Intensive Chinese Language

East China Normal University
Shanghai, China

Program Overview

Program Overview

  • Program Name

    Intensive Chinese Language

  • Location


  • Host University

    East China Normal University

    Located in the downtown Putuo district of Shanghai, East China Normal University (ECNU) is known as a "garden university" due to its stunning campus. The university boasts flower gardens throughout the complex, water features, and a gated entrance that insulates the campus from the noisy city streets. ISA students at ECNU will take courses through the university's Global Education Center, which offers courses in Chinese language, Chinese studies, and business. The university lies in the heart of the bustling city, but the beautiful campus provides students with a peaceful escape from the otherwise busy Shanghai.

  • Term

    Fall 2 2020

  • Program Dates

    Late Aug, 2020 - Mid Dec, 2020

  • Program Length


  • Application Deadline

    Jun 01, 2020

  • Forms and Payment Deadline

    Jun 15, 2020

  • Credit

    234 Contact Hours

  • Eligibility

    2.50 Minimum GPA*

  • Cost


  • Apply Now

Program Description

Designed to hone your knowledge of Chinese language, this program offers courses to ISA students in all levels of Chinese. Course levels range from absolute beginning to superior. No prior Chinese language experience is required to participate.

Students participating in the Intensive Chinese Language program will take a full course load of Mandarin language courses. The program courses include speaking, reading, writing, and listening components. A placement exam will be given at the start of each semester to ensure that you are placed in the language level that will make you most successful.

Semester + Semester Programs Available: You may participate in the Spring + Summer, Summer + Fall OR the Fall + Spring sessions of this program by selecting your two terms of interest when submitting the initial ISA online application. You may also do back-to-back sessions with the Business, Chinese Studies & Language semester program. For more information about these options, please contact your Shanghai Program Manager.



Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50.

  • East China Normal University will only admit non-Chinese citizens. Students who hold a passport from Mainland China (PRC) are not eligible for this program.

What's Included

Comprehensive Advising and Support

24-Hour Emergency

Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support

Airport Reception

Visa Support

Tuition at the Host University


Bridging Cultures Program

Full-Time Resident Staff

On-Site Offices

Internet Access

ISA Discovery Model


Cultural Activities


Official Transcript from the Host University

Professional Development Toolbox

Scholarship Opportunities



Contact Hours


Recommended U.S. Semester Credits


Recommended U.S. Quarter Units


Academic Information

Course Selection 

  • Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
  • Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or prerequisites.
  • The Intensive Chinese Language program has 12 sub-levels in all. There are two sub-levels available at the beginning level, three at the elementary level, four at the intermediate level and three at the advanced level.
  • Within each language level, the course is divided into several different components that focus on competencies (speaking, listening, vocabulary, reading, culture, etc).

Language Placement 

  • At the beginning of the semester, each student will be interviewed on-site by language instructors from East China Normal University to determine their Chinese proficiency. The placement test will be divided into oral and written parts. Enrollment in Chinese courses is determined by the results of this language placement exam.
  • Please note that your performance on the placement exam may not reflect the number of semesters of language instruction you’ve already completed at your home university.
  • If you are trying to place into any level of language beyond true beginning, it is recommended that you prepare for the language placement exam by reviewing previous coursework.

Course Credit 

  • ISA recommends 16 U.S. semester credits be awarded for your program. We encourage you to meet with your home university to determine how your ECNU course will be transferred back at different course/language levels.
  • Transfer credits earned will be decided entirely by your home university. It is important to be in touch with your university about course approvals and transfer credit pre-departure.
  • According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, you must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by your home university.

Transcript Information 

  • The transcript from East China Normal University will reflect contact hours for each course listed below. Please be in touch with your home university regarding credit transfer for this program.


Filter by Language Level

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East China Normal University
International Students
True Beginning
234 Contact Hours
234 Contact Hours
High Beginning
234 Contact Hours
234 Contact Hours
High Intermediate
234 Contact Hours
234 Contact Hours
234 Contact Hours
High Advanced
234 Contact Hours
234 Contact Hours
234 Contact Hours
234 Contact Hours
Course Disclaimer
  • Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Support & Funding

U.S. Team

Carley Frea

Program Manager, China


Medusa Fang

Resident Director, China, China

Funding Your ISA Program

As an ISA participant, you have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that can be applied directly to assist with your study abroad programs. ISA offers over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants each year. To see what opportunities are available, please visit the Scholarships and Grants page. 

View all Funding Options


Living in ISA housing will give you the opportunity to experience aspects of the Chinese lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor to Shanghai. Uncovering the uniqueness of your accommodations and the surrounding areas will help you to feel right at home. With an open and adaptable mind, the experience of living in another culture can be highly rewarding.


While in Shanghai, you will live in one of ECNU's on-campus dormitories for international students. The dorms are on the west side of campus and are close to the ISA office, the classrooms, and some of the campus cafeterias. Shopping spots and restaurants in the nearby residential areas are easily accessible. Bedrooms are double-occupancy and you may be roomed with a fellow ISA student, a local student, or another international student of your same gender. Meals are not included, although there is a communal kitchen located on each floor. Laundry facilities in the building can be used for an additional cost.

You will pay a $500 refundable security deposit if living in this ISA housing option. ISA may retain some, or all, of this deposit in the event of damage to property, or if utility usage exceeds the allotted monthly amount.

Independent Housing

You may elect to secure housing independently. If you select this option, you will receive a discount equal to the housing portion of the program price.



ISA excursions allow you to explore the diverse, alluring, and stunning landscape of China that you may not have the chance to visit on your own. While abroad, you will have the chance to go on two weekend trips, two day trips, and one optional weekend trip to the following destinations.


Beijing is the capital city of China and home to many of the country's most significant historical monuments. Although one could spend months in Beijing and still not see all that it has to offer, during this weekend excursion you will have the opportunity to see most of the major sites, from the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, to the Temple of Heaven, the Ming Dynasty Tombs, and of course, the Great Wall of China.


Perhaps the most famous site in Hangzhou is the beautiful West Lake. The West Lake is a very popular scenic vacation spot in China, with numerous temples, gardens, pavilions, and bridges just waiting to be explored. Spend your weekend visiting the city's cultural landmarks, boating on the lake, or taking a peaceful stroll along the waterside.


Nanjing is one of China's ancient capitals and has been a central figure throughout all of the nation's dynasties. Visit the old Nanjing city wall and the site of the Confucius Temple. The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall is a necessary visit for anyone wishing to understand the complex relationship between China and Japan, as the event continues to impact politics in East Asia even today.

Water Village

Spend the day taking in the beautiful scenery in one of China's famous Water Villages. Known as the "Venices of the East", these villages are known for their vast canals and unique culture. You will be able to see the traditional houses that line the rivers and learn about their historical significance, all while serenely floating through the town.

Cultural Activities in Shanghai

The ISA on-site team encourages you to explore the city and culture of Shanghai. The team facilitates this by offering a robust calendar of events that showcases what makes Shanghai special.

These activities vary each term, and previous offerings have included dumpling night, a calligraphy teaching, a Taichi class, a traditional tea ceremony, and temple visits.