Shanghai Chinese Language & Culture Program

The Boston University Shanghai Chinese Language & Culture Program offers a semester of study in the vibrant and booming metropolis of Shanghai. Hosted at Fudan University, and working in collaboration with Fudan’s School of Social Development and Public Policy, this program is designed to allow beginning students of the Chinese language and East Asian studies to intensively study Chinese, while also doing coursework in English on traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.

Program Curriculum

Fudan University, one of China’s leading universities, was founded in 1905. The word “Fudan,” literally meaning “heavenly light shines day after day,” suggests inexhaustible self-reliance and industriousness. Fudan confers bachelor’s degrees in 70 academic disciplines and graduate degrees in 225. There are also 25 research stations that offer postdoctoral fellowships. Fudan now has an enrollment of 27,000 full-time degree candidates and the second-largest foreign student population in China—some 2,800 students from around the world. Fudan boasts a qualified faculty of over 2,500 full-time professors and researchers. Visit the Fudan University website for more information.

All students enroll in one required course:

  • CAS LC 111/112: Beginning Intensive Chinese (8 credits)
    Essentials of structure, oral practice, introduction to the writing system. Syllabus
  • CAS LC 211/212: Intermediate Intensive Chinese (8)
    (Prerequisite: CAS LC 112 Second-Semester Chinese, or the equivalent.) Review of structure and grammar, practice in conversation and writing, introduction to reading. Syllabus
  • CAS LC 311/312: Advanced Intensive Chinese (8)
    (Prerequisite: CAS LC 212 Fourth-Semester Chinese, or the equivalent.) Readings in modern Chinese. Readings and discussion in Chinese of selected nonliterary and literary materials, including newspaper articles, short stories, and essays. Regular compositions required. Syllabus

Students enroll in two of the following courses (taught in English). The schedule and course offerings vary each semester. Students will receive further information on the elective courses prior to departure.

CAS HI 365/IR 371: Shanghai: The Key to Modern China (4)

(Formerly CAS HI 387.) The social, cultural, political, and economic history of Shanghai is used as a lens to understand the making of modern China.  Themes include the role of city’s colonial past in shaping its history.  Students visit significant historical sights and museums. Syllabus

Questrom MK 467: International Marketing (4)

(Prerequisite: Questrom MK 323 Marketing Management.) Develops a critical appreciation of both the opportunities and challenges associated with the increasing globalization of markets. Students learn about the key environmental forces shaping the needs and preferences of the global consumer and the impact of foreign, political, and economic factors on the marketing mix. Syllabus

Questrom OM 467: Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Management (4)

(Prerequisite: Questrom OM 323 Operations Management.) This course introduces global sourcing and supply chain management in China. The course is structured to look at procurement and manufacturing, distribution and logistics, the information technology that supports the process, innovations in the supply chain that fuel China’s growth, as well as the integrated administration of the entire process.

Introduction to Chinese Society and Culture (4)

Addresses the history of Shanghai in a national context, its renaissance as a global city as a result of state strategy from the 1990s onward, issues of urban planning and urban social space, and Chinese culture and religion.

The Chinese Marketplace: Globalization and Local Transformations (4)

This course addresses major themes focusing on the dynamics of China’s unprecedented socioeconomic transformations. Topics include the implications of globalization for everyday life in local contexts, the rise of consumerism in contemporary China, and important state policies and various emerging markets.

Chinese Diplomacy (4)

This course provides students with a comprehensive introduction to contemporary Chinese diplomacy and foreign policy, as well as their theoretical and historical background. This course also investigates the decision-making process of Chinese foreign policy; China‘s bilateral relations with major powers; China’s multilateral relations with its neighboring countries, developing countries, and international organizations.

The Transitional Chinese Society (4)

China has become a country with a low population growth rate and the largest elderly population, while unprecedented economic reform has lifted China to the ranks of middle-income countries. This course not only introduces various demographic events and socio-economic reforms but also explores the linkages between population change and socio-economic development.

Contemporary Chinese Film (4)

This course is intended to offer insights into the political, social, and cultural changes in contemporary China and the impact of modernization and globalization on its cultural redefinition and identity reforming.  Using primarily a selection of films directed by the internationally acclaimed Chinese Fifth- and Sixth-Generation directors, the course focuses on developing critical thinking skills to appraise the cultural narratives of each selected film and the aesthetic presentation produced by each film director.

Chinese Culture and Religion (4)

This course focuses on the sociological study of religion in Chinese societies, and the basic sociology of major religions in Chinese societies. The purpose of the course is to help students investigate different perspectives in understanding the significant role of Chinese religion in both the traditional and contemporary China, and develop intellectual dialogue and mutual understanding between China and the West.

Political Development in Modern China (4)

This course strives to capture the continuous drama of the Chinese struggle for national revival through political, social and economic modernization. It deals with fundamental questions as why China eventually went communist in time of national crisis since mid 19th century; how the PRC regime tried to industrialize the economy and society through state mobilization in 50s and 60s; how that mobilization model ran into a dead end at the end of 70s; and finally how the market oriented reforms and opening up to the outside world in the past 35 years have transformed the socio-economics and the state-society relations in today’s China.

    Program Details

    • Intermediate Chinese courses: minimum of one year of college-level Chinese or the equivalent
    • Advanced Chinese courses: minimum of two years of college-level Chinese or the equivalent
    • Language screening interviews may be required
    • Students are strongly recommended to apply for their passport by the time they apply to the program
    • Admissions requirements for all programs
    Program Dates
    • Fall Semester: late August to late December
    • Spring Semester: early February to mid-June
    • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn sixteen Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of sixteen credits.
    • Program offices are on the campus of Fudan University. Students are housed in the Tonghe International Student Village located on the northern side of campus. Athletic facilities are open to students in the BU program; fees may apply.
    Application Deadlines
    • Fall Semester: March 15 
    • Spring Semester: October 1

    Download a descripition of the Shanghai Programs.

    Program Staff

    The Boston University Shanghai Programs are administered by staff at Boston University. A program manager oversees the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in Shanghai. The Boston office also houses the resident director who is responsible for everyday operations.