The University of Chicago’s spirit of hands-on intellectual inquiry extends to its Center in Beijing, which provides a gathering place for students across disciplines who want to study or undertake research in China.  The Center includes classrooms, group study rooms, and individual work spaces, highlighting the importance of student programs at UChicago’s Beijing home.

Students in the College may opt to study abroad at the Center to help fulfill their Common Core Civilization Studies component, focusing on East Asian culture and history. In addition to local excursions, past group trips have included visits to the cities of Xi’an, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Tianjin; the Autumn 2012 group visited Japan. The Civ program was the University’s first undergraduate Study Abroad quarter in China, and was initially hosted at Capital Normal University. In Autumn 2010, East Asian Civ moved to the Center and was the space’s inaugural undergraduate program.

For those interested in an even deeper engagement with social and economic issues in contemporary China, the Social Sciences Program enhances academic work with excursions to government agencies, nonprofits, and museums. The Spring Social Sciences quarter is a thematic (non-Common Core) program founded in 2011.

Overseen by the University’s Summer Session program, the Summer Language Program provides rigorous Mandarin instruction and includes small discussion groups and field trips to cultural sites. Past excursions include group trips to the cities of Xi’an and Chengde. Hosted at Qinghua University from 2008 to 2010, the Chinese Language Program moved to the Center in Summer 2011.

Many students choose to complement a University of Chicago education with substantial internship experiences that can add to skills learned in the classroom. The Center in Beijing provides a number of resources to aid UChicago students seeking internship opportunities in China, including the links below. A major Center in Beijing internship initiative is the Jeff Metcalf Public Policy Research Internship program, in which students work at the Center with our Faculty Director, Professor Dali Yang, on research projects related to China’s social and environmental policy (read more here about the 2014 Public Policy Research group, plus other Metcalf interns). Another core Beijing summer internship initiative is the Jeff Metcalf Science Research Internship, in which students are placed at biological sciences or other research labs; past interns have worked with top international professors in fields ranging from genetics to paleontology (these internships culminate in an annual student symposium).

Students can also conduct independent research at the Center, as well as work with mentors and professors onsite. For those engaged in internships with outside organizations, including Chinese companies, NGOs, and research labs, the Center functions as a home base. Throughout the summer, the Center hosts academic conferences, alumni receptions and speaker events, many of which student interns are welcome to attend.

The Career Advancement Office at the University of Chicago is the key resource for students interested in internships across the world. Some application deadlines are rolling and new internship opportunities are posted frequently. Students are encouraged to become familiar with the Career Advancement website and create a Chicago Career Connection account, and should ideally begin searching for opportunities during the autumn, although many opportunities are still available throughout the winter.

Explore internship possibilities

Some of the links below are open only to members of the UChicago community and may require visitors to login to the Career Advancement website with their CNet ID and password.

Intern Abroad: General information on international internships

Jeff Metcalf Internship Program: This program offers paid internships, including many in China (including the Metcalf Public Policy Research Internships)

Wanxiang Ambassador Fellows Program (scroll down on page): The Wanxiang Corporation and UChicago Career Advancement partner each year to offer a summer program that sends UChicago students to China for a pre-professional education program focused on green technology and clean energy in Hangzhou, China

International Experience Grants: Apply for funding to intern or work abroad

Paulson Institute Internship and Fellowship Opportunities: The Paulson Institute, an independent non-partisan institution located at UChicago, focuses its research on sustainable economic growth and a greener global environment and provides internships in China

Work Abroad: Explore international professional experiences

Career Treks: Network with alumni and learn more about careers and internships abroad

Volunteer Abroad: Create an international volunteer experience

Learn about past internship programs

Metcalf Interns visit Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province

Metcalf Interns Visit Shougang Group Headquarters

Center in Beijing Hosted Unprecedented Number of Summer Interns in 2014

Summer 2014 UChicago Community Beijing Reception

2013 Metcalf Biology Research Interns’ China Mini-Symposium Recap

Summer 2013 Student-Alumni and Metcalf Intern Reception

Summer 2012 Internships: An Overview

Support for Graduate Students

The Center in Beijing provides a base for the growing number of University of Chicago graduate students engaged in research in East Asia, acting as a hub for the internationally mobile graduate student community. Graduate researchers in all fields engage with the Center at many levels, from attending speeches and social events while in town, to holding desk space during brief preliminary research trips, to working as research assistants for faculty members or making long-term visits for thesis research and writing. The Center is an ideal space for graduate students in Beijing, offering a quiet, Internet-equipped work setting while also fostering a social and academic network of young scholars.

Graduate students can seek work space and logistical support at the Center and participate in the numerous international workshops and conferences held at the Center each year. They can use the facility as a base while collaborating with peers and faculty, visiting local libraries, and performing field research. 

A number of short-term special programs for University of Chicago graduate students in certain divisions have also been hosted at the Center, such as the annual Masters of Fine Arts Study in Beijing contemporary art session and the March and December Law School International Immersion Programs. These programs were proposed by and arranged in cooperation with specific schools and divisions of the University from 2012 – 2016  With support from the Ford Foundation, the Center in Beijing also administers the New Generation Scholars Program.

Each year, the Beijing Center supports a limited number of graduate research residencies in China with stipends of 3,000USD.

Helpful Links

For information about services and support available for research, please contact Center staff.

To find out about future conferences, events, and workshops at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing, please view our Upcoming Events.

Find out more about the Center in Beijing's Facilities and Services.

UChicago's Center for East Asian Studies also offers links and resources for scholarly research on wider Asia and on China specifically. CEAS maintains relationships with a number of top academic programs in China and Japan that are open to graduate students.

The United States Department of State offers a number of programs for China under its 100,000 Strong Initiative, including Fulbright Fellowships. The National Science Foundation is another source of support for graduate students.