CET Chinese Language in Harbin
- Location: Harbin, China
- Language of Instruction: Chinese
- Minimum GPA: 3.0
- Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Now an industrial center, Harbin was built largely by Russians in the early 20th century. Harbin’s architecture reflects that history, and a number of Russian-style buildings still remain. Locals speak Mandarin, not another Chinese dialect, and many proudly claim that Harbin Mandarin is the most standard in China. With its language environment and few western distractions, Harbin offers an ideal location for immersion. The program is hosted by the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), one of China’s top ten institutions.
Required.Additional Visa Information
- Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition and room to Haverford College. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting payments to the program.
Students must have had a minimum of two years (four semesters) of college-level Chinese or the equivalent. Students planning to stay in China for more than six months are required to take an HIV test for entry into the country. Students must enroll in an appropriate-level Chinese language course.
Regular (non-research track) students take a total of 20 class hours per week. All students are required to take the one-on-one tutorial and the one-on-two drill. They must also choose two group classes in which enrollment is usually four or five students per class. Fulfills Haverford language requirement.
Courses are comprised of the one-on-one tutorial, one-on-two drill, and small group electives. Electives may include Business Chinese, Chinese Newspaper, Classical Chinese, Composition, Selected Readings in Modern Literature and Conversation. Many of these classes involve outings that enhance in-class material. Class attendance is mandatory.
Chinese language, Chinese studies
Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.
Orientation: CET Harbin students first converge in Beijing for a preliminary orientation. They then travel to Harbin together by train—the hard-sleeper, overnight train ride is itself an orientation to life in China. Once on campus, orientation continues with city and campus tours, group meetings, and the language placement exam.
Number of Students: While there are over 40,000 Chinese students enrolled at the university, CET students are the only group of American students in long-term residence on campus. There are approximately 30-40 CET students each semester.
CET students reside in an international student dormitory directly across from the campus tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. Dormitory rooms are arranged in suites, with two rooms sharing one bathroom. Each room is shared by a CET student and a Chinese roommate from HIT. While roommates take their own classes at HIT, they participate in all other parts of the CET program: excursions, activities, and the language pledge. All rooms have internet access. Meals are not included in the program fee. Most students choose to eat breakfast and lunch in campus cafeterias. For dinner, students explore the array of inexpensive eateries around campus—Chinese, Russian and Korean options are all available. Some students cook their own meals in the dormitory kitchen.
Haverford students may not opt for housing not arranged by the program.
Opportunities / Cultural Events
Field Trips: Weekly activities give CET students and their roommates a chance to unwind at the end of the week. Some activities show students the unexpected side of Harbin: Russian-influenced architecture, an orthodox church, a mosque, a synagogue, or a Korean minority village. Some aim for the lighter side, for example, bowling (baoling qiu) is a whole new experience in Chinese. In addition, twice each term, students depart Harbin and venture on an overnight excursion together.
The Weekend Trip. This three-day excursion takes students to a nearby city like Dalian or Dandong. Part of the experience is the getting there. Students travel as locals do—by hard- sleeper train to simple, but comfortable, hotels.
The Immersion Retreat. This overnight trip takes all students, teachers and roommates to the rural countryside for a weekend of Chinese activities. Students hike in pristine mountains, interact with villagers, and eat local food.
Extracurricular classes allow CET Harbin students get to try their hand at a number of Chinese pastimes: Chinese calligraphy, Chinese cooking, Tai Chi and karaoke, to name a few.
- Fulfills Language Requirement
- Semester I: Late August to mid-December
- Semester II: Mid-February to mid-June
- Year: Late August to mid-June
- Semester I: March 1
- Semester II: October 1
- Year: March 1
- Associate Professor of Chinese and Linguistics and CV Starr Professor of Asian Studies
- Stokes 118A1
- (610) 896-1262