Year — Fall 2020
Semester — Fall 2020
Year — Fall 2019
Aug 20-23, 2019 → Jun 21-24, 2020
Semester — Fall 2019
Aug 20-23, 2019 → Dec 23-26, 2019
Study abroad in China to discover a fascinating intersection of ancient cultures and language with ultramodern infrastructure, innovation, and growth.
By living with a host family and studying at a local high school in China, you’ll be totally immersed in Chinese language and cultures. You’ll find China’s size and diversity make it an ideal place to explore vibrant and varied cultures, with different regions offering wide-ranging cuisines and customs. Forget about American Chinese food. Enjoy mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorn, sip and savor Shanghainese xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), or slurp noodles of all sorts (mostly wheat in the North and rice in the South). Traditional celebrations, like the Lantern festival and Chinese New Year, happen throughout the year. Whether you go for a year or semester, you’ll experience timeless cultural events.
Chinese people tend to honor tradition, but they also embrace many parts of Western popular culture. Thanks in part to the lasting influence of Confucianism, the Chinese have a strong sense of family, a deep respect for hierarchy, and an appreciation for harmony over conflict.
While attending high school in China, you may embark on excursions to places like Yunnan to see the breathtaking landscapes of Southwest China. Or, you could visit Xi’an, one of the most famous ancient capitals, home of the Terracotta Army that protects the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of a unified China!
Study abroad in China with AFS to rewrite your high school experience and become a vital part of a new community in a uniquely historied and modern context.
In Chinese high school, the value of hierarchy is reflected by the authority of the teacher. Chinese culture places a high value on education and academic achievement. Like students in most parts of the world, high schoolers in China wear uniforms. You’ll go to class Monday through Friday, usually starting around 7:30 or 8 am and finishing around 4 or 4:30 pm. School provides an excellent opportunity to learn Mandarin, which is spoken by 70% of China’s population. You’ll also be provided with Mandarin language courses during the first two months of your stay to help ease your transition.
You’ll probably attend the Senior 1 level with a special class schedule as an exchange student. This means that you’ll focus on learning the Chinese language, culture, history, art, and music with other AFSers in the first half of your day. The rest of your day will be dedicated to taking classes with other Chinese students.
Many hosting schools will provide special courses for exchange students to experience Chinese culture, such as calligraphy, Chinese painting, and folk music. As a teenager in China, most of your social life will happen at school. You can also get involved in extracurricular activities like sports, martial arts, and dance, to make friends and engage with the culture.
AFSers have lived in communities all throughout China, but you will likely be in an urban area in the Eastern half of the country, such as Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Sichuan, Henan, Anhui, Dalian, Tianjin, or Beijing. You’ll live in your host school dormitory on weekdays and with your host family on weekends and holidays. If your host family lives in a city, you’ll most likely share an apartment in a multi-story building. You’ll get to experience the amazing sprawl and endless adventures of China’s megacities and metropolitan areas!
Like anywhere in the world, all families are different in China. But, spending time with family is usually very important. Most couples have only one child, and grandparents often live in the home. Because the well-being of the family is viewed as more important than individual success, everyone works together as a unit.
"Life-changing" is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
"Transformed" is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in China.
A new you awaits. Apply for High School Study Abroad in China!
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.