China Studies Summer School

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  • Interested in China but don't know where to start?
  • Studying China and wanting to experience local culture?
  • Looking for an interesting summer study programme with good food, exciting places to visit and great company?

The XJTLU China Studies Summer School is a place to be, a course to follow, and an experience to be had. The academic course at the heart of this year’s summer school, taught in intensive mode, is social change in China.

The summer school, which runs from 29 June June to 27 July 2019, will take you to Xi’an and Chengdu, as well as introducing you to Suzhou, the home of XJTLU.


Social Change in China examines three main topics in the development of China since its changed economic development strategy was adopted in 1978. The course looks at regional development, interpersonal relations, and inequality. All three are set in the historical context of China’s emergence as a growing international economic and political force. The course includes lectures, seminar discussions, student presentations, and group practical projects. The language of instruction at the summer school is English and no prior knowledge of Chinese is necessary.

Learn Chinese

There will be opportunities to learn Chinese during the Summer School, although no prior knowledge of Chinese is necessary. Language classes will be provided most days and a Chinese language teacher will accompany the Summer School.

Gain credits

The course may be taken for credit at other universities, equivalent to one-eighth of a full-time student learning load for an academic year. Further details of assessment are available on request.


Suzhou is the historic heartland of the Lower Yangtze Delta. Established in 514 BCE it is famous for its gardens, its canal system, its silk industry, and its bridges. Suzhou is probably the city most Chinese think of when they think of the concept of a city because it has been so written about in poetry and prose. The old city of Suzhou, surrounded by a moat, is now a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site. The Suzhou Industrial Park is located to the east of the old city. In addition to studying in Suzhou, the summer school will visit a selection of the gardens, and walk the old town.

Xi’an is the major city of Northwest China and a place of both historic and more recent significance. It was the capital of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the nearest city to Yan’an, the Communist’s revolutionary base against the Japanese during the War of Resistance (1937-1945). A city wall is still intact, and moreover, can and should be cycled round. Xi’an is also the nearest city to the tomb of the first emperor, Qinshi Huangdi (Qin Empire 221-207 BCE) where the Terracotta Army has been uncovered during the last three decades. The Northwest has many Muslim peoples, and no visit to Xi’an would be complete without a tour of the Muslim quarter and its bazaar. In addition visits will be made to a number of other sites of historical significance as well as the City Museum and its wonderful collection of Tang Dynasty figurines.

Chengdu is most famous for two things: pandas and spicy food. It has been a site of Chinese civilisation from even before there was Chinese civilization and indeed one of the site visits will be to the Sanxingdui Museum that houses relics from 20150-1250 BCE. Other activities (apart from lectures and classes) will include a visit to Leshan to the largest surviving rock Buddha (713-803 AD), to the Panda Preservation Park, and to Dujiangyan to see the early water engineering project (54 BCE) that irrigates the Chengdu Plain. And of course there is always hot and spicy food.

Knowledge and skills

  • Learn about the historical context of China's emergence as a growing international economic and political force
  • Take Chinese classes and learn to speak one of the world's most important language
  • Meet new people from around the world and develop your intercultural communication skills.

Teaching staff

Members of the XJTLU Department of China Studies teaching on the summer school include:

  • David S G Goodman: Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. Author of Class in Contemporary China (Polity, 2014) and editor of Handbook of the Politics of China (Elgar, 2015)
  • Miguel Hidalgo Martinez: An expert on regional development, especially of West China
  • Yu Song: Author of Rural Women’s Migration in China (Shanghai Jiaotong University Press, 2014)
  • Pawel Zygadlo: Author of Master Yinshun’s Madhyamika Thought and Transformation of Contemporary Chinese Buddhism (Taipei Wenchin, 2015).


The programme’s rigorous curriculum introduced me to themes central to China’s development in the 21st century. I have come away with a deeper understanding of China’s recent socio-political changes, further fostering my interest in pursuing the subject long-term.

Hayley Keon Alumnus, China Studies Summer School, USA

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via our online application system:

  1. Click/tap the APPLY link
  2. Create an account or log in to your existing account
  3. Complete your application

Once your application account is successfully created, enter all the information required in the application form carefully and make sure the information you provide is correct, complete and up to date. Upload the required documents to the corresponding fields.

You may log-in to view your application form at any time and upload any remaining supporting documents.

Note: The deadline for applications is 10th May 2019.

You are advised to arrive in China through Shanghai. XJTLU Global will assist with obtaining visas, and meet you on arrival.

Further information

For further information about the Summer School and China Studies degree programmes email [email protected]