CET Beijing Study Abroad

CET Beijing: At-A-Glance

20 hours/week of intensive Chinese language
One-on-ones with an instructor
Full-time language pledge
Out-of-class learning and assignments
Traveling Seminar to a new city
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Semester study abroad students at CET Beijing are hard-working and dedicated to immersing themselves in Chinese culture to improve their language skills. With an intensive curriculum, a full-time language pledge, and a local roommate who brings language practice into your home life, you will see language gains that astonish you.

Academics in Beijing


Curriculum & Syllabi

You are placed into the appropriate level of Chinese language for a total of 17 recommended credits.

Novice & Intermediate Chinese

You are placed into this 14-credit course:
BJ/LANG 300: Pre-Advanced Chinese

Then you choose one of these 3-credit electives:
BJ/LANG 320: Intermediate Chinese Newspaper
BJ/LANG 340: Intermediate Business Chinese

You are placed into one of these 11-credit courses:

You also take this corresponding 3-credit course:

Then you choose one of these 3-credit electives:

student writing on white board

Your Chinese will grow by leaps & bounds

Intensive language learning. You take 20 hours/week of Chinese language classes with some of the best teachers in the field. Your hours are broken up between core classes, where you focus as a group on grammar, drill, and discussion, and supplementary hours where you get more individualized attention. Twice a week, you have a one-on-one with an instructor to cover anything you’re struggling with in class or engage in further discussion about what you’re learning.

Beijing as your classroom. Study abroad is about experiencing it all. Your classes get you practicing your Chinese out in the city, where it counts. At least twice a semester, you have a week-long language practicum. You focus in-depth on a topic like the lives of Chinese senior citizens, youth dating culture, or gender equality.

Traveling Seminar: Learning in Chengdu

Take learning on the road as you spend five days exploring another side of China. Join your peers, teachers, and staff as you travel to Chengdu in the Sichuan province and explore ancient literature, Sichuanese cuisine, community development, and even the local panda research center. Head back to Beijing with a well-rounded understanding of Chengdu’s culture and a more comprehensive familiarity of China at large.

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You might be interested in:

Housing and Meals

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Living Like a Local

Local Roommates. You have the option to live with a local student from Capital Normal University. Let them show you their favorite spots around the city. Learn which apps to download for daily life in Beijing or ask what slang locals have been using lately. Sharing a room with a local roommate brings language learning into your home life and gives you instant insider’s access to the city. Learn more about living with local roommates.

Eating in Beijing. For meals, take your pick of the budget-friendly campus cafeterias and neighborhood restaurants. And don’t forget to find your favorite Peking Duck spot—you’re living in Beijing after all. Feeling like a home-cooked meal? Have a night in with your roommate and trade cooking tips as you prepare dinner together in the dorm shared kitchen. Learn more about accommodating your dietary needs in Beijing. 

students and local roommates out to lunch

Life in Beijing

boat on river

You can’t experience China without spending time in Beijing. Historical and cultural sites meet the modern comforts of a globalized, first-tier city. And as the country’s capital, you can find communities, cultures, and cuisines from all over China. Join retirees playing mahjong in city parks. Dabble in the online gaming culture and make some friends along the way. Explore the hutongs (traditional alleyways) after class. Use your language skills to haggle at the Pearl Market. And on the weekends, explore the rest of China with friends via high-speed rail.

Experience Beijing with CET

Around the city. Each term, the program offers different extra-curricular activities that let you see the city, learn about Chinese culture, or just unwind with your classmates and roommates. Learn traditional Chinese painting techniques. See a Chinese improv show. Explore the 798 Art District with a fine arts student. Enjoy the scenery as you hike an unrestored section of the Great Wall. And there’s even more to see on your own.

A Weekend Away. Enjoy worry-free travel with CET-hosted trips that take you out of Beijing. You might join your roommates on a trip to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors, Hangzhou to hike around the visit beautiful West Lake, or travel to Nanjing to walk on the ancient city wall. Every term is different. Half the fun is getting there. Playing cards on an overnight train ride is a great way to make new friends. 

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Student Resources

"On a warm Wednesday afternoon, our teachers take us to the National Museum (国家博物馆), where our task is to understand more about the period of Reform and Opening Up (改革开放) in China. We take the subway, and when we come up from underground, I see Tiananmen Square rise into view from across the street, unwavering in autumn morning heat."

— Dominic Bellido,
Colby College | Fall student

"Starting at the beginner class was challenging—I lost my personality at the beginning but gained much more than my personality at the end. I learn about north versus southern Chinese culture and language, where the locals eat, how to make jokes, have the confidence to ask questions/join clubs, meet new friends outside of CET, dream in Chinese, to be able to travel using Chinese, this list could go on forever."

— Veronica Lopez, University of Kansas
Academic Year student

"I went from knowing no Chinese at all to being able to hold a conversation with others in Chinese and navigate my daily life in a Chinese-speaking country. This program has provided me a strong foundation from which to continue building my Chinese-language skills, which is exactly what I wanted out of this experience."

— Abby Dieter,
University of Kansas | Fall student

"I finally really do feel like I'm making progress, especially as I have more conversations with non-CET Chinese people. That's when I feel the most like I'm getting better. I felt stuck for the first month or so, and now I don't."

—Tor Parsons,
Lewis & Clark College | Fall student

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On-site Staff

Zhu Li- Director of China Programs

Zhu Li
Director of China Programs

Drew Kunard
Resident Director

"The classes are challenging in a good way—I really feel like my Chinese is being put to the test constantly. It's trial by fire, but I didn't expect it not to be."

— Tor Parsons,
Lewis & Clark College | Fall student

Program Fees



What's Included

All of your classes and program-related learning are included with your tuition.

We arrange for you to live in a dormitory with a CET peer. Your program fees go toward rent, furnishing, and other management costs. 

From pre-departure to orientation, from on site to re-entry, CET provides you with the support you need every step of the way. 

We guide you step-by-step through the visa process. You’ll need to do the legwork, but we pay the consular fees if you obtain your visa through the service we recommend.

You’re provided with a comprehensive insurance plan through GeoBlue that even includes medical evacuation coverage.

The activities and excursions that we arrange are included in your program fee. All you need to do is remember to bring your camera!

Your textbooks and course supplies are covered and waiting for you on site.

You’ll receive an official transcript jointly issued by CET and CNU. If your home institution requires a School of Record transcript, CET is able to provide one through the University of Minnesota. 

More on finances

students posing in front of city street
Program Fee Breakdown. Of the total program fee, $14,712 goes to tuition and fees, and $3,678 goes to housing and other student life fees.

Local Cost of Living. Day-to-day cost of living has increased in recent years and is now generally considered on par with US cities. Some meals and transit are often cheaper, but western comforts (restaurants, coffee, etc.) cost about the same or more than they do in the US.

Estimated out-of-pocket expenses: 

How to Apply

We are excited to announce that our mainland China programs have reopened! Hear from current students on the Student Voices blog

• Pre-requisites: None. Open to students of any Chinese level, including absolute beginners
• Must be 18 or older at the time of program participation.
• Open to students from any US college or university
• GPA: 3.0 or higher is recommended, students with lower GPAs will be asked for a faculty recommendation to supplement their application
• Open to all levels of Chinese, from absolute beginner to advanced

Complete the application through your online CET account. This is a brief form that asks for basic information and has a few short answer questions about why you want to study abroad.

Upload a scan of your passport to your online CET account. This should be a single scan that includes the signed signature page and the photo/personal details page. Don’t have a passport yet? Let us know and we can help advise you.

This is an online form that your current or most recent language instructor completes to help us get an idea of your language level. Use the link in your online account to send the recommendation request.

This is an online form that your study abroad office completes to let us know you meet the requirements to study abroad. To send the electronic form request, simply enter the name and email address of your study abroad advisor in the designated fields of your online account.

Your online CET account has specific instructions for submitting an official transcript.


Fall Semester:

May 1

Spring Semester:

November 1

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Have a question? Get in touch!

Tara Strauch

Student Services Coordinator
[email protected]

Price Subject to Change:

CET reserves the right to increase quoted charges at any time without prior notification, based on increased instruction costs, exchange rate fluctuation or other cost increases beyond CET’s control.

Course Availability

Our goal is to offer every course every term, but sometimes factors like faculty availability and program enrollment keep us from reaching that goal. If you’re concerned about needing to enroll in one particular course, please contact us

CET Jordan: Academic Consultation Board

Over the years, we’ve built a strong network of locally-based faculty that we’re proud to call our peers. These faculty make up our Academic Consultation Board—a select group of local voices and thought leaders that help advise and shape components of the CET Jordan program. 

Board members support the program in many ways, including but not limited to:

Academic Consultation Board Members

Learn More about our Programs