Carnegie Mellon University

Study Abroad in China

The Department of Modern Languages is pleased to offer an exciting summer study abroad program at the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) in Shanghai, China.

The Shanghai International Studies University

Established in December 1949, the SISU is one of the key Liberal Arts institutions of higher education under the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, and also one of the best-known universities of its kind in China. It offers undergraduate studies in language and literature in English, Japanese, German, French, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Korean and Persian. The university also offers a wide range of majors in international affairs, including International Journalism, International Finance, International Accounting, International Business Law, International Business Administration, Chinese as a Foreign Language, Educational Communication and Technology, and Advertising. The university also offers a master's degree in fifteen majors and a doctoral degree in six.

Since the early 1960s, SISU has been offering programs for Chinese study to students from other countries. SISU's School of International Cultural Exchange offers several kinds of programs to international students, including short-term (summer) language programs, an undergraduate program, and master's and doctor's programs. With a faculty of approximately 60 specialized in Chinese language and culture, linguistics, history, art and literature, the School has trained more than 3,000 students from all over the world in the past decade.

The Study Abroad China program is an eight-week summer language study program, from late May to mid-July.

A typical schedule includes:

  • four class hours in intensive language training in the morning
  • Elective courses and cultural activities in the afternoon

Courses include (varying for different levels of classes):

Intensive Reading, Conversation, Listening Comprehension, Extensive Reading, Comprehension, Writing

Lectures will also be offered on the following topics:

Chinese history, calligraphy, education, arts, music, religions and philosophy, Chinese written language, Sino-US Relations, Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Chinese Martial Arts, etc.

Native Chinese students from the SISU help assist our study abroad students with their speaking and conversation skills.


At the end of the program, a Certificate of Study and Academic Record will be issued to those who complete the program with qualified academic standing that can be used for credit transfer to Carnegie Mellon University. Units to be transferred will range from 9 to a maximum of 24, based on actual achievement in Chinese at the end of the program.

Beginner Level: No prerequisite
Intermediate Level: One year of Chinese study at CMU or another US institution
Advanced Level: 2-3 years of Chinese study at CMU or another US institution


Approximately US$2,700, which covers tuition and fees, books and other learning materials, room and board, in-city cultural tours, and travel to four cities outside Shanghai. Airfare and visa fees are not included.

Financial Support

A scholarship from the Department of Modern Languages is available to students from Carnegie Mellon University. It will cover the tuition and fees. Other grants are available as well.

All applicants are eligible to apply for the Freeman-Asia Award. For details, please contact Gang Liu.

Other Study Abroad Scholarships

Our department, along with the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, offers study abroad scholarships for students to study for a semester, full-year, or summer overseas. Scholarships can be put towards tuition, room and board, airfare and/or book expenses when participating in any accredited study abroad program. A printable document with more information about these awards is available [pdf] as a fillable form.

We encourage you to visit the university's Office of International Education and Study Abroad websites. They may be helpful for students who are deciding whether to pursue a study abroad program.



Study abroad students typically stay at the SISU Guest House for Foreign Students (a double-room in a hotel-like facility with air conditioning, bathroom, and cafeteria).


In-city tours are provided by SISU for free. Weekend trips to nearby cities such as Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Nanjing will also be arranged. After the program, you may travel to any other cities you choose at your own expense. SISU will be able to help you make arrangements, if needed.