The Beijing Center

Why choose The Beijing Center?

The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies (TBC) provides a unique environment for undergraduate students from all over the world to begin their engagement with China. Our mission is to promote mutual understanding between China and other cultures. What makes us unique is our placement in a long and storied tradition of Jesuit education, one that teaches us that true cultural engagement starts first with friendship. Whether you are a newcomer or an old China hand, the experiences TBC provides will change and challenge the way you think about China and in turn, change your life.



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Yes, I recommend this program

Fall 2015

My name is Kari Osowski and I am a Senior at Loyola University Chicago. Last fall, I backpacked through the Silk Road as an excursion of The Beijing Center! During my semester halfway across the world, I prayed with Tibetan monks in Xiàhé, walked a day in the shoes of Uyghur students in Ürümqi, spent the night in a yurt in Xinjiang, rode a camel in the Taklimakan desert and was on the UIBE International cheerleading team. Deciding to study at The Beijing Center was easily the best decision I’ve ever made at Loyola. If students are looking to challenge themselves, live in a completely new and diverse culture, and enhance your Loyola experience, China’s the place to be!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

Great program that truly immerses you into the Chinese lifestyle and culture. I went with no language experience and was able to learn so much and even travel by myself through the country. The school planned trips are incredible, but some of the directors are a little strange. Just do what you want to do and explore everything. Take advantage of all the time to travel through the country. The classes are hard but taught in the Chinese fashion and the homework is interesting. The food is amazing there are so many options close to campus.

What would you improve about this program?
The student development staff was very babying towards you. They acted like you werent a competent adult and couldnt plan things for yourself or travel by yourself. Just ignore them and do all of your own traveling whenever you want!
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Yes, I recommend this program

From the City to the Countryside: Experiencing China in All It's Glory

When I first stepped off the plane in Beijing, half a world away from anyone I knew, I felt overwhelmed yet excited. The group of strangers I ate dinner with that night quickly grew into family. The Beijing Center's (TBC) schedule for their students keeps you going yet also gives you time to explore. The first two weeks consisted of going to class on campus, eating Beijing cuisine and exploring historical highlights of the city. In class you really do learn a lot about the environmental and economic aspects of China. As soon as you step out of the classroom you are able to apply what you have learned by simply observing your surroundings (the smog... the people... the customs... etc.) By the end of our Beijing experience it felt like we had lived in the city much longer than two weeks as we had our own routine and go-to restaurants. We didn't want to leave! However, the bonding that occurs with your classmates during this first part of the program prepares you for the great adventures ahead.
The excursions throughout various provinces of China are truly breathtaking and a learning experience that extends far beyond anything possible in the classroom. Zhangjiajie, a lush forest that we explored, was the most beautiful place I have ever been. Here we used a man-made sled to slide down the canyons of this unreal habitat.
Another one of my favorite excursions was an overnight stay on an organic farm, where they used sawdust to clean the dishes. The family was so kind and made us giant dinners with their organic produce. It was a humbling experience that also gave me hope for a cleaner China.
One personal recommendation- DO NOT BRING A DUFFLE BAG WITHOUT WHEELS! I learned the hard way. There is a lot of walking involved in this program and you will be a much more comfortable camper if you can wheel around your baggage rather than lugging it through the airports and cities.
Even if you are not an environmental science fanatic I would definitely recommend this program if you are both adventurous and interested in China. As I like to say, we are all environmentalists at heart- the impacts that humans are having on the environment in China are some of the most prominent today. It is important to experience this first hand and connect it to the rest of the world. In addition to everything I learned about the environment, economy, culture, language, and myself, by the end of the program I had created lifelong relationships and made memories that I will never forget. China goes from being mysterious and even a little scary to a place that will stay in your heart forever.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing about this program it may be adding in a small language component. This wasn't supposed to be part of the program but for people who don't know the language it would be useful. I was in my second year of mandarin but many people in my group were experienced and could order dinners and navigate the city for me. Some people had never experience the Chinese language in their life. Having a mini-lesson day might be useful so that the people who don't know Chinese have something to practice and work off of while exploring the country.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best Semester of Undergrad

I learned so much and have memories from this semester that will last a life time. The TBC staff really go out of their way to make the massive and mysterious country of China seem accessible. I made friends that I will have for the rest of my life and can honestly say that I am a different person than I was before I studied abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish there were more events that Chinese students attended to make it easier to meet more Chinese students but the Chinese Host Student/Tutor Program did help give my first Chinese friend when I arrived!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience with great people

TBC is one of the best study abroad programs in China. The staff is extremely helpful, the faculty is very involved in their respective fields, the two excursions are phenomenal and I made some of my best friends while in Beijing. The location of the program is prime and the support system set up allows every student to really take advantage of their time abroad. I recommend this program to anyone who is thinking about going abroad. China itself is one of the best places to study abroad because of the culture, history and impact on the world currently and in the future: all of which is exemplified by the TBC program.
Can't say enough good things!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Sean O'Connor

Sean​ O'Connor, a graduate of Fordham University, spent his entire Junior year studying at the Beijing Center in 2010-2011. After graduating he worked in Sri Lanka as a Fulbright Scholar. You can find him on twitter @aseoconnor.

Why did you decide to study abroad with Loyola University Chicago?

The Beijing Center made is really easy for me to study abroad. Since my university has a relationship with the program I was able to spend two semesters abroad and still graduate on time.

I was drawn to the program for its mix of travel and academics. I didn't want to do a typical European study abroad; I knew that living in China would push me outside of my comfort zone and force me to grow as a person.

Describe your most meaningful souvenir and why you love it?

The item I most frequently return to from my time is China is a copy of 1984 that I bought from an illegal book vendor in Beijing. Reading a banned book in an authoritarian country was an odd experience, ​and I connected with Orwell on a whole new level after exploring his works in this context.

Describe your program socially and academically.

I pushed myself academically while studying abroad. I sought out the more rigorous classes ​the Beijing Center had to offer, and I am glad I did. Studying China while living in Beijing was an extraordinary opportunity, one that I will forever be grateful for. I made a few amazing friendships with my classmates, and I'm lucky to keep in touch with the to this day.

Do you think your program changed you as a person?

What would be the point of living if we didn't let life change us? I don't think anyone could live in a foreign country for several months and not be changed. Living in China shaped my perspective on the world, and this new outlook affects my life on a daily basis.

What is one piece of advice you'd give future Loyola University Chicago students?

Keep a blog! While studying abroad I used my blog to keep my friends and family up to date with where I was and what I was learning. Since I've returned it has become a useful tool in interviews and to look and reflect upon my time abroad.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Brock Price

Job Title
Associate Director of University Relations

What is your favorite travel memory?

man standing in front of Chinese building

My favorite memory is living abroad with my wife in Madrid. The pace of life was something that really resonated with us - not to mention the food!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I am already gaining a deeper appreciation for students who consider China during their undergraduate careers as a study abroad destination. Students who come to TBC are eager to learn, excited engage with their academics, and motivated to learn about China.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

The Thanksgiving and Easter parties seem to be fond memories for many cohorts!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would come for a year and do an internship. I believe it takes about one semester to really get your footing in an academic situation (think about your first semester of college!).

The second semester can be the "deeper dive" into places you want to visit, foods you haven't tried, and faster language gains than when you first arrive.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

TBC is unique is many aspects. The TBC team is very mission driven and I see everyone work very hard to make students' experiences in China rewarding and memorable.

The internship program is also one-of-a-kind. Students get real-world experience at startups, large international companies, and set themselves up for even higher quality future professional experiences.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think believing in a common mission. When all the staff of an organization have the same "why" in their work, it makes collaboration and projects much easier!

Professional Associations

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