Intensive Chinese Language in Beijing, China (CIEE)

  • Location: China - Beijing
  • GPA Requirements: 2.75 GPA
  • Other Requirements: 4 semesters college level Chinese
  • Application Deadline: February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs
  • Program Term(s): Fall, Spring
  • Official Website: Intensive Chinese Language in Beijing, China (CIEE)
Program Dates
Term Start Date End Date
Spring 2024 February 22nd, 2024 June 5th, 2024
Fall 2024 September 1st, 2024 December 12th, 2024
Spring 2025 May 31st, 2025

*These dates are tentative. Confirm program dates before booking travel.

Where: Beijing, China

With a population of 22 million and counting, people from all over China and the world have flocked to this cultural center, as China’s economy and international power have grown. A fascinating blend of the very old and the ultra-modern, it’s home to 15th-century treasures like the Hall of Supreme Harmony and stunners like Beijing National Stadium, a.k.a. the Bird’s Nest. The jam-packed cosmopolitan city buzzes with a lively arts scene, and boasts a record number of top research institutions and technology companies.


CIEE’s Intensive Chinese Language program is designed to help students improve fluency in spoken and written Mandarin through intensive language training. Students can also take one course instructed in English to enrich their understanding of China. Chinese language courses and Chinese language electives are taught by faculty from the School of Teaching Chinese as the Second Language, Peking University. Area studies electives are taught by CIEE faculty, other local Chinese scholars, and/or international scholars residing in Beijing.

Every student is required to take a CIEE required language practicum and two Chinese language courses. The remaining courses are 1-2 CIEE and/or Peking University elective courses (maximum of 1 CIEE elective course can be taken in English)

Academic Structure

Students attend language classes in two-hour blocks, Monday through Friday, for a total of 12-20 hours per week. With electives, students are in class for 18-20 hours a week. Chinese classes include CIEE and other international students. CIEE electives are open to only CIEE students. Required language courses: Course are divided into three levels – Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced, with two sub-levels for Elementary and three sub-levels for Intermediate and Advanced. Higher-level courses tend to have shorter class times. Classroom size for required language courses varies from 10 to 20 students. Language electives meet 2 or 4 hours a week and have 20-40 students, depending on the topic. Due to the program running according to the U.S. academic calendar, students do not take a final exam, mid-term exam can weigh up to 70% of total grades.

Course Credit

CIEE elective courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
Chinese language courses: 4.5-6 U.S. semester/6.75-9 quarter credits; 67-112 contact hours
Peking University elective courses: 1.5-4.5 U.S. semester/3-7.5 quarter credits; 30-72 contact hours


For a full list of course offerings, visit CIEE’s website here.


2.75 G.PA. 2 semester of college-level Chinese or equivalent, 1 college level Chinese area studies course is recommended.

Students with more than five years of college-level Mandarin Chinese and students with near-native fluency may not be appropriate for this program and should consider an advanced study program. Intensive Chinese Language students may not transfer to the Advanced Chinese Studies program after arriving in Beijing.

Citizens of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan ROC, Hong Kong SAR, or Macao (includes permanent U.S. residents) cannot apply for this program

Housing & Student Life

Homestays. The option to live with a host family is ideal for students who want to establish relationships with Chinese people, live in a total Chinese language environment, and make rapid progress in Chinese language and culture study. Students have their own bedroom and share the living room, kitchen, and bathroom (some have private bath). Host families live within a 45-minute commute of campus. Family members speak only Chinese. Students are invited to family meals about four times during the week, and should budget for other meals, including lunch on campus.

Residence Halls. Zhongguanyuan Global Village at PKU has inviting comfortable accommodations. Students live in suite-style units with one or two roommates (CIEE students or other international students). Each student has a private bedroom and shared living space and bathroom. Internet access and share kitchens included. Meals are not included. Students typically eat at student cafeterias or at inexpensive restaurants on and around campus.

Visa & Immigration information

If you are a U.S. citizen, you will apply for a visa before departing the United States; please consult with CIEE regarding the visa process. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact the Chinese consulate in your home country for visa requirements.

Fees & Costs

Students pay Allegheny tuition, double room and an off campus study fee of $800. Allegheny financial aid, except work study/campus employment, is applied to program costs. Tuition includes international travel insurance (CIEE iNext), field trips, and transcript administration fees. Allegheny students do not have to pay the program deposit requested by CIEE. Estimated additional costs include: meals for students in residence hall, and additional meals outside of home stay (approx. $1,100), CIEE application fee, books and supplies (approx. $50), international airfare & local transportation (approx. $1,600), and personal expenses.

Application Process

Allegheny students must apply for approval to study off-campus from the Global Education office AND apply directly to their chosen program.For this program, students should work on the Allegheny approval application at the same time as the host program application. The Allegheny approval application deadline is February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs. Study away approval applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. The separate application deadline to apply directly to this program will vary and could be before or after Allegheny’s approval application due date. Check directly on their website (linked at the top of this page) for deadline information. For more information about the study away application process, please visit the application steps page.