CET Harbin: Summer Study Abroad

CET Harbin: Summer At-a-Glance

1 year's worth of
Chinese in one summer
Personalized, summer-long one-on-ones
Full-time language pledge
Live with a Chinese student
One-on-two drills
& small-group classes
Out-of-class learning and assignments
Overnight excursion to a new city


CET Harbin study abroad students are motivated and focused advanced Chinese learners ready to spend the summer working toward their fluency goals. You will benefit from an individually-focused curriculum, a full-time language pledge, local roommates, and peers equally as determined to make great strides. In just a few intense weeks, you’ll head home with significant language gains and the study habits to set you up for success in the long run. 

Academics in Harbin


Curriculum & Syllabi

CET Harbin offers two tracks: standard and research. The research track is available only to very advanced students who have the Academic Director’s approval. Students take a One-on-One Tutorial, a One-on-Two Drill course, and two content course electives to meet the recommended 10 credits.

You choose a topic and the Academic Director handpicks a knowledgeable teacher to work with you throughout your summer. 

You are placed into this 2-credit course with another student who is at the same Chinese level:

Please note: Research track students do not take this class and instead take 4 credits of the One-on-One Tutorial.
CET Harbin students in a one-on-two drill class with professor

Take your Chinese to the next level

Harbin as your classroom. Your One-on-Two drill course focuses on getting you out of the classroom to put your Chinese to work in the city. You might bargain for fruit at a local market. Or interview passersby about China’s payment apps. It’s all about fine-tuning your pronunciation and grammar in real world settings.

Content with context. Content courses go beyond learning vocabulary and grammar. Your Business Chinese class might interview a bank manager about financial development in China. Your Classical Chinese class might visit a school emphasizing traditional Chinese culture.

Design Your One-on-One

Choose a topic and the CET Harbin Academic Director handpicks a professor to guide your studies for the semester. Learn the technical vocabulary needed to delve deep and begin projects that could develop into a thesis topic or graduate research once you’re home.

Previous One-on-One Topics

Housing and Meals


Living Like a Local

Local Roommates. Your roommate is a CET-selected student from our host university, the Northeast Forestry University. Sharing a room with a local roommate gives you instant insider’s access to the city. Learn more about living with a local roommate. 

Eating in Harbin. For meals, take your pick of the budget-friendly campus cafeterias, try the nearby row of food stalls, or find your favorite neighborhood restaurant. And don’t forget to try disanxian (a potato, eggplant, and pepper dish) and da lie ba bread to get a delicious experience that is unique to northeastern China. Learn more about accommodating your dietary needs in Harbin. 

*Note: In light of China’s COVID restrictions, the local roommates component of the program may not resume right away. CET will make every effort to make local students a part of the program, likely serving as language exchange partners and cultural resources.

CET Harbin study abroad student and local roommate smile over a tray of dumplings they made

Life in Harbin

CET Harbin students exploring the city

Students come to Harbin for full immersion. In this second-tier Chinese city, you enjoy a population with fewer English-speaking foreigners, a textbook accent, and an entire city that can serve as your language classroom. Learn the names of all the street food vendors. Picnic on the Songhua River and chat with passersby. Visit the mosque in Old Harbin and ask about the architecture. 

Experience China with CET

Around the city. Spend an evening singing karaoke with your roommate. Shop for souvenirs in the Hongbo underground mall. Take a taijiquan (taichi) class. Visit the Daowai district to eat traditional Harbin foods and explore the Baroque architecture with a uniquely Chinese feel. Explore Stalin Park and learn about the city’s Russian influences. The location of Harbin offers a Chinese experience like no other.

A Weekend Away. Take a break from intensive language study to explore China outside of Harbin’s city limits. You might visit Beidaihe to enjoy the relaxing hot springs and spend a little time on the coastal beach. Make sure to see Laolongtou (“Old Dragon Head”) where the Great Wall meets the sea. Enjoy worry-free travel with CET-hosted experiences that let you unwind while exploring with fellow students and local roommates.


Student Resources

"One of the things that I think really stands out about this program is that you can choose two elective courses which allow you to focus on certain areas of study in Chinese. And I found that all of my teachers, as well as the on-site CET staff, were always willing to help and answer any questions I had."
— Ethan Hill,
Oberlin College
"The academic rigor of this program was very high, and there was a lot of interesting and useful content covered in each of our four classes that was supplemented by nightly homework that solidified what we learned each day. And the weekends punctuated each busy week with fun, planned excursions."
— Amy Zhang,
Yale University

On-site Staff

Ren Shujing

Ren Shujing
Academic Director

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 local roommate. 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 receive a transcript jointly issued by CET and NFU at the end of the term. You also have the option to request a School of Record transcript from the University of Minnesota for an additional fee if necessary.

More on finances

CET Harbin students hold a banner in St. Sophia Square
Program Fee Breakdown. Of the total program fee, $6,190 goes to tuition and fees, and $2,000 goes to housing and other student life fees.

Local Cost of LivingDay-to-day cost of living in Harbin is generally cheaper than that of most places in the United States. Within China, Harbin’s status as a second-tier city means things are often cheaper than in Beijing or Shanghai but can still vary greatly depending on your lifestyle.

Estimated out-of-pocket expenses: 

How to Apply

As Mainland China slowly opens back up to study abroad opportunities, we are cautiously optimistic about operating CET Beijing as our sole mainland program this summer. We are even more optimistic about running Beijing, Shanghai, and Harbin programs in Fall 2023. For more information, see our Mainland China: Re-Opening Update.

  • •  Pre-requisites: 4 semesters of Chinese or the equivalent
  • •  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 preferred, but admissions decisions are made on a case-by-case basis;  lower GPAs still encouraged to apply

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.

Though you take an in-depth placement exam on site, the language evaluation form in your online CET account helps staff get a better idea of your abilities before your arrival. 

Use the link in your online account to send a recommendation request to one of your previous instructors.

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.

Have a question? Get in touch!

Annie Belleville

Senior 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 single 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 any one particular course, please contact us! We’ll try our best to get you the course you need.

Learn More about our Programs!