Pitt in China (Shanghai)

Shanghai, China’s largest city and its commercial and financial hub is the perfect setting for this 8-week, 9-credit program. This program is a great opportunity for students interested in China, Chinese language, development, history, economics, business and cultural studies.   All will take a Chinese language course based on their previous level of Chinese studies. No previous Chinese language experience required, although it is very helpful for living and navigating in Shanghai. In addition, student will be required to do a part-time 20 hour/week unpaid internship for credit. An internship placement questionnaire along with a resume and cover letter are required. The individualized placement process will help place you in an opportunity that meets your academic and professional goals.  take two courses plus an internship for a total of nine credits. for a total of six credits. The program is based in Shanghai and will include a weekend trip to countryside. The final course on the program will be your choice. You can choose from a variety of fields including: economics, history, or politics. You will like a local Chinese college student as the program takes place on Donghau University’s campus. You will live with a Chinese roommate in an international dorm. This is the perfect opportunity to connect with your peers.

Cultural programming that complements the academic program includes excursions to local historical sites designed to coincide with the themes of the academic program.  Much of the instruction will be experiential, using Shanghai as its classroom.  Highlights include the Bund, French Concession, Pudong Skyline, the gardens in Suzhou, Jing'an Temple and a weekend in the countryside.

 

What You'll Accomplish

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • A deeper understanding of China by studying in one of its most dynamic cities
  • Language skills that will enable you to interact and communicate with locals
  • International work experience and transferrable skills that will help you stand out in a competitive job market

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

Shanghai is China’s largest city and its commercial and financial hub with the world’s busiest container port. Located where the Yangtze River meets the East China Sea, it was the center of foreign trade activities from the mid-1800s on and thus has a very global and cosmopolitan feel while remaining quintessentially Chinese. It is often called the “Paris of the East” or the “Pearl of the Orient”. It is now a magnet city for people from around the world interested in making, buying, and selling goods to and from China. It has benefited greatly from the recent economic boom and that can be seen in its cutting-edge architecture, hypermodern infrastructure, and fast pace of living. It is a great place to start learning about China.

In June, Shanghai begins to slide into summer. The weather is hot, wet and can be sweltering. The average temperature in June is 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

There is a Plum Rain Season from mid-June to early July in Shanghai. During this period, the rainfall can equal 25% of the city's total for the year
The weather is variable and hard to predict in June. It can rain heavily and quickly turn to clear and sunny.

July is one of Shanghai's hottest months. Early July is still within the Plum Rain Season, when showers alternate with sunshine and the weather is really hard to predict. The weather is hot, wet and can be sweltering. The average temperature in July is 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

August in Shanghai is the hottest month and also has the highest rainfall.
Shanghai's urban sprawl plays a role in the overall temperatures of the city. Downtown, urban areas are generally hotter and drier than in the suburbs. The average temperature in July is 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Despite the hot climate, August is a high travel season as this is summer vacation time in China. Attractions can be crowded and prices at the attractions are generally more expensive.

Summer clothes which are lightweight thin, soft, breathable and light-colored are recommended to deal with the heat. Prepare some spare clothes and a lightweight waterproof jacket for rainy days. 

Where You'll Live

The program is located at Donghua University’s downtown campus. The Donghua University campus is the perfect, central location in the middle of the city. The campus is active and vibrant. You’ll will have many opportunities to integrate into the local campus community. You can expect the following with your housing:

  • You will share a room with a local Chinese roommate in Donghua University’s international student dormitory (double-occupancy)
  • En-Suite Western style bathrooms
  • Air-conditioning
  • Wi-Fi
  • 24-hour controlled building access
  • There is no meal plan included
    • You have access to the campus cafeterias where you can get budget-friendly meals
    • You may also opt to explore the nearby noodle shops or neighborhood
  • Courses will be held on campus which is conveniently located close to a major metro stop so you can easily commute to and from your internship

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 

What You'll Study

You'll earn a total of 9 credits on the Pitt in China (Shanghai) program. Students are required to take a language course. Beginner to advance language courses are available. Students are also required to participate in an internship. Placements are available in a variety of fields related to your academic and professional interests. Internships will be approximately 20 hours per week. In addition, you will meet regularly with your fellow students and a local faculty member to discuss the benefits and challenges of interning in Shanghai. Students will also take a Chinese elective of their choice. All elective courses are taught by local faculty members. In addition to your classroom meetings your will have guest speakers, city tours, cultural activities and excursions. In these courses you will study:

  • Chinese language at all levels
  • Internship opportunities in most fields of study
  • Elective courses in history, political science, economics, business, environmental studies and cinema

If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate, please meet with your academic advisor to discuss this program and what the courses will fulfill for you. Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.

 

Internship in China (ARTSC1901)

Students must participate in an 8-week internship in a placement related to their field.  The internship is coupled with an academic course  that gives students the opportunity to apply classroom learning to the workplace and social environment of the host culture, to expand professional skills and earn academic credit. The Focus Seminars and Regional Identities lectures and activities which make up an important part of the program are designed to provide theory and practice around societal themes which inform and enrich the internship experience. For more information on field placements, contact the program manager.  

Politics and Governance (ARTSC1403)

This course begins with a historical survey of imperial China (before 1912) and Republican China (1912-1949). After providing some historical background, the course then focuses on the politics of the People’s Republic of China, including the Mao era (1949-1978) and the reform era (after 1978). Special attention is paid to “Mao Zedong Thought,” Deng Xiaoping’s contributions and legacies, the organizational structure and operational dynamics of the current political system, modern state building, and the Communist Party’s strategies for survival. When examining these issues, students engage in some of the current debates of the field, mainly those over the features of China’s politico-economic transition and the prospect of democracy in China.

The Chinese Economy (ARTSC1403)

This course is meant to provide an overview of Chinese economy and its impact on the rest of the world. The first part of the course gives a brief historical overview of China's economy, from Mao to Deng's reforms, and on to the 21st century challenges of transitioning from a manufacturing-based economy to a system more incorporated into the global framework. The second part focuses on China’s role in globalization and regional economic integration including the topics of uneven growth and development in China’s western regions and China’s rise from economic isolation. A special emphasis on US-China trade relations helps students evaluate and understand the economic pursuit of these two superpowers in East Asia. The third section of the course considers the unique challenges for multinational corporations to compete in the Chinese market. Students are exposed to the Chinese consumer–their culture and buying behavior. Throughout the course, students analyze the opportunities and risks of international businesses in China.

International Economics in China (ARTSC1403)

This course is intended for students who are interested in economics from a global perspective. It first introduces the emergence of international commerce in history and the establishment of modern capitalism. Theories of international trade and finance are included, and the emphasis is on the analyses of examples, cases, and latest events around the world. The course applies analytical tools including comparative advantage, global competition and technological change, balance of payments, and trade deficits. Finally, a special enquiry into the rise of the Chinese economy and its relations with the rest of the world is also provided.

Chinese Language in Shanghai (CHIN1901)

Students will engage in a conversation-style course that is designed to improve their basic Mandarin skills. There will also be ample opportunity to practice conversational skills on campus and in the university neighborhood.

China Then, China Now (HIST1423)

Using a historically- grounded but multi-disciplinary approach, this course seeks to give students on the Pitt in Shanghai program a fuller context in which to understand what they see, hear, and interact within contemporary China.
 It is common to hear the average Chinese person say “we have a huge country with a long history and lots of people” and to then discuss how the “humiliation” of the past 200 years is something contemporary Chinese must overcome. Indeed, history is a living, breathing, and malleable thing in China. Starting with the mid-1800s and using the rich backdrop that today’s Shanghai provides, this class will show students how past and present intersect on an daily basis and how that drives the popular view of what it means to be Chinese and what role China should play in the world. Topics included will be the Opium Wars and Boxer Rebellion, Western settlements and the “China Trade”, the founding and rise of the Chinese Communist Party, World War Two and its aftermath, the Maoist era and post-Mao “reform and opening”, the rise of urban China, and the downsides to staggering economic growth.
 The course will be highly experiential and will include guest speakers from various fields.

Syllabus:
Experiential Learning Description

This program offers you the ability to participate on an 8 - week internship.  Internship placements are guaranteed.  Internships are available in all disciplines and interest areas.  No Chinese language is required for internships although it is extremely helpful.  Internship options are also available for advanced language speakers.

*Internships are unfortunately not available for PRC nationals due to Chinese residency regulations.*

You won't have Pitt faculty on the ground with you for this program.  However, CET Academic Programs, the partner organization we work with on this program will provide academic, intern, and emergency support for you! In addition, CET Academic programs has a full-time staff on site in Shanghai. Academic staff ensure that you and your classes are a good fit. They direct the curriculum, manage the faculty, and monitor courses. Programming staff help you get the most out of the program. They handle housing, excursions, and day-to-day logistics, and are trained in emergency prevention and management.

Courses will be taught by local faculty members identified by our partner in China, CET Academic Programs. Chinese studies faculty teach your electives. They typically hold, or are working towards, a PhD in their field, and have experience either teaching or researching in the United States. Chinese language instructors are seasoned teachers, hand-picked by CET from the host university. Most instructors have graduate degrees in Chinese or Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language and experience teaching US students.

CET Academic Programs is a study abroad organization that has been developing and delivering innovative educational programs abroad since 1982. Originally “China Educational Tours,” CET began operations in Beijing, later expanding to other locations around the world. Today, CET offers a varied portfolio of semester, summer, and short-term customized programs in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East for college, high school, and pre-college students.

CET is known for high program standards, strong academics, a nimble and collaborative approach to partnerships, and supportive student services. Through elements such as field-based course components, internships, community-based learning, and housing with local roommates, CET strives to integrate students into the local community and facilitate lasting relationships with hosts. As an environmentally conscientious organization, CET aims to adopt sustainable measures across its operations. And through its commitment to inclusion, CET seeks and encourages the participation of students from diverse backgrounds, ensuring a welcoming, hospitable program environment that promotes student learning.

The program is located at Donghua University’s downtown campus, which means home base for the summer is right in the center of the city. The campus is vibrant—you’ll pass groups of students chatting on the green, playing pick-up basketball, or heading to an exhibit by one of China’s emerging artists.

Donghua University (DHU), formerly China Textile University, was founded in 1951. Located in the downtown area in Shanghai and adjacent to Hongqiao Economic Development Zone, DHU is one of the state-key universities directly under the Ministry of Education of China. Its feature disciplines, such as Fashion Design, Textile Engineering, International Trade, Material Science, and Information Technology have received high reputation both domestically and abroad.

There are more than 2,800 faculty and staff, and over 30,000 enrolled students at DHU. The employment rate maintains 100% for post graduates and over 95% for undergraduates in the past several years. So far, DHU has established cooperation with over 100 well-known oversea universities, research institutions and enterprise. DHU also successfully held international conferences and forums in the fields such as textile, fashion, and material.

 

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts

Tim Crawford

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, a Program Manager here in the Study Abroad Office. I’m proud to be from a small town in Central PA but now love calling Pittsburgh home. My study abroad experience includes a semester in France during my sophomore year, Spring Break in London during Grad School and Summer in Italy as a Program Assistant. My experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous study abroad opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring a new city or new neighborhood in PGH. I fully embrace the yinzer way of life and plan my schedule accordingly around every Pens, Bucs and Stillers game. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study abroad programs and answer any of your questions. Please reach me at TSC29@pitt.edu or 412-648-2156.

  In- State Out-of-State
Estimated Expenses Billed by Pitt  $7,099 $7,299
Estimated Additional Expenses $4,350 $4,350
Total Estimated Cost $11,449 $11,649

Final program costs and will be available by November 15 .

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

What's Included

As a part of your Shanghai program fee, the following are included in the program:

  • Tuition for nine credits
  • Housing for the duration of the program
  • International travel health insurance
  • Course related activities
  • Cultural activities including Chinese movie nights and walking tours
  • Weekend excursion to Chinese countryside

 

 

 

When You'll Go

The program will take place from mid-June to mid-August. Exact dates will be posted soon.

What Else You Need to Know
  • Shanghai is a major center for international trade and commerce in China and so Shanghainese are very accustomed to dealing with foreigners. It is still challenging and Chinese language skills are extremely helpful
  • While a working knowledge of Chinese is helpful, there is no language requirement for the internship program.  The companies are looking for native English speakers for their internships.
  • Course (with the exception of language courses) are taught in English
  • Due to the nature of the program, the schedule is subject to change. There may be instances where a guest speaker or visit needs to be rescheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding in advance.
  • Remember that this is an academic program and that you should expect to invest the same amount of time and effort on your courses abroad as you would on a course at Pitt. 
  • There are required excursions and activities outside of normal scheduled classes.
  • Independent travel cannot conflict with any scheduled or rescheduled events/activities
  • It will be hot and humid. The beginning of the program takes place during Shanghai's rainy season.
  • *Internships are unfortunately not available for PRC nationals due to Chinese residency regulations.*