and throughout China; you will have the opportunity to meet Chinese and international students alike. Starting at the IES Abroad Center on the west campus of Beijing Foreign Studies University, you will gain a meaningful cultural experience and a deeper knowledge of what it means to be a citizen of the world.
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 at the IES Abroad Beijing Center, located on the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) campus, and follow a campus-wide language pledge to maximize language learning.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
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.
IES Abroad Beijing organizes course-related excursions that complement what you’re learning in the classroom, and contribute to your general knowledge of Chinese culture and society.
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 Beijing, it will feel like home.
You will live in a double-occupancy, air-conditioned room in an international dorm on BFSU’s campus. Depending on availability and sequencing of the Chinese academic calendar, you may have the opportunity to live with a Chinese roommate from BFSU or get partnered with an IES Abroad roommate. You are responsible for your own meals.
Part of making you feel at home in Beijing is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
Upon arrival, IES Abroad provides you with a four-day orientation full of information about Beijing and Chinese culture, as well as basic language instruction. Native Chinese residents help you adjust to the city and make the most of living in China. Additional noteworthy activities include a welcome banquet, “Discover Beijing” scavenger hunt, “Chinese Food 101”, and a session on navigating Chinese culture.
Past activites have included:
Some activities may offer you the opportunity to meet Chinese students.
To complement classroom instruction, IES Abroad Beijing arranges a three-day mobile learning field trip led by language instructors and Center staff to Xi'an to see China's world famous Terracotta Warriors. In addition, there will be also an optional overnight trip to the Great Wall and various other weekend excursions and cultural events offered.
Optional Tibet Field Trip
An optional post-semester 8-10-day trip to Tibet is offered to all IES Beijing students. IES staff and a team of professional Tibetan guides will take you from the markets and temples of Lhasa to high mountain passes and camping by the shores of alpine lakes. We will visit sites including the Potala Palace, once the home of the Dalai Lamas; Jokhang Temple, the holiest site in Tibetan Buddhism; and the Sera Monastery where we will watch the monks participate in their daily debate ritual. Lodging will be in local hostels or sometimes camping in tents under the stars. Most meals and all local transportation is provided. Contact IES staff for information on pricing and schedule. The itinerary is subject to change or cancellation depending upon the political situation in Tibet.
NOTE: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and length of stay may vary according to term and availability.
About the Center
Our Center is located on the east campus of Beijing Foreign Studies University near BFSU’s library, gym, and Olympic-sized swimming pool. The Center is in Beijing’s northwestern district of Haidian, home to more than 20 universities and Beijing’s largest residential district.
Features of the IES Abroad Beijing Center include:
Zhao Ning 赵宁 graduated from the Northern University for Nationalities with a B.A. in the English language, and then received her M.A. in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Beijing Normal University. She has been working at the IES Abroad Beijing Center since 2006, and has taught Chinese language classes of all levels. In 2009, she became the Associate Director of the Beijing Center, and was promoted to Center Director in December 2014.
Ms. Zhao taught at Bucknell University from 2008-2009, and has been focusing her research on Chinese language pronunciation acquisition and teaching methodology ever since. As a member of ACTFL, her recent academic research has been on the Oral Proficiency Assessment. She took the OPI Tester Training in June 2014, and is pursuing a tester certificate.
IES Abroad Staff
Louis VonStudent Affairs Coordinator
Chuantao XiangOffice Assistant
IES Abroad language faculty are experienced Chinese language instructors from the Beijing Foreign Studies University and other universities such as Peking University, Qinghua University, and the Beijing Normal University. IES provides regular training in international second language teaching methods.
Area Studies Faculty
IES area studies faculty typically hold advanced degrees from prestigious Chinese or Western universities, have studied or taught at Western universities, have published in China and abroad, and currently hold positions at universities such as Peking University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, People's University, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.