CET Kunming

Kunming field

Kunming: Nature's Neighbor

Himalayas to the west. Tropical rainforests to the south. This is China like you’ve never imagined it before. Kunming, the “City of Eternal Spring,” is perfect for nature-lovers and travelers seeking cultural (and culinary!) diversity. A summer in Kunming will transform your Chinese, but it will also prepare you for China’s large international cities…when you’re ready for them.

Local Roommates

Living with a local roommate is about more than just sharing a room. Your roommate can show you which café has the best Yunnan coffee, the best bus to take to a nearby hot springs, the words to the songs at KTV. Roommates attend all program activities and can even help with homework. What will you do with your roommate?

Total Chinese Immersion

You’ll take a full load of intermediate or advanced Chinese language classes, live with a Chinese roommate, attend meals and activities with your teachers, and if that’s not enough, you’ll uphold a full-time language pledge, too. It won’t be easy, but when Chinese starts pouring out of your mouth without your thinking about it, we think you’ll agree that it’s worth the effort.

Begin Your Experience AbroadApply Now

arrival date
departure date
program length
recommended credits
application deadline
Summer 06/12/2019 08/11/2019 9 Weeks 8 $7,290
What’s Included
2 Semesters of Chinese March 1
Spring/Fall Learn More About the Semester Program

Living in Kunming

Stroll to Green Lake for people-watching or birding in the bamboo groves. Join a soccer team or chess club. Gather a group for a night of karaoke. Head out on your bike for an afternoon in the countryside. Spend your Saturday at the Stone Forest. Savor a steaming bowl of guoqiao mixian (“cross the bridge” rice noodles) with friends and teachers.

Yunnan University

The program is based at Yunnan University in the cultural heart of Kunming. YNU’s lovely campus has everything you need—a library, sports facilities, stores, cafés. The campus area is also a public transportation hub, making it easy to explore downtown Kunming and beautiful Yunnan Province.

Housing & Meals

You’ll share a room with a local roommate in YNU’s guesthouse, set up just like a dormitory. Meals can be at the YNU cafeteria or nearby restaurants. Try local favorites like pan-fried goat cheese or pineapple rice.

Outstanding Teachers

Your full load of intensive Chinese language classes means that you’ll see your Chinese teachers every day. But you won’t just see them in class. You’ll also see them at your daily one-on-one session (your chance to ask any Chinese question you want), at the lunchtime zhongwen zhuozi (Chinese table), at evening help sessions, and even on weekend excursions. Yes, the program’s pace is intense (it’s not called “language boot camp” for nothing). But your teachers are there to support you…every step of the way.

Curriculum & Syllabi

Are you a CET student from Summer 2018 or prior? Your syllabi can be found here.

You take one course.

You are placed into one of these levels:

KM/LANG 201 Intermediate Chinese
8 credits

KM/LANG 301 Pre-Advanced Chinese
8 credits

KM/LANG 401 Advanced Chinese
8 credits

KM/LANG 501 High-Advanced Chinese
8 credits

Truly intensive: Cover 1 year's worth of Chinese in 9 weeks.

In Kunming, learning isn’t confined to the classroom. Many of your assignments will get you out the door and practicing Chinese where it’s meant to be spoken. And your full-time language pledge will challenge you in every aspect—making friends, ordering at restaurants, navigating the city.

Join a badminton tournament. Learn to make dumplings. Organize a film screening. Interview people at parks or temples around the city. Want even more out-of-classroom practice? Volunteer at an NGO that provides education to migrant children. Or head out on an all-Chinese cultural excursion with your roommate and let CET foot the bill. Learning doesn’t have to happen in a library.

Full-Time, Bilingual, On-Site Staff

Liu Fang
Liu Fang oversees the summer program in Kunming. She comes to CET from Oberlin College, where she has served as a Chinese instructor since 2000. She has taught all levels of Chinese at many schools and programs, including the Middlebury Summer School, Boston College, and the University of Vermont. She has presented papers at numerous conferences and is currently working on a Chinese language teachers’ reference book.

Liu Fang

Academic Director

Shu-chin Tsui
Shu-chin Tsui, professor of Asian Studies and Cinema Studies at Bowdoin College. She is the author of Women Through the Lens: Gender and Nation in a Century of Chinese Cinema, 2003 and Gendered Bodies: Toward Women’s Visual Art in Contemporary China, 2015. She has also authored many journal articles and book chapters on various topics in Chinese cinema. Her research and teaching interests include but are not limited to the interdisciplinary fields of cinema, gender, literature, culture studies, and Chinese language. She served as the Academic Director of CET programs in 2003, 2004, 2005.

Shu-chin Tsui

Academic Director (Summer 2017)

Alex Nickley
Alex became interested in China at Ohio University, where he majored in East Asian Studies. After graduating summa cum laude in 2010, Alex moved to the City of Perpetual Spring (Kunming), returning to the United States to attend the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute at Duke University (MA, 2015). His degree focused on environmental issues related to China primarily through the disciplines of history, anthropology, and political ecology. Alex is an avid birder, amateur naturalist, and adventurer who enjoys learning about the flora and fauna of new places.

Alex Nickley

Resident Director

Li Li
A native of Kunming, Li Li received her BA in Japanese Language & Literature from Yunnan University. She began working as the Program Assistant for the Middlebury School in China in Kunming in 2010. Li Li assists students with visa issues, organizes activities, and coordinates the Chinese roommate program. Li Li is a lover of Yunnan cuisine. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and playing badminton.

Li Li

Program Assistant

Program Fee Breakdown

Of the total program fee, $5,650 goes to tuition & fees, and $1,640 goes to housing and other related costs.


$7,290/ Term

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

We estimate that you’ll need an additional $1,950 for airfare and $650 for meals. Students typically spend about $750 on personal expenses, too.

What's Included

Activities & Excursions

The activities & overnight excursion that we arrange are included in your tuition. All you need to do is get on the bus.

Housing with a Local Roommate

We arrange your housing in the dormitory, and find you a local roommate, too. Your program fees go toward rent, furnishing, and other management costs.

Visa Support

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.

Course Materials & Transcripts

Your textbooks & course supplies are covered and waiting for you in Kunming. We’ll send you an official transcript at the end of the term, too.

Medical Insurance

We provide you medical insurance. Insurance is comprehensive and includes coverage for medical evacuation.

Staff Support

We support your journey, every step of the way. From pre-departure to orientation to on-site to re-entry. We’re here to help.

$300,000 in Scholarships AnnuallyLearn More

Application Requirements

CET’s admissions requirements include an online application form, a transcript, a foreign language writing sample, and one letter of recommendation. Our programs are designed for undergraduates who maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0. However, admissions decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, so students with lower GPAs are encouraged to apply. CET programs are open to students from any US college or university.

What's Not Included

The program fee does not include round-trip transportation to & from China, meals, items & services of a personal nature, and medical expenses not covered by the insurance provided.

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. This right includes, but is not limited to, surcharging students for additional costs incurred due to under-enrollment in any given course.