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International Summer School, Peking University

This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.

Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network
Academic Information
Program Overview
The International Summer School program at Peking University (PKU) offers coursework taught in English for international students in areas of Chinese culture, history, philosophy, law, and politics. Chinese language study is available at beginning and intermediate levels. If you choose to take Chinese language, you will take a placement test.
  • Minimum of 10 UC quarter units; 12 units are possible with the optional Chinese language course.
  • Full units on all courses (the variable unit option is not available)
  • Two-week pre-course for UC students (3 UC quarter units)
  • Two PKU subject area courses during the four-week session (3.5 UC quarter units each). You may not take a third subject area course.
  • Chinese language may be taken as the fourth course only (2.0 UC quarter units)
  • You may take one course for the P/NP grading option


There are about 9 to 12 PKU courses offered each summer.  The courses are usually listed on the PKU website in March.

You will take courses with international students only.



This program requires course preregistration with your PKU application.  You may only change courses with the approval of the Beijing Study Center Director and PKU.  PKU charges a fee each time you change your course list.

You will do MyEAP Study List registration after arrival in China.
Academic Culture

Host University vs. UC Courses

Make a special effort to adapt to the teaching style and requirements of your classes which are different from UC. Approaches vary from teacher to teacher. The most common difference is that students have fewer opportunities for classroom participation; however, this is changing as increasing numbers of the faculty have spent periods of study or research abroad. Teachers generally assume that American students will raise issues; in some cases instructors even require student participation. Be sensitive to the cultural norms of Chinese teaching and the individual attitudes of instructors.
Even if you have a high level of Chinese language ability, you may have difficulty understanding Chinese university instructors, some of whom have regional accents, speak rapidly, or use specialized terminology. Approaching this situation as a challenge rather than a frustration will enhance your success and enjoyment in China.
Exercise self-discipline and initiative, and organize your time and activities to give priority to your academic work. Your academic experience will depend on the interest and diligence you put into it. Be prepared to independently invest time and thought in each class. The course materials are likely to be less structured and less clearly outlined than in UC courses. Week-by-week syllabi with specific reading assignments are rare.
Course Information

Do not expect to have enough free time to pursue an internship during the summer program.

Exams and Grading
Although practices vary, courses usually have one midterm exam and one final exam or written report. Most instructors do not give frequent short quizzes, although some do. Homework may or may not be graded, but you will be penalized if you miss assignments or submit poor or incomplete homework.

Exam dates are not negotiable; they cannot be changed.
Grades for this program usually available in late August or early September.
For more information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroadl​
Extending UCEAP Participation
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
"Try to leave behind your Western notions of the world and try to think of new behaviors in Chinese terms. It will make you more understanding and tolerant." - UCEAP Student
Social Conduct
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation

Official UCEAP Start Date

Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
Travel Documents
The “F” visa is recommended for summer students. It does not require a physical health exam. The duration of the “F” visa can be up to 180 days, at the discretion of the consulate. You can request a single-, double-, or multiple-entry visa. However, the consulate determines the type of visa issued. If you only have a single-entry visa and wish to travel outside of the Chinese mainland (including trips to Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan ) during the term, you will need to pay for a reentry permit each time you return. Contact your local Chinese consulate for details.
Students with Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan passports must obtain “home visit permits” to enter China and do not need to apply for a visa. Contact your local Chinese consulate for more information. 
Packing Tips
Return Travel
You cannot leave the academic program before your exams are officially over. You are not permitted to ask for a change in exam dates to accommodate your holiday travel schedule or because of non-refundable plane tickets. See the program calendar on the UCEAP website for departure dates.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Handling Money Abroad
At PKU, there is an ATM in the lobby of the hotel in Building 1 of Zhongguan Xin Yuan, a two-minute walk from the dorms in Buildings 4 and 6. On campus, there is a Bank of China international ATM beside the underground supermarket “WuMei” on campus, which is south of Shaoyuan.  Off campus, HSBC ATMs can be found in the Carrefour supermarket, south of the campus.
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Every PKU international student dorm room has Internet access if you bring a computer. Wireless Internet services are available on campus. You will need a WiFi enabled laptop to access the wireless network. The Internet fee is a flat rate of RMB 90 per month. 
Card-activated telephones are located in the PKU dorm rooms. Cards can be bought in many places both on and around campus, and students should look for cards with better deals. You can always buy the IP cards for less than their printed value. Most students buy cell phones after arrival.
Mail & Shipments
Housing & Meals
You will have your own bedroom in Zhongguan Xin Yuan (ZGXY), an international students’ dormitory across the street from PKU. Each suite has a telephone, Internet access, air-conditioning, a closet, a small shared sitting room with a color TV and dining table, and a shared bathroom. Two sets of bedding will be provided. A housing application will be included in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
You are responsible for paying a deposit and the total cost of the room to ZGXY upon arrival. Payment can be made in cash (RMB) or by credit card (Discover, MasterCard, Visa). You may be allowed a three-day grace period to submit the full payment. If you move out early, you can obtain an immediate cash refund for unused days if you originally paid in cash; if you paid by credit card, it may take up to one month for the refund.
Financial aid will not make housing payments on your behalf. Financial aid offices report financial aid commitments to UCEAP. These funds are applied to the UCEAP student account. If there is a credit balance, UCEAP will request a disbursement based on the UCEAP financial aid disbursement schedule. 
You are required to register with local authorities within 24 hours whenever your housing changes, even if you are sleeping on a friend’s sofa for two weeks. If you do not follow proper registration requirements, you may experience difficulties with local police or other authorities and you may be fined. UCEAP will not assist you in this matter.
Dorm Safety
At ZGXY, there is a laundry room with washers and dryers on most floors.
There are several student cafeterias on campus and countless food stalls and restaurants in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. Although cooking in the rooms is prohibited, many students cook on hot plates in specially provided rooms on each floor. You must be careful to not leave anything in the cooking rooms unattended. Pots, pans, spoons, ingredients, and anything else left unattended will be stolen. Many students in the cheaper dorms keep refrigerators outside their rooms.
There are six large Chinese student cafeterias on campus. With your student ID, you can obtain a cafeteria IC card, which permits use of the student cafeterias but charges a 15 percent service fee. For those who want Western food, there are KFCs, Pizza Huts, and McDonald’s all around campus. There are also Korean, Japanese, and American restaurants within walking distance to campus.  
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
Extracurricular Activities

Gym Facilities

There are two big gymnasiums (Wu Si and Er Ti) and many outdoor sports facilities on campus. The tennis court is just opposite Shaoyuan Building 7. Make a reservation using your student ID each time. The newly opened underground fitness center inside the Science Building Complex is excellent. The gym card costs about RMB 90 per month with your student discount. There is a large swimming pool on campus at the southeast corner of the university. West of campus, there is a gym and a swimming pool at Haidian gymnasium (Haidian Tiyu Guan). There are also many gyms around PKU and Wudaokou. They offer a monthly membership. 
Students with Disabilities
Travel Sign-out Form

Post-Summer Break

The Study Center may be able to store your bags at the Study Center Office at Peking University. More details will be provided toward the end of the summer before vacation.
Work in China
LGBTIQ Students
UCEAP Insurance
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
UCEAP strongly recommends that you have an emergency credit card on hand or quick access to cash in case of an emergency.
Physical Health
Prescription Medication
Mental Health
Health Risks
Contact Lenses
Drinking Water
Air Quality
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
Crime & Prevention
Civil Unrest
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Natural Disasters
Personal Emergency Plan
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Fire Safety
In An Emergency
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.