Since 1998, The Beijing Center (TBC) has provided a unique environment for students from all over the world to begin their engagement with China. TBC’s mission is to promote mutual understanding and interaction between China and other cultures. Following in the footsteps of Jesuits like Matteo Ricci, an Italian Jesuit who first came to Beijing in 1601, The Beijing Center offers an outstanding immersive semester abroad program that includes intensive language and course studies, a professional internship program, unparalleled opportunities for cultural immersion, and academic excursions each semester that give you a well-rounded understanding of China.
If you’ve never been, Beijing is a wonderful place to study and intern – vibrant professional and social scenes, easy public transportation, low cost of living, delicious food, and a great hub if you want to explore other parts of China or Asia. No previous Chinese language study is required, and with over 20 English taught courses
a semester, you’ll find classes that fit your major and general university requirements. Based on a Chinese university campus in the heart of Beijing, you’ll be fully immersed in campus life, and you have the option to live with a Chinese roommate if you choose.
One of the unique components of a semester at TBC is the academic excursion offered each fall and spring. A highlight of the program, the excursions allow students to explore and experience the diversity of China. In the fall, we take a journey along the ancient Silk Road
trading route. Traveling more than 2,000 miles across China, students will discover China’s “Wild West”. From the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an, to the oasis town of Kashgar, students will encounter Tibetan and Muslim nomads, and witness the thriving contemporary trade and cultural exchange between China and Central Asia.
In the spring, it’s a trip to Yunnan Province
in Southern China where students will live, learn and share in the rich and diverse cultures of China’s ethnic minorities. From village homestays and to hikes on the Tibetan plateau, to exploring a tropical rainforest and celebrating the Chinese Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), Yunnan is unlike anywhere else in China. Both excursions are a required part of the TBC semester and are included in tuition.
The Beijing Center is far more than a typical study abroad program; it is a study China in China
program. In addition to learning Chinese and improving your skills in the language, you will take classes with China experts, professors, and practitioners who will challenge you to look beyond and consider China from a new perspective. With more than 20 seminar style classes offered each semester
(taught in English), you’re sure to find courses that fulfill degree and major requirements, all while preparing you for a variety of careers in the global marketplace. View the full course list on The Beijing Center website here
While previous Chinese language experience is not required, everyone at TBC is required to take a Chinese course. TBC offers four levels of Chinese: beginner, intermediate, advanced and advanced conversational. It is highly recommended that students consider taking 2 consecutive Chinese courses while at TBC (for a total of 6 credits), but students can choose which level and intensity fits them best. Studying Chinese is difficult, so to assist you in your study, TBC provides each student with a Chinese language tutor. Through practice with your tutor, conversation with your Chinese roommate, ordering meals and interacting with TBC and UIBE staff, you will find numerous opportunities for language immersion and growth. For those who have studied Chinese, a short placement test in Beijing during orientation week will confirm students’ Chinese level.
In addition to TBC courses, students can experience China beyond the classroom through TBC’s semester internship program
. Working at your internship site between 10 and 16 hours a week, you’ll gain work experience and learn more about China’s professional culture through interactions with Chinese and international colleagues. Throughout the semester, you’ll meet regularly with other internship students to present on your work projects and reflect on your experience. At the end of the program, you’ll showcase your work and have a global experience to add to your resume. Internship placements are competitive and depend on factors including previous work experience, academic success, and language skills. Opportunities are available in all areas and industries, and interested students are advised to apply early.
The Beijing Center is located on the campus of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), a medium sized Chinese university ranked among the highest in China in the disciplines of economics and finance. UIBE has an enrollment of over 13,000 students and almost 3,000 of those are international students. Despite its location in a residential neighborhood between the 3rd
ring roads, UIBE is also close to the center of the city and public transportation is easily accessible.
TBC students live on campus in UIBE’s International Student Residence Hall. Standard rooms are double occupancy equipped with in-room, western-style bathrooms. Single rooms and apartment-style rooms are available at an additional cost. All housing options include:
- Wireless Internet
- 24-hour laundry room
- Access to TBC’s private lounge
- Bed linens and towels
- Furnished (bed, desk, chair, table, closet per student)
- Mini-refrigerator and TV
TBC students also have the option to live with a Chinese roommate if they choose. Our Chinese roommates help TBC students understand the language, customs and culture of China, and create an environment for cultural exchange and growth. Chinese roommates are another unique element of a semester at TBC, and students who choose a Chinese roommate often develop close friendships that continue long beyond their semester in China.
Food in Beijing is plentiful, delicious, and affordable. On campus there are cafeterias, restaurants, coffee shops, and a convenience store where you can find fruit, beverages and snacks. You can also eat at one of the many restaurants within walking distance of campus surrounding UIBE’s East and West gates. At most of these restaurants a dish typically costs three or four US dollars. Students generally budget $1,000 to $1,500 USD for meals for the duration of the semester. You can take a look at TBC students' favorite spots around town on their Food Blog here
TBC works closely with your home university regarding program tuition and financial aid, and we have made agreements with many universities so that financial aid from your university is transferable to our program. If you’re receiving U.S. Federal Aid, it will carry with you to TBC as well. There are also scholarship opportunities
available each semester.
Your TBC tuition and fees cover the following:
- 12-19 credit hours
- Two-week academic excursion
- Standard double-occupancy housing (furnished)
- International Health Insurance (required)
- Airport pickup and drop-off
- 24-hour on-site program support
- Orientation week in Beijing
- Individual Chinese language tutor
- Some day trips and activities around Beijing
- Initial meal stipend
Most students are surprised to find how affordable a semester in China can be and many report that living in China is cheaper than a semester at their home university. Of course, spending habits will vary greatly depending on personal preference. All students are responsible for their own airfare. Currently, a roundtrip flight to Beijing can cost as little as $500 from some major U.S. cities. Additionally, students should expect to pay passport and visa costs, textbooks (which must be purchased before coming to China) and most meals. WIFI is included in housing, but students are responsible for electricity and water bills. Most students also choose to buy a local cell phone and number for use throughout the semester. Any local transportation, optional trips and entertainment, and personal souvenirs are the responsibility of the student. Please see our website for a more detailed breakdown of estimated semester costs.
From the 800-year-old hutong alleys at the heart of the city to the booming business district of Guomao and the modern stadiums of Olympic Park, Beijing offers a unique mix of old juxtaposed with new. During your semester at TBC, you’ll have the chance to discover all that Beijing has to offer thanks to easy access to public transportation including subways, buses, taxis, bikes and even rickshaws. More on Life in Beijing here
In addition, TBC’s Student Development team
helps you learn more about your new city by organizing a full calendar of events each semester. Assisted by some of TBC’s Chinese roommates, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy various kinds of activities and events, from acrobatic shows and cooking classes, to visiting local sites like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven.
Students can also volunteer throughout the semester. While the types of volunteer activities vary, recent semester students have volunteered with migrant children and taught English to local Chinese students. Check with our Student Development team for more information about current volunteer opportunities.