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China: Beijing IES

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Beijing IES Quick Facts

Language of Instruction
Mandarin Chinese

Fields of Study
Chinese language (at intermediate, advanced intermediate, and advanced levels), anthropology, economics, film studies, history, politics, literature, philosophy, and religion. Credit internships are available in conjunction with an internship seminar.

Host Institution
Beijing Foreign Studies University

University dormitory with a Chinese roommate or homestay

Program Dates
Fall semester: late August to mid-December
Spring semester: late January to late May

Faculty Liaison
Sharon Hou

IES: Language Intensive

Beijing is a city of contrasts. It is a modern Asian boom-town that strives to preserve the cultural landscape of its glorious past while all around, the glass and steel emblems of its dynamic present flourish. Beijing attracts people from all over China, and IES Beijing students are exposed to a variety of regional variations of Mandarin Chinese, as well as to the current events shaping modern China. Destined to be the heart of the world's largest economy in the 21st century, Beijing is a fascinating place to be.

Founded in 1990, the IES Beijing program offers students a strong Mandarin Chinese language program, as well as area studies courses taught in English. The program is located on the campus of the Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing Waiguoyu Daxue). Popularly known as Bei Wai, this university is one of Beijing's most prestigious academic institutions. 

Academic Program

Students select the Language Intensive Program and enroll in an intensive Chinese class appropriate to their language level (2.5 Pomona credits). They also select two electives from a range of program courses taught in English (.75 Pomona credits each). Students may take only one course on a P/NC basis.

Living Arrangements

Students live in a regular university dormitory in a double room with a Chinese roommate. Students eat in cafeterias or prepare meals in the dormitory. Homestays are available only for students with prior study and good communication skills in Chinese, and a special application is required. Pomona provides a meal allowance for either living situation.

Number of Students

IES enrolls approximately 45 students, selected from a national pool.


  • Completion of second-semester beginning Mandarin (Chinese 1b), or equivalent.
  • 9.0 GPA required.

A college-level background course with Asian content is highly recommended.

Internet Link

Study Abroad