Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs

China - CET Intensive Chinese Language, Beijing


Program Location: Beijing, China
Duration: Spring and Fall
Program Information and Dates

Flights should be not be booked based on the dates above. It is recommended to wait until the program has issued specific arrival information.

Map courtesy of CIA World Factbook

Program Overview

The growing strategic importance of the world's relationship with China has prompted the US government to recognize the importance of study abroad, particularly in China. According to the State Department website, "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially launched the initiative in May 2010 in Beijing. The Chinese government strongly supports the initiative and committed 10,000 'Bridge Scholarships' for American students to study in China." The program is called the "100,000 Strong Initiative." Clark University supports study abroad in China with Clark-affiliated study abroad programs in Beijing and Shanghai. Upon request of the student, the Study Abroad Director may also approve additional study locations with non-Clark affiliated-programs.

China has 3,000 years of richly documented social, political, and cultural history. Today, it is home to one of the world's fastest growing economies. Clark University and The College of the Holy Cross, in cooperation with CET Academic Programs, offer a 20-week program in Beijing at the Beijing Institute of Education (BIE). This opportunity is open to students who have completed a minimum of three semesters of Chinese language study before departure. The program is specifically designed to enhance students' pragmatic competence in Mandarin Chinese by exposing them to intensive language classes. To enhance their language progress, students will receive individual lessons.

The CET-Beijing program is a rigorous language-training curriculum. During the January Term, students should be prepared for up to 30 hours per week of language instruction. There are three levels, intermediate, advanced intermediate, and advanced. Each day includes one class focusing on spoken skills and one class focusing on reading or writing skills. These core classes are enhanced by a series of quizzes, oral reports, and a Chinese Language Practicum. The second part of the program includes 16-20 class hours of Chinese language instruction per week. Extensive memorization of characters is required. All courses have quizzes, a mid-term, and a final examination to monitor students' progress. Clark students will participate in a Field Project, providing students with a unique inside look into life in China. Students conduct interviews, write short papers and participate in oral presentations on a supervised topic of their choice.

All Clark University students participate in the Chinese Roommate Program which allows Clark University students to interact with their Chinese peers in informal, comfortable settings. All participants will make a pledge to only speak Chinese in the dormitories (language pledge). Students live in simple, double-occupancy rooms in one of the college's foreign student dorms. Students also learn more about China by visiting several important cultural and historic sites in and around Beijing throughout the five-month program. There are also opportunities to attend performances like the Chinese Opera and acrobatics. Depending on the students' fluency, many scheduled activities are Chinese language-only and challenge students to utilize their recently formed language skills outside the classroom. Students may choose to enroll in free extra-curricular courses. In the past, these have included Chinese cooking, painting, calligraphy, martial arts, Chinese chess, and various others.

Clark Credit

Participating students 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. The program is divided into two parts—the January Term and the Spring Semester. The January Term is an intensive month involving 20-30 hours per week of language and culture instruction, with a mix of tutorials and excursions. Students will then continue on to the Spring Semester, where they will continue to take intensive language courses. Please check with the Study Abroad Office to ensure transferability of credit.


All applicants must fulfill Clark University's eligibility requirements. In order to be considered for this program, you must have completed 3 semesters of college-level Mandarin. students mus also be prepared to 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 host institution 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 2014-15

  • Housing - $2,650
  • Meals - $ 1265
  • *Personal Expenses - $1,400
  • Airfare - $1,650
  • Books and Supplies - $300

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 Deadlines

Study abroad applicants must schedule an appoint with a study abroad advisor the semester before the application deadline, or two semesters/one year before planning to be abroad. Application information will be provided at this meeting. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted, and retrospective credit will not be granted.

  • Fall semester application deadline - February 15
  • Spring semester application deadline - September 15

Important Information

For more information about this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office at 508.793.7363.

Any information on this page is subject to change.