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The Harvard Summer School, founded in 1871, is the oldest academic summer session in the United States. While Colorado College Summer School is younger, it makes a distinction in that it has been continuous whereas Harvard has not. Each summer more than 500 students arrive at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, from across the U.S. and nearly 80 foreign countries. Students enroll in the program to study for seven weeks with faculty from Harvard University ;The Summer School offers approximately 200 daytime and evening classes in over forty disciplines in the liberal arts, sciences, and engineering. While there are degree candidates from Harvard's other schools who attend the Summer School, such as Harvard College, Harvard GSAS, and Harvard Extension School, the Summer School is largely an open-enrollment school and does not offer any degrees. This is thought to be a large contributing factor to the historically prominent international enrollment. The summer school also consists of an Institute for English Language Programs (IEL), the Ukrainian Summer Institute, and an extensive study abroad program. The Summer School is one of the principal programs within the Harvard Division of Continuing Education and is part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The Harvard Summer Program in Beijing, also called Harvard-Beijing Academy (HBA), gives Chinese language students the opportunity to explore this richly historic city while participating in intensive language instruction. The program offers 4 intensive courses in modern Chinese at the intermediate and advanced levels, as well as a 1-week social study project. The language training is embedded in the Chinese setting, with speakers from many sectors of Chinese society joining the participants to discuss their lives.

On a typical weekday, students have 4 hours of class in the morning (2 hours of instruction and 2 hours of drills) and a 45-minute 1-on-1 conversation session with one of the teachers in the afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is left open for study and extracurricular activities in Chinese. There is a quiz every Friday morning and a weekly faculty-student luncheon where students can get to know the teachers and practice Chinese in a relaxed social setting. Teachers hold office hours in the evenings.

On the weekends, there are performances, trips, and lectures by guest speakers from various strata of Chinese society (for example, private business owners, workers, peasants, and scholars). Students may also spend time on weekends with host families to experience the daily lives and customs of Chinese families. Weekend excursions to historic sites outside Beijing—such as Chengde Summer Palace, Longqing Valley, and the Ming Tombs—will broaden their perspectives on Chinese culture. This school/society nexus gives the program its unique participatory flavor, with language instruction continually related to its Beijing setting.

In addition, students are encouraged to take lessons in Chinese arts, such as taiji, martial arts, calligraphy, cooking, or music. One special event is a speech contest among American students in all of the Beijing summer Chinese language programs.

CHIN S-120 Study Abroad in China: Intermediate Modern Chinese (31796)

CHIN S-130 Study Abroad in China: Advanced Modern Chinese (31797)

CHIN S-140 Study Abroad in China: Advanced Readings in Modern Chinese (31803)

Harvard Credits are awarded


Harvard Summer School China

Beijing Language and Culture University
100083 Beijing


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