China Program

China Program

LIU Global’s China Center immerses Global Studies students in contemporary China, the world’s emerging economic and political giant. From a home base in Hangzhou, a city that is both one of China’s ancient imperial capitals and a leading center of entrepreneurship and business innovation, students engage in a yearlong program of intensive language learning, country-wide study travel, and coursework in Chinese history, politics, and social change. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the historical events that have produced modern China and learn through direct experiences the social and economic forces that shape the country today.  Students who complete the program are able to navigate their way culturally, linguistically, and logistically in a society whose political and economic importance will only continue to grow.  

The program’s setting in Hangzhou places students in the heart of a city famous for both its classical beauty and its livability. The China Center is walking distance from the banks of the famous West Lake, a majestic body of water encircled by temples, pavilions, and gardens that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hangzhou is home to 8 million people and dynamic corporations, with more entrepreneurial start-ups than any other city in China. Moreover, the city is only a one-hour train ride from Shanghai, China’s international hub of finance and commerce.  The program’s integrated fieldwork allows students to engage with both Hangzhou and nearby Shanghai. During the course of the program, students also take extended study trips to Beijing and to culturally diverse Yunnan, the western province adjacent to Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar.

Since 1989, the China Center has been located on the Zhejiang University campus. Consistently ranked as one of China’s top five institutions, Zhejiang University enrolls over 42,000 undergraduate and graduate students, including over 3,000 international students. China Center students enroll in intensive Mandarin Chinese language courses at Zhejiang University’s International College with students from all across the world.  

Academic Overview

The China Center combines in-depth engagement with Chinese history and language through curriculum and fieldwork that place developments in contemporary China within a global frame. During the first semester, a course in modern Chinese history facilitates students’ understanding of the cycles of revolution and political innovation that have shaped the country. In a global “issues” course, students undertake fieldwork and bibliographic research on the Chinese context of specific global issues such as urbanization, global warming, gender inequality, and income disparity.

In the second semester, students enroll in a course focusing on China’s ethnic minorities, a sector that includes 15% of the total population, as well as a course devoted to China’s social development and change. This course includes a two-week fieldwork component in which students are placed with an organization whose mission aligns with both the course’s topics and the student’s interest.  

During both the first and second semesters, students enroll in the intensive Mandarin Chinese program at Zhejiang University’s International College. The Center also provides electives and independent studies each semester for students who are interested in pursuing minors.

Fall Curriculum

Modern Chinese History

Intensive Mandarin Chinese

Issues in Global Studies

Minor Electives and Independent Studies


Spring Curriculum

Chinese Society and Change

Intensive Mandarin Chinese

Ethnic Minority Studies

Junior Research Seminar

Minor Electives and Independent Studies