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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Fact Sheet:
Dormitory, Homestay
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Courses Offered:
Asian Studies, Chinese, Economics, Film Studies, History, International Relations, Internship, Political Science, Research
Type of Program:
Study Center
Language of Instruction:
English, Mandarin
Language Requirement:
0 - 4 semesters
Education Abroad Adviser:
Karyn Comeau
Internship Available:
Non-Penn State Students:
Global Programs Scholarships:
Diversity Grant-in-Aid, Grant-in-Aid, Whole World Scholarship
School of International Affairs, Undergraduate
Program Specific Scholarships:
CIEE-PSU Scholarship
Program Description:
View of Shanghai city sights

Program Overview     

Buddha statues in BeijingChoose from a wide variety of courses ranging from East Asian studies, economics, history, political science, cinema, and gender studies - all taught in English. You can also elect to take Mandarin, partake in an internship or pursue your interests through independent research. 

Field trips and volunteer opportunities are also offered as part of this program. Week-long study tours are offered throughout the semester to various locations including Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Silk Road (Fall semester) and Tea and Horse Road (Spring semester). Each tour explores a specific theme related to the learning goals of each program.

China’s most developed metropolis is a wondrous, neon-light-filled mix of East and West. Perched on the banks of the Huangpu River and the East China Sea, Shanghai is China’s largest city by population, boasting over 23 million residents. Once built on profits from the opium trade, today it’s described as the showpiece of mainland China’s booming economy. Modern skyscrapers stand alongside traditional Shikumen- style buildings, and Western customs mingle with ancient Chinese traditions, creating fascinating contradictions to explore. The city has seen massive redevelopment over the past 20 years and the new financial district of Pudong is home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. Shanghai’s urban centers are connected by elevated light rails, the world’s first commercial high-speed Maglev train, and 13 subway lines. Shanghai is known for its long history of foreign influence, fashion, and economic prowess, and aims to become a global financial and shipping hub by the year 2020.

To view a list of other programs available in this region, visit our Education Abroad Regional Program Brochures.

Program Quicklinks     

Course Offerings
Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links

Education Abroad Credits

Penn State student at Great WallYou will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.

You will receive 15-18 credits for academic courses taken on this program. You will take four - five courses, including two East Asian Studies (EAST) classes and three elective courses taught in English or Chinese. An organizational internship for three credits is also available in place an elective course. Students who have not completed one semester of college-level Chinese will also be required to take a three-credit Communicative Chinese elective. Information about the range of courses for this program can be found at the CIEE website.

To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the CIEE Shanghai Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page.


One college-level Chinese area studies course is recommended.

Citizenship Eligibility

Students who are citizens of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan ROC, Hong Kong SAR, or Macau are welcome to apply but should contact the CIEE Study Abroad Advisor about special entry requirements.

Housing and Meals

Your housing will be arranged by CIEE. You will live either in a homestay, where some meals may be provided, or in a dormitory or off-campus housing, where you will be responsible for providing your own meals. For on-campus housing, you can choose to have a CIEE roommate or a Chinese roommate who will speak to you in only Chinese. This is a good option for students wanting a language immersion experience with the comfort of having CIEE program participants nearby.

Program Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the fall budget sheet and spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Flowers with PavilionPenn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.

The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. 

You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  One academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

Other Useful Links

Getting Started
Schedule an Appointment
Cost & Funding
Health & Safety
Parents & Family
Education Abroad Regional Program Brochures

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2016 09/15/2015
Rolling Admission 02/28/2016 06/08/2016
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Fall 2016 03/01/2016
03/15/2016 09/04/2016 12/17/2016
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Academic Year 2016-2017 03/01/2016
03/15/2016 09/04/2016 06/10/2017
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Spring 2017 09/15/2016
Rolling Admission 02/26/2017 06/10/2017
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
Fall 2017 03/01/2017 03/15/2017 TBA TBA
Academic Year 2017-2018 03/01/2017 03/15/2017 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed