Expand the section navigation mobile menu

International Education

O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2889

Office hours
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

In-person and virtual advising hours
Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4 p.m.

Walk-in advising hours
Mon - Thurs: 1 - 3 p.m.

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843

International Education

O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2889

Office hours
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

In-person and virtual advising hours
Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4 p.m.

Walk-in advising hours
Mon - Thurs: 1 - 3 p.m.

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843

A temple in Beijing, China.

Beijing in Spring

Accompanied by an Oakland instructor, study at one of China’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning while living in the International Exchange Center and mixing with Chinese students and professors as well as with diplomats, government officials and business executives from the world over.

Visit such Chinese landmarks as the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the terra cotta burial army of Xi’an, the commercial-financial center of Shanghai, and other locales. Live and study in China’s capital city, not as a casual tourist, but as a short-term resident of one of the world’s most dynamic countries, surrounded by historical treasures and the forces contouring the 21st century.

Beijing in Spring 2024: May 2 - June 10
Application Due online: Jan. 16, 2024
2024 Accompanying Instructor: Chensi Wang

For more information contact:

Melanie Chang, Program Director

(248) 370-4248

Yan Li, Program Advisor
(248) 370-3536

Chensi Wang, Program Advisor
(248) 370-2060

Business Management: International Education Office

Apply NowMake a deposit or paymentPhoto albumVisit us on Facebook

Where You Will Be

Students will mainly stay and study in Beijing at the China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), the only tertiary-level school supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. CFAU is long responsible for training China’s professional foreign service personnel, and those seeking careers in international affairs, international business, and international law.

The CFAU campus is home to some 2,000 Chinese students ensconced in a quiet, easily negotiated, modestly-sized compound set in the heart of the western quarter of Beijing. The elaborate Beijing subway system, affording gateway access to the far reaches of the city of some 20 million, is within walking distance of campus.

Nearby, are an array of restaurants, shops, tea houses, parks, and neighborhoods.

What you will do and learn
What you will do

Beijing is a virtual treasure trove of ancient, classical, and modern Chinese landmarks and artifacts.

During the four-week study stay in the capital, students will take weekend excursions to such sites as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Ancient Observatory, Confucius and Lama Temples, Ming Tombs, Mao Zedong’s Mausoleum, Great Hall of the People, National Museum of China, pre-revolution alleyways and courtyard houses, Han and Tibetan restaurants and the traditional shops of Liulichang Street, among other attractions.

In addition, a train trip is made to the ancient city of Xi’an to view the famed museum of terra-cotta warriors and horses of China’s Qin dynasty. The final week involves travel to more distant destinations to the south of Beijing, as selected by the accompanying instructor. These have included, Shanghai, the former imperial capitals Nanjing and Hangzhou, the canal city of Suzhou, and rustic Guilin and Yangshuo.

What you will learn

Students will study Chinese language, culture, history, and contemporary affairs, taught by China Foreign Affairs University faculty and receive Oakland University credits.

The curriculum includes ability-specific language instruction in Chinese conversation, reading and writing. Lessons on China’s political system, history, foreign policy and international relations, nationalities and religions, economy, culture, and etiquette are also provided. Instruction includes hands-on sessions in Chinese calligraphy and Taijiquan (shadow-boxing).

Students may also conduct a research project overseen by the accompanying Oakland instructor. Participants are permitted and expected to attend all the courses, but may select which offerings to take for Oakland credits.

What To Bring

In addition to a valid passport, several extra passport-sized photos should be packed, along with student identification (for discounted admission to venues).

A pair of comfortable walking shoes is essential. At least a six-week supply of any medications the student is taking, including any for possible allergic reactions. Sun screen, hand sanitizer and wipes are advisable.

For electrical usage, a plug converter and power adapter (available in China, as well) may be taken. An early spring jacket or sweatshirt for the plane ride and for the initial week or so in China. Thereafter, summer clothing will be appropriate. Materials used for the research project, ideally in digital form, should also be carried.


Testimonials from Beijing Program Students

Daily Life:

#4:1 “really like having meal as a group, spinning table, very convenient.” “amazing, go out at 4:30 AM to watch baozi making,” “Everything I tried in China was full of flavor. It was very rare I did not like something.”

#2:4 play chess with an old man on the street, “he quickly wrapped up the game with a decisive victory. Even in victory, the older man was complementary and modest, much in contrast to the elderly people of the States.”

#2:4 interact with noodle shop owners “the proprietor and his wife didn’t care where we were from; to them, the United States wasn’t something to be feared or hated, it was simply an abstraction that was outside their experience and had little to do with their daily lives.”

General Comments:

#3:2 “I do regret though not applying for it sooner.”

#4:2 “It really is great to get out at night and even just walk around with no goal in mind.”

#6:1 “There is something innately charming in the way that walking down a street in China is as much a lesson in culture and manners.”

#6:3 “China was amazing and I cannot wait to go back.”

#3:5 “We have one more week left in China and I do not really want to go back home. I know this is a horrible thing to say considering the numerous people who have not seen us in over a month now, but they will understand once we start telling our stories of being abroad. They will be impressed with our stories and say nice things about our picture, but they will never truly understand the splendor of China simply by listening to us; they have to experience China for themselves.

(The comments above were collected for research purposes, thus individual names must remain anonymous.)

Requirements and Important Dates

The Beijing in Spring program is open to all Oakland students and qualified non-Oakland guest students.

Students must enroll for at least 4 Oakland academic credits and have the option of selecting as many as 12 credits. Each participant must complete a program application form, and non-Oakland students must also submit a general academic reference form. A valid passport should be in hand prior to filing the application. A physician certification of good health form is required of all delegation members.

The most basic requirements are for students to have interest to begin or advance Chinese language study and deepen their familiarity with China, to be respectful goodwill ambassadors of Oakland University and the United States, and to possess a healthy sense of adventure.

Emergency Contacts while in China
International Students Section
Office for International Academic Exchanges
China Foreign Affairs University
24 Zhanlanguan Road,100037,
Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Important Dates

Beijing in Spring is offered every even numbered year.

Beijing in Spring requires a minimum of 10 participants (max. 15 ) with paid deposits online by the Tuesday after MLK Day. Otherwise, the program will be cancelled and the application fee refunded. Once a student accepted admission into the program, the application fee is non-refundable.

January (The Tuesday after MLK Day): deadline for the online application and $250 application deposit via Marketplace (applied to the program fee). Students should have valid passport ready before application.

March: Submit passport for visa application and online application part II (release & consent forms etc.). In March, you will be asked to submit checks payable to the travel agency for the visa application, and round-trip Detroit airfare. Please prepare about $1500 for these expenses (students will be notified of the exact amount and due date).

April: Please prepare about $5000 for program fee, including (1) CFAU administrative fee, room and board, group meals and tours on the weekend, and (2) the last week southern China tour. (The $250 application fee will be applied to the program fee, i.e. students will pay $250 less than the total program fee stated above. Students will be notified of the exact amount and due date.)

May: Departing for Beijing. Have a safe and unforgettable trip!

OU tuition due date. You will be billed for the OU credits that you enroll. (NOTE: All summer tuition is due on this bill due date regardless of class start date. Please check the Office of the Registrar for the exact due date.

Information meetings will be held in the fall semester prior to a study year, and departure meetings in winter semester of the year of the trip.


Beijing in Spring

The cost of this program includes three components: Tuition, program costs paid to OU and independent costs you will be responsible for while you are abroad. You may use financial aid and/or student loans, up to your eligibility limit, to cover all three components.
You will enroll in 2, 4, 8, or 12 credits and you will be charged for these credits on your eBill at your normal rate of tuition.
Program Costs: 
$4,500 which you will pay to OU on our MarketPlace payment system, housing, ground transportation, travel insurance, some meals, books and supplies, and all excursions while in China.
Independent Costs: 
You will need to pay on your own for these expenses. Amounts are estimated.
Airfare: $3,500  
Meals not included: $600
Incidental personal expenses: $600
Passport: $175
Visa: TBD
Independent Costs Total: $4,875