About China and Taiwan

As the capital of the world's most populous nation, Beijing is the center and international focal point of much that happens in contemporary China. It is a city of 20 million people struggling to adapt as China emerges as a global player in the 21st century. Changes in Beijing have moved at an incredible rate, yet it still reflects China's long and evolving history. China's capital during the Ming dynasty, the Taiping Rebellion and again during the early years of Nationalist rule, Nanjing is a provincial city of tree-lined streets, historic sites, and neighborhoods whose pace and atmosphere reflect the traditional Chinese way of life. Taipei is the capital of Taiwan, a modern country of 23 million people. Its history and culture are overwhelmingly Chinese, although elements of Japanese and Western influence are clearly visible. Taipei is a high-tech international city with superb museums including one of the world's foremost collections of Chinese art, the National Palace Museum.

The Program

The China/Taiwan program, offered through Hobart and William Smith Colleges' affiliation with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), provides students the opportunity to study in one of three sites on mainland China or Taiwan: Beijing, Nanjing or Taipei. Each site has a distinct academic focus and will give students a different perspective on Chinese society. Students participating in this program will study at some of China's most prestigious universities, improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills, and gain an understanding of contemporary China or Taiwan.


For all program sites, detailed course lists are available at

Beijing (Peking University) - Students will develop their fluency in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese through intensive language training. In addition to two required language courses (Spoken Chinese and Readings in Chinese), participants will take additional electives in Chinese depending on their linguistic proficiency.

Nanjing (Nanjing University) - In addition to developing Mandarin Chinese communication skills, students will focus on selected subject areas of contemporary Chinese society and culture. The program offers an integrated curriculum that links the language classes to a Chinese studies course taught in English (Contemporary Chinese Studies) that includes excursions to sites of interest in and around Nanjing.

Taipei (National Chengchi University) - This program provides students with Mandarin Chinese training along with a perspective on Taiwan's unique modern reality. All students take two Chinese language courses depending on their language proficiency. In addition, students will take two area studies courses conducted primarily in English.

Academic Focus

All three sites in this program will be of particular interest to students majoring in Asian Languages and Cultures. In addition, the Taipei site can accommodate students interested in the social sciences and humanities.


This program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in good social and academic standing who have a minimum GPA of 2.75. In addition, applicants must have a minimum of two years of college-level Mandarin Chinese or the equivalent and one Chinese area studies course to study in Beijing and a minimum of one year of college-level Mandarin Chinese or the equivalent and one Chinese area studies course for Nanjing and Taipei. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


Beijing - Students live in foreign student dormitories at Peking University. Meals may be taken at local restaurants.

Nanjing - Students live in the international student dormitory at Nanjing University with another CIEE student as well as a Chinese roommate. Meals may be taken in the campus cafeterias or in restaurants near the dormitory.

Taipei - Students may choose between an on-campus dormitory (with Taiwanese roommates) or off-campus housing in the International House with Taiwanese or East Asian roommates. There are on-campus cafeterias and restaurants as well as a large choice of restaurants just off campus.

In some cases, homestay options may be available in all three sites; see the CGE for more information about costs.


Beijing - Excursion destinations include sites of historical and cultural importance such as the Great Wall and Ming Tombs, Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, Liulichang cultural street, and various other Buddhist and Daoist temples. Cultural activities include the Beijing Opera, classical and popular music concerts, and classes in calligraphy, painting, taijiquan, qigong, stamp cutting and traditional Chinese musical instruments.

Nanjing - Several excursions are built into the academic curriculum reflecting the weekly topics in the language and area studies courses. Past visits have included a home for the elderly, a population management training institute, special economic zones and various neighborhoods and temples of historical/cultural importance. Classes in calligraphy and taijiquan are offered.

Taipei - Several excursions are planned during the semester to temples, mountains, tea plantations, porcelain works, and museums around northern Taiwan. Most excursions are integrated into the curriculum, especially with the Chinese Language Practicum, which has included visits to the National Palace Museum and other museums, businesses and schools, as well as a local monastery.

Going Abroad With the CGE

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, housing and all course-related expenses, including excursions. No board charge is included: students should plan to bring their board fee to cover meal expenses throughout the program. Estimated meal costs are as follows: Beijing and Nanjing—$1200 and Taipei-$1500 (Note: costs differ for homestay option). Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books, local transport and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, independent travel, etc.). We estimate airfare for this program at $1400-$1600 from the East Coast, local transport from $150—$300 and books from $50- $150. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1300 for Beijing, and $1500 for Nanjing and Taipei, above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.



  • This program is offered every semester.
  • Applications are available at the Center for Global Education.
  • Applications are due at the CGE office on selected dates in October (for Fall programs) and March (for Spring programs).
  • For specific date contact the CGE.

NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.


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