The language barrier can be a very real obstacle to breaching China’s increasingly prominent national university system. While world-class institutions like Tsinghua University, Peking University, and Fudan University are the crown jewel in the eye of every Chinese national student, most classes are generally taught in Mandarin, which make enrollment a challenge for international students not studying Chinese. However many of these schools do reach out with international programs to attract foreign students, and some subject areas, such as international business, are often taught in English.
Studying in China is often possible both through independent program providers and through international partnerships between universities in different countries. Programs available in major Chinese cities usually combine academic study with a variety of intensive language lessons and culturally immersive opportunities. Studying through international program providers allows students to experience a program tailored to the students and taught in a smaller class size. Partnered institutions, on the other hand, allow international students to take classes at larger, local universities.
Common academic areas of study in China include math and economics, engineering, political science, urban development, and, of course, Mandarin. The Chinese school year typically is divided into semesters lasting from September-January and February-July. Chinese summers can be exceptionally hot and muggy in the big cities.