Study Abroad

CET Chinese Language in Harbin

  • Location: Harbin, China
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Language of Instruction: Chinese
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors.


****Due to the pandemic, this program will not run in Fall 2021****

COVID-19 Protocols and Travel Warnings

  • You can read about this program’s COVID-19 safety protocols at this link, and read the CDC Travel Warning and U.S. State Department Travel Advisory at the respective links. For more information about Haverford College Study Abroad and the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, read the Study Abroad homepage here.
  • CET requires all study abroad students to be fully vaccinated before they can participate in any CET program. 

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.


Students must have had a minimum of two years (four semesters) of college-level Chinese or the equivalent. Students must enroll in an appropriate-level Chinese language course.

Academic Credit

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.

Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.


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.

Course Highlights

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.

Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad


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.

Housing/Meal Plans

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. 


Freeman-Asia Scholarship
Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia.

Additional Resources

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

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  • Program List


  • Semester
  • Fulfills Language Requirement


  • Semester I: Late August to mid-December
  • Semester II: Mid-February to early June

Application Deadlines

  • Semester I: Cancelled for Fall 2021
  • Semester II: October 15

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