Duke Study in China

Intensive Summer Language Program

Program Alert

This program has been cancelled for Summer 2020. Please reach out to GEO Program Manager Amy Bowes if you have any questions.


Two credits in one summer, plus optional business practicum

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Duke Study in China was inaugurated in 1982 and is one of the longest-running credit-granting programs in China administered by an American university. Based at the prestigious University of International Business and Economics in Beijing (UIBE), the program offers an intensive (two credits for 8 or 10 weeks of study) summer language program based in Beijing.

UIBE is located in the Chaoyang District of Beijing, which is convenient to downtown, and has a modern, well-designed, picturesque campus. Rated as one of the top universities in China according to the Ministry of Education, UIBE is an academic institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research in the fields of international trade, business, and economics. 

Program Highlights

  • Choose between the intensive language track (8 weeks) or business Chinese track with practicum (10 weeks)
  • Teacher-Student ratio of 1:3
  • Language pledge
  • Language partner program
  • Task-based learning activities
  • Weekend excursions to the Great Wall and other sites in and around Beijing
  • Mid-term program-sponsored trip to another part of China, usually Xi’an
  • Language, Films, and Society class for all levels

Recent Duke Study in China alumni share their experiences and discuss why the program was valuable.


Location: Beijing, China

Term: Summer (choice of 8-week or 10-week track)

Dates: 8-week program: May 31st - July 25th

Application Deadline: Extended to March 1st

Academic Theme(s): Chinese Language, History, and Culture

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Students are required to have the equivalent of one year of college-level Mandarin Chinese, a GPA of 3.0 or above, and a grade of B- or above in all Chinese language classes prior to entering the program. Students who meet the language proficiency requirement without having previously taken formal Chinese classes are eligible. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Duke Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI)

Housing: UIBE Campus dormitory

GEO Advisor: Carolyn Covalt

  • Duke Study in China group picture on the Great Wall

  • Duke Study in China students learning fan dance

  • Duke Study in China students learning about Chinese tea

  • Duke Study in China students learning Chinese calligraphy

  • Duke Study in China weekly 'language table' session

  • Duke Study in China students learning how to play mahjong

  • Duke Study in China in-class language practice

  • Duke Study in China students talking to the locals

  • Duke Study in China mid-term trip to Xi’an

  • Duke Study in China student learning Chinese calligraphy

  • Students on the Great Wall of China

Program Alert

The business practicum will not be offered in summer 2020.


Duke University awards credit equivalent to two semester-length courses for successful completion of the program. If you are not a Duke student please check with your university to see if these credits will be accepted and to find out about the process for transferring credits.

  • Language Track
  • Business Track

Language Track

Intensive Language Program (8 weeks)

Students pursuing the 8-week intensive language track (without practicum) will take one of the following Chinese courses, which is equal to two semester-length courses:

CHINESE 223A - 224A   
Intensive Progress in Chinese (Equivalent to 2nd year Chinese)
(FL) 2.0 credits

Text Used: A New China: Intermediate Reader of Modern Chinese

This course aims to deepen the students' knowledge of fundamental Chinese grammar as well as to develop productive skills in the written and spoken language on a range of topics at an intermediate level. Students will learn to read informational texts and extended narratives and write descriptive texts of their own. Students will then use these skills in practical situations outside the university, encouraging real-life understanding of different patterns of communication and social interaction.

CHINESE 325A - 326A
Advanced Progress in Chinese
(Equivalent to 3rd year Chinese)
(CCI, FL) 2.0 credits

Text Used: All Things Considered: Advanced Reader of Modern Chinese

This course consists of two tracks: One for learners of Chinese as a second language and one for the Chinese heritage learners. This course continues the development of more advanced Chinese language skills. It further enhances the students’ competency and literacy in Chinese by exposure to wider vocabulary and more complex grammar. Students will expand the sophistication of their grammar usage and vocabulary and produce texts of greater length and complexity. Focusing on issues of social and cultural significance in China encourages a deepening of cultural literacy and interpretive skills. Maximum opportunity is given to put this knowledge to use in meaningful conversation and writing.

CHINESE 427A - 428A
Intensive Advanced Chinese
(Equivalent to 4th year Chinese)
(CCI, FL, ALP) 2.0 credits

Text used: The Routledge Advanced Chinese Multimedia Course Crossing Cultural Boundaries

This course provides an introduction to more complex vocabulary and syntax with special attention given to Chinese cultural and socio-political issues. The fine points of grammar, complex speech patterns, and idiomatic expressions are treated in depth, with emphasis on using these structures in composition and conversation. Students will also learn the social and historical background necessary to understand these cultural forms. Content for the course is drawn from newspaper articles, essays, literary excerpts, films, television, and websites.

Business Track

Business Chinese Track with Practicum (10 weeks)

Students who opt to pursue the 10-week Business Chinese Track with Practicum will take one of the following Chinese courses, which is equal to two semester-length courses:

Business/Interculture in China 
(CCI, FL, CZ) 2.0 credits

Pre-requisite: CHINESE 325A

Designed for students enrolled in the Duke Study in China–Business Chinese Track with Practicum. Introduction to topics related to recruitment, business negotiation, e-commerce, logistics management, international investment, etc. with specialized terminology for the Chinese-speaking workplace. Focus on oral, written, and intercultural communication, product marketing, business practices and protocols, and case studies in mainland Chinese society.  

The Culture of Business and Economics in Chinese 
(CZ, CCI, FL) 2.0 credits

Pre-requisite: CHINESE 427A or equivalent

Designed for students enrolled in the Duke Study in China–Business Chinese Track with Practicum. Introduction to topics related to business and efficiency, enterprise management, international trade, economic regulations, environmental protection and economic development in the Chinese business context, and specialized terminology for the Chinese-speaking workplace.  Focus on oral, written, and intercultural communication, product marketing, business practices and protocols, and case studies in mainland Chinese society.  

Business Chinese track with Practicum

Duke Study in China offers a 10-week Business Chinese Track for eligible fourth year Chinese students  and advanced third year students (interview required). This track, launched in the summer of 2017, builds upon the longstanding Duke in China intensive language program to include a three-week full-time work-based practica in Beijing. Students will participate in the on-the-job practica in tandem with a Business Chinese course.

The purpose of the Business Chinese Track is to:

  • Further develop students’ communication skills in Chinese.
  • Help students understand Chinese business culture.
  • Gain real work experience in China.
  • Practicum
  • Schedule
  • Placement


Internship Opportunity

This track offers students the opportunity to gain international internship experience and utilize their Chinese language skills in a professional environment. Through this internship, you will gain valuable professional skills for career development and achieve a cultural understanding of China and Chinese business practices. 

The internship will start in late July and end in early to mid-August. 

Students participating in the Business Chinese Track with Practicum pay two program fees: the standard Duke Study in China Program Fee, plus an Internship Program Fee.


    Week-by-Week Schedule

    Weeks 1-7: During the first 7 weeks of the program, students who are selected for the business track will take intensive Chinese and Business Chinese classes.

    Week 8: Students will work full-time from Monday through Thursday, and attend the program graduation ceremony on Friday.

    During this part of the program, students will receive four contact hours of formal instruction in the classroom. They will meet with a language partner (LP) outside of the classroom twice a week for an hour to discuss assigned class topics and their work experience. Students will only speak Mandarin at the LP meeting.

    Weeks 9-10: Students will then stay on for an additional two weeks to work full-time at their internships.


    Placement Process

    Eligible students who are in their third or fourth year of Chinese and are accepted in the Duke Study in China program should answer the internship questionnaire located in the online program application in 'My Global Ed'.

    Once you are accepted to Duke Study in China, program staff will inform you of the internship placement process.  

    Internship Sectors

    The following is a sample list of a variety of sectors where you can apply for an internship placement:

    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Finance
    • Green Technology
    • Health
    • IT
    • Marketing/PR
    • Media & Creative Industries
    • NGO/Charities



    Students will live in a dormitory on the UNC-Wilmington campus.


    The program will include lunches Monday through Friday and dinners on Sundays at the UNC-W dining hall. Students should budget to cover the cost of all breakfasts, lunches Saturday and Sunday, and dinners Monday through Saturday. Students can purchase food at one of the many on-campus restaurants and cafés, or at nearby grocery stores.


    These costs are estimated based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.

    Summer 2020

      Duke Students Non-Duke Students
    Tuition $7,158 $7,158
    Program Fee $1,015 $1,015
    Internship Program Fee $2,000* $2,000*
    Transcript Fee N/A $120
    Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
    TOTAL (Estimated) $12,638.00 $12,758.00

    *Students participating in the Business Chinese Track with Practicum pay an Internship Program Fee in addition to the standard Program Fee. This internship fee covers internship placement, onsite supervision, as well as the extra two weeks of dormitory housing. 

    Explanation of Costs

    Financial Aid

    Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

    Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.


    This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:

    Duke student Noah Lanier reciting a poem on the Duke Study in China program


    Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.

    8-Week Intensive Language Program

    • Arrival: May 31, 2020
    • Departure: July 25, 2020

    10-Week Business Chinese Track with Practicum

    • Arrival: May 29, 2020
    • Departure: August 8, 2020


    You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above. Once you have a flight itinerary, log in to MyGlobalEd to update your travel registry.

    Housing Before/After

    You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.



    In the spring and prior to departure, all enrolled students will be given detailed instructions on the process for obtaining the required visa for the program. Students wishing to stay in China for more than six months will be required to obtain a different type of visa for their extended stay.

    Non U.S. citizens should pay special attention to the visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting their country embassy to find out if any visa restrictions are in effect. It will be the student's responsibility to follow their country's requirements for procuring the proper visa for the Duke Study in China program and to communicate this information in a timely manner with the Duke Global Education Office and Asian Pacific Studies Institute (APSI).

    To locate the closest Chinese consulate office to you, please consult the map on the Chinese Embassy website.


    All participants must have a valid passport and visa to be able to participate on the Duke Study in China summer program. For instructions on ordering or renewing a passport, you can go the U.S. State Department website.


    The Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI), in conjunction with Duke University's Global Education Office for Undergraduates, coordinates the Duke Study in China program.

    For questions, comments, and requests for more information, please contact APSI using the contact information below.

    Asian/Pacific Studies Institute
    Duke University
    John Hope Franklin Center
    2204 Erwin Road
    Box 90411
    Durham, NC 27708-0411
    Telephone: (919) 684-2604
    Fax: (919) 681-7966
    E-mail: china-abroad@duke.edu

    Program Faculty & Staff

    Fan Liu

    Senior Lecturer of Chinese, Yale University

    Amy Bowes

    GEO Asst. Director & Regional Manager

    Tianshu He

    Lecturer in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

    Alex Nickley

    APSI Program Coordinator


    Deadline: Extended to March 1st

    This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.

    Minimum GPA: Students are required to have a GPA of 3.0 or above. Students are required to have a grade of B- or above in all Chinese language classes prior to entering the program.

    Eligibility: Students are required to have the equivalent proficiency of one year of college-level Mandarin Chinese. Students with questions regarding their equivalency may contact the APSI program coordinator at china-abroad@duke.edu

    Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at the time of their participation in the program.

    Priority: Because the Duke Study in China program is intensive, we look for applicants who are serious about learning Chinese and learning about China. Priority is given to applicants who apply early and meet the prerequisites.

    Non-Duke students: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.


    Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

    Submit the following items using MyGlobalEd

    1. Online application
    2. Chinese language instructor recommendation** 
    3. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
    4. Personal statement
    5. For non-Duke student applicants, additional pre-acceptance application materials such as a Chinese audio file, writing sample, and a 'Home College/University Approval Form' are required. Instructions for submitting these items are provided in MyGlobalEd.

    **Students who have not taken formal Chinese courses but meet the language proficiency requirement may request a letter of recommendation from a non-language faculty member.  Yale Light Fellows will receive specific instructions from the Light Fellowship regarding this requirement.


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