Chinese Popular Culture & Social Change Course

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA).

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Beijing’s place at the forefront of Chinese popular culture and social change has deeply influenced new generations of Chinese and has profoundly shaped their views of the world. Examine these issues by interacting with cutting-edge practitioners and scholars in contemporary culture, the arts, and foreign policy. Plus, participate in weekly cultural activities to explore another side of Beijing. These may include Chinese calligraphy lessons, tours of local Hutong neighborhoods, or martial arts workshops.

The Alliance program center is located on the campus of Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). You will live in dorms and be paired with a Chinese language partner. A week-long field study trip to provinces such as Yunnan or Qinghai will allow you to explore China’s social, economic, and geographic diversity.

Questions & Answers


based on 3 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
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A Semester to Remember

My semester in Beijing was an unforgettable experience and going there was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was a great way to really study and use the language, learn about and experience first-hand all the amazing historical relics that China has to offer, and grow really close with some incredible classmates, teachers, mentors, and locals. I highly recommend going to the coffee hours at the Beijing American Center! I met a lot of new friends there that I still keep up with nearly a year later.

How can this program be improved?
While it can be difficult to accommodate electives that work for everyone when the program is so small, some more elective choices would have been greatly appreciated.
Yes, I recommend this program
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A great experience

My day to day routine consisted of biking to class (Dorms and host families are generally very close, about a 10 min bike ride). Learning Chinese for 2 hours, then getting lunch at the school cafeteria (there is no meal plan included, but food is quite cheap, a typical lunch cost about $1-2 in the cafeteria). I usually did some homework, I personally feel this program had a pretty rigorous course load- unlike some in, European countries for example. The program is very small so it allowed for close interactions and tight bonds with program mates. The program also tried to have an activity every week or 2 weeks, that was always interesting and fun, dumpling making, going to the art district, and the tea market. The program was also very helpful, whether you have fallen ill, or are trying to decide where to go for a weekend trip, or the week long break we get, they are helpful in giving recommendations and suggestions as to where to buy tickets.

How can this program be improved?
There were some aspects, such as the internship program which I wish would have been better. While I gained a lot from the experience, I don't think it was as organized as I was expecting, cause for stressful situations at times.
I also wish there was an emphasis on interacting with the Chinese natives. While we were assigned Chinese language partners, (which I loved, my partner and I got along really well), a helpful way to interact more with locals would be if we had courses with them. Or if we were exposed to the different clubs the school ran, which would allow us to be closer to the Chinese students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Best Summer Ever

Initially I was terrified of the idea of spending a summer in China. But my experience with the Alliance for Global Education was absolutely amazing. From the professors, to the program directors, to the other students, everything was above and beyond what I expected. The classes were engaging and informative. The program directors were helpful and approachable. And the other students and I all banded together to explore as much of Beijing as possible. I wouldn't change a thing about the Alliance for Global Education program.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved by providing more assistance in the preparation process.
Yes, I recommend this program

About Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)

The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Our primary goal is to provide quality study abroad opportunities, plus academic and personal support services, for qualified North American undergraduates seeking to...