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  • Locations: Shanghai, China
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: CIEE 
  • Restrictions: WFU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2023 10/15/2022 10/15/2022 TBA TBA
Fall 2023 03/15/2023 03/15/2023 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term GPA Requirement: 2.75 Click here for a definition of this term Class Status: 1 semester completed
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: Chinese, English Click here for a definition of this term Language Courses Offered: Chinese (Mandarin)
Click here for a definition of this term Prior Language Study Required: None Click here for a definition of this term Housing: Homestay, Residence Hall
Click here for a definition of this term Open to non-WFU Students: No Click here for a definition of this term Academic Areas Offered: Chinese, East Asian Studies, Economics, Film Studies, History, Humanities, International Studies, Linguistics, Politics and International Affairs, Sociology, Theater, Urban Studies, Womens & Gender Studies
Program Description:


Commercial giant; financial and cultural hub; the largest container port on Earth – there may be no better city to examine the rapidly changing nature of global business than Shanghai.

Whether you have no background in Chinese, or you’ve studied the language for several semesters, this study abroad program provides students with vital insight into the causes behind – and challenges of – China’s rapid economic development and the country’s emerging role on the world stage.

While studying Business, Language + Culture in Shanghai, you’ll take part in a unique combination of in-depth coursework, internships, networking opportunities, cultural activities, and excursions that offer access to:


  • Highly respected business professors
  • Local and International business leaders
  • Prominent Chinese multinational, and international companies
  • Sites of historic, political, and financial significance

An understanding of both Asian markets and culture is a tremendous asset for any future business professional. Take a closer look into the factors driving, and issues facing China with CIEE study abroad in Shanghai.



Investigate the most pressing business issues and trends with some of China’s most respected professors.

  • Examine the changing nature of business in China with CFO for Nike China, Charles Mo
  • Look at cutting-edge theory in modern marketing management with Jack Marr Advising Director, Stern School of Business, New York University in Shanghai
  • Discuss sustainability in transnational business with Oliver Yang, Corporate Social Responsibility and Government Relations Manager, American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.


Whether it’s a visit to a booming metropolis or a rustic village, weekend and weeklong excursions give you unparalleled insight into Chinese culture:


  • Travel to the neighboring Jiangsu Provence touring the Suzhou Industrial Park – the largest joint development project between the governments of China and Singapore.
  • Spend the weekend in Hangzhou a textile and tech-industry leader.
  • Build homes in one of China’s impoverished rural communities as part of a service-learning project.


Whether you’re at a multinational corporation, a local Chinese company, or an international non-profit, internships bring coursework to life. You’ll work and learn alongside Chinese and international employees, at companies like:


  • Global business advisory firm FTI International Risk
  • Manufacturer Richio, Inc.
  • Non-profit, Lifeline Shanghai
  • Market research company, CBR.

Company Visits

When it comes to business in China, who knows better than the country’s top executives? CIEE has developed close relationships with leaders from some of the top companies in Shanghai, such as Polva Electronic Technology Inc., Shenzhen HYT Science & Technology Co., and General Motors. During special networking trips, you’ll meet with and hear from these leaders, giving you an exclusive look into the management of some of the most successful businesses and corporations in Shanghai.


Total recommended credit for a standard course load during the semester is 15 semester/22.5 quarter hours, and for the academic year is 30 semester/45 quarter hours. Students with written approval from their home school advisor and the Center Director may take up to an 18 semester/27 quarter hours.

Chinese language courses meet for 90 contact hours, with a recommended credit of 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

Elective courses in English and Chinese meet for 45 contact hours, with a recommended credit of 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

The Organizational Internship meets 45 contact hours, with a recommended credit of 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours, or 90 contact hours, with a recommended credit of 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

Directed Independent Research requires 135 hours of research, with a recommended credit of 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

Program Requirements


  • A full course load is typically four to five courses. Students on this program must include two electives beginning with a general Business (BUSI) discipline code. In addition, students may choose:
  • Any three additional three-credit courses taught in English or Chinese, including an Organizational Internship*
  • Any one additional three-credit course taught in English or Chinese and one six-credit Organizational Internship*
  • Any one additional course taught in English or Chinese and one six-credit Chinese language course at the appropriate level
*Students who choose these options and who have not completed one semester of college-level Chinese or demonstrate equivalent proficiency are required to include the three-credit “Communicative Chinese” elective.

Course Load Examples for Semester Students:

Changing Nature of Business in China: 3 credits
China’s Macroeconomic Impact: 3 credits
Marketing Management and Methods in East Asia and Emerging Markets: 3 credits
Managing Sustainability in Transnational Business: 3 credits
Asian Management Systems: 3 credits
Total: 15 credits

Communicative Chinese: 3 credits
Changing Nature of Business in China: 3 credits
Marketing Management and Methods in East Asia and Emerging Markets: 3 credits
Organizational Internship: 3 credits
Modern Chinese History: 3 credits
Total: 15 credits

Chinese—Beginning I: 6 credits
Changing Nature of Business in China: 3 credits
Asian Management Systems: 3 credits
Political Development in Modern China: 3 credits
Total: 15 credits

Organizational Internship: 6 credits
Changing Nature of Business in China: 3 credits
Asian Management Systems: 3 credits
China’s International Relations: 3 credits
Total: 15 credits

CIEE reserves the right to place participants in the language course for which the student is best prepared based on the results of language proficiency exams administered during the orientation period.

About Shanghai

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, and a global axis of culture, commerce and finance. 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. Boasting the fastest-growing rapid transit systems in the world, Shanghai’s urban centers are conveniently connected by elevated light rails, the world’s first commercial high-speed Maglev train, and 13 subway lines.

Where You’ll Study

East China Normal University

Established in 1951, East China Normal University (ECNU) is one of China’s key institutions of higher learning. The University enrolls more than 21,000 full-time undergraduate and post-graduate students on its two campuses, along with some 2,700 international students, mostly from Korea and Japan. The CIEE Study Center is located along the bank of the Liwa River on its downtown Putuo campus, known as the “Garden University” for its beautiful grounds.

Housing and Meals

Participants select one of three housing options prior to arrival.

Campus Residence Hall with CIEE Roommate
The Campus Residence Hall is a five-story facility located on the ECNU campus and has a common lobby with 24-hour security and laundry facilities. There is a student computer room and study lounge on every other floor, as well as a kitchen and bathrooms on each floor. The residence hall is a 10-minute walk from the CIEE Study Center, and is within walking distance to a light rail and other public transportation.

Campus Residence Hall with Chinese Roommate
This option is located in the same residence hall as described above, but study abroad students are paired with a Chinese student from ECNU. The Chinese roommates are required to speak only Chinese, so this option is recommended for students who wish to live in a more intensive Chinese language environment while remaining nearby other program participants.
Meals are not included in these two housing options and are the responsibility of the student. Meals are available in the campus cafeterias at a moderate price.

Chinese Host Families
Chinese host families are located within five to 15 minutes from campus by walking or public transportation. Students have their own room in the host family apartment and share the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Students are invited to most family meals, but should budget for their own lunches, some weekend meals, and most meals during group field trips and individual travel. Chinese family members speak Chinese only. This option is highly recommended for students who want to live in an entirely Chinese language environment and to make rapid progress in Chinese language.
Housing between fall and spring semesters is included in the academic year study abroad fee. Academic year participants living with host families may be required to live in a dormitory on campus between semesters.

Academic Program

CIEE has been operating study abroad programs in Shanghai since 1981. Established in 1998, the CIEE Study Center in Shanghai has been hosted by East China Normal University since 2001. The Business, Language, and Culture program began in spring, 2008, and is designed to help participants gain a deeper understanding of China as it emerges to take a leading role in the global economy. Students are introduced to the Chinese language, history of China’s economic reforms, China’s macroeconomic impact on other economies, and local business practices that shape and mold the economic development of the nation.

There is no language prerequisite for this program. The program is appropriate for students with a major or minor in international business, management, marketing, or economics, and is open to all levels of language students, from novice students with no previous experience in the Chinese language to those with superior level Chinese language proficiency. This program includes non-intensive Mandarin Chinese language study or an alternative Communicative Chinese language elective for beginners. Students who have completed one semester of college-level Chinese or demonstrate equivalent proficiency in Chinese language have the option to take all their coursework in English.

Internships for credit and opportunities for service learning and community volunteer activities integrate academic learning with practical experience. Extracurricular activities are coordinated by CIEE staff and may include Chinese students and host families to advance understanding of local society and culture.

Academic Culture

Study abroad students enrolled in Chinese language courses attend classes two hours per day, Monday through Thursday, from  9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Language classes are small, with an average of five students, so active participation is very important. Classes are typically co-taught by head language instructors who introduce new content and assistant language instructors who focus on accuracy and consistency of pronunciation through daily drills and other exercises. In addition students enrolled in Chinese language courses meet weekly with their peer tutors in structured tutorials for a minimum of two hours per week, with more tutorial hours can be arranged upon request.

English language elective courses take place once per week for three hours in the afternoon. Class size ranges from five to 20 students. Chinese language electives meet twice per week for two hours each day. The average class size is four students. Course related field trips are scheduled on Fridays and occasionally weekends.

The semester is 15 weeks long and includes a one week orientation at the beginning, 12 weeks of instruction, one week group field trip, one week program break for independent travel, and typically one national holiday.


All Chinese language courses and area studies electives are managed by CIEE and specially designed for CIEE study abroad students only. Some area studies courses may include a limited number of ECNU students in order to build more opportunities for cross-cultural and academic exchange between CIEE and host university students.


In the elective courses, students are generally graded on the basis of exams, homework, participation, and attendance, similar to the U.S.. Research papers, individual and group oral presentations, or projects may be assigned depending upon the course. In the language courses, assessment is based on daily homework and quizzes, written and oral unit tests, and written and oral mid-term and final exams. The following letter grades are assigned: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, and F.


Students participating in the Organizational Internship course will be assigned to an internship project with a company in Shanghai. The internship sponsors, which vary each term depending on participating organizations and available positions, may include local Chinese companies and multinational companies, as well as international small and medium sized enterprises and nonprofit organizations. Course curriculum includes class introduction, placement interview, coached work, and final presentation to earn three or six academic credits. See the courses section for more detail.



Chinese language students on this study abroad program are asked to take part in the CIEE Community Language Commitment, which is a graded component of the Chinese language courses that begins on the first day of classes. During orientation these students sign an agreement specifying when and in what contexts speaking Chinese is required, including inside the Chinese language classroom building. Students are encouraged to speak in Chinese with CIEE staff, host families, and Chinese roommates whenever possible. As students gain proficiency in Chinese, resident staff and language instructors encourage them to use their language skills in everyday settings. This fosters a learning community that encourages regular use of the Chinese language for daily communication and facilitates language proficiency gains.
The CIEE Chinese Language Advisory Committee (CCLAC) is comprised of specialists in the field of teaching Chinese as a second language and serves to promote the highest standards of education at the CIEE Study Centers in Greater China. Specifically, the committee advises CIEE administrators and language instructors on curriculum issues such as learning goals and objectives, instructional innovations, assessment of proficiency gains, program evaluation, and course articulation.


Mandarin Chinese


All Chinese language courses are taught by the CIEE language director, full-time CIEE faculty, and graduate students from the East China Normal University College of International Chinese Studies. The elective courses are taught by local and international faculty from East China Normal University, Fudan University, Jiaotong University, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and other prestigious Chinese academic and government institutions, as well as the private business sector in Shanghai.

**Important Note: No credits earned on this program will be applied towards the Chinese Language and Culture major or minor, per the Chinese department's policies.** 

Please speak to your Study Abroad Advisor to discuss programs that the Chinese department has approved for Major and Minor credit

**Important Note: No credits earned on this program will be applied towards the Chinese Language and Culture major or minor, per the Chinese department's policies.** 

Please speak to your Study Abroad Advisor to discuss programs that the Chinese department has approved for Major and Minor credit