Business, Language + Culture in Shanghai, China (CIEE)

  • Location: China - Shanghai
  • GPA Requirements: 2.5 GPA
  • Other Requirements: 3 or more semesters of college level micro or macroeconomics, accounting, finances, management or marketing.
  • Application Deadline: February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs
  • Program Term(s): Fall, Spring
  • Official Website: Business, Language + Culture in Shanghai, China (CIEE)
Program Dates
Term Start Date End Date
Spring 2024 February 25th, 2024 June 8th, 2024
Fall 2024 September 1st, 2024 December 14th, 2024
Spring 2025 June 7th, 2025

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

Where: Shanghai

Perched on the banks of the Huangpu River and the East China Sea, Shanghai is China’s largest city by population, and a global hub of culture, commerce, and finance. Massively redeveloped over the past 20 years, the city boasts many of the world’s latest and greatest. The list includes: uber-tall buildings stretching up in the new financial district; and the world’s fastest-growing rapid-transit system featuring the world’s first commercial high-speed Maglev train.


Courses are focused on contemporary business issues affecting China and the role of the world’s second largest economy on international business today. Company site visits and other networking opportunities allow students to apply theories learned in class and contextualize the country’s economic rise within China’s largest business hub. Students investigate pressing business issues and trends with some of China’s most respected professors, such as Oliver Yang, the corporate social responsibility and government relations manager for the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Students who have not completed one semester of college-level Chinese or demonstrate equivalent proficiency must take Conversational Chinese.

CIEE Global Institute – Shanghai is located on East China Normal University (ECNU)’s downtown Putuo campus, which is known as the “Garden University” for its beautiful grounds by the Liwa River. Chinese language courses are taught by full-time CIEE faculty members, including the CIEE language director, and adjunct teachers from the East China Normal University College of International Chinese Studies. A committee of specialists in teaching Chinese as a second language holds these courses to the highest educational standards.

All Chinese language courses and area studies electives are managed by CIEE and are designed exclusively for CIEE study abroad students. Some area study courses may include a limited number of ECNU students to increase cross-cultural and academic exchange.

Students must take 4-5 courses, for a total of 15 U.S. semester credits, including:
2 business courses
2-3 additional courses from the following:
Additional business courses
A Chinese language course
Elective courses in English or Chinese
Organizational Internship
Directed Independent Research

Academic Structure

The semester is 15 weeks long and includes a one-week orientation, 12 weeks of instruction, a group cultural excursion, a one-week program break for independent travel, and typically, one national holiday. Courses take place Monday through Thursday for two to four hours with occasional course-related field trips on Fridays and weekends. Class sizes range from 4 to 20 students and are typically co-taught by head language instructors and assistant language instructors. Students also meet with peer tutors for structured tutorials for at least two hours per week. All Chinese language courses, business electives, and area studies electives are managed by CIEE and specially designed for CIEE study abroad students. Some area study courses may include a limited number of ECNU students to increase cross-cultural and academic exchange.

Course Credit

CIEE courses: 3 semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
CIEE language courses: 6 semester/9 quarter credits; 90 contact hours
CIEE Organizational Internship: 3 semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 seminar hours, 100-120 internship placement hours
CIEE Directed Independent Research: 3 semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 contact hours, 100-120 research hours


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


3 or more semesters of college level micro or macroeconomics, accounting, finances, management or marketing. Students who are citizens of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan ROC, Hong Kong SAR, or Macau are welcome and should contact the CIEE Study Abroad Advisor about special entry requirements.

Housing & Student Life

Students have the option of a home stay (ideal for students who want to make rapid progress with their language skills, host families will only speak Chinese) or a residence hall. In the residence hall students may choose to live with a Chinese ECNU student, or another CIEE student on the ECNU campus. Meal options depend on the type of housing selected. Students living with host families will eat most meals with their family, but should budget for lunch and weekend meals on their own. Students living in a residence hall must be prepared to pay their own meal costs on-site in China.

Fees & Costs

Students pay Allegheny tuition, double room and an off campus study fee of $800. Allegheny financial aid, except work/study, is applied to program costs. Tuition includes housing, international travel insurance (CIEE iNext), airport meet and greet, orientation, 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 halls, some meals if with homestay), CIEE application fee, books and supplies (approx. $50), visa fees, international airfare & local transportation, and personal expenses.

Visa & Immigration information

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

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.