“I chose IFSA because of the interesting classes offered, the ability to hold an internship while abroad, and the organized group field trip to Western China. It was incredible to be able to learn both inside and outside the classroom!“
- DATES AND FEES
About 21st Century City
Witness history in the making as Shanghai continues to develop at an unprecedented pace. With this cosmopolitan city as your classroom, you can explore issues of sustainable urbanization, economic reforms, or Chinese politics and foreign policy while living with Chinese roommates and studying Chinese language, too.
Academics at 21st Century City
The 21st Century City program examines the history of Shanghai, its process of rapid urbanization, and China's interface with the West in this dynamic Asian center. The 15-credit semester is comprised of a required core class and Chinese language along with 2 electives.
- Chinese Society in the 21st Century (3 U.S. semester credits) This course examines the transformation in Chinese society since the founding of the People's Republic of China, with emphasis on the changes brought about in the wake of the economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s. Topics include urban and rural social transformation, the changing relationship between individual and society, and population control and the one child policy. Students explore the social consequences of China's rapid integration into the global economy.
Developing skills in a foreign language can profoundly impact your life personally and professionally. Though language study (other than Essential Chinese) is not required, students frequently report their Chinese language class as one of their favorites and the one they applied most outside of the classroom.
- Essential Chinese (1 U.S. semester credit hours) If you've never studied Chinese before, and you decide not to take an elective language class, you'll take this introductory seminar to contemporary Chinese language and culture taught intensively during the first weeks of the program. By introducing key words and phrases and venturing out into the city to practice them, you'll gain essential skills to communicate effectively and navigate in a new culture.
- Chinese Language (6 U.S. semester credit hours) No prior language study is required. A placement exam during on-site orientation determines each student's appropriate language level.
- Business Chinese I or Business Chinese II (3 U.S. semester credit hours) You must have completed three semesters of Chinese language prior to taking this class. You will develop specialized skills in business-related Chinese communication in both oral and written form.
Customize your semester based on your personal interests and degree requirements, choosing from the electives on the 21st Century City program as well as our International Business and Public Health Policy and Practice offerings. All elective classes are taught in English. Not all electives may be offered in a given semester depending on enrollment and faculty availability.
- City and Environment (3 U.S. semester credit hours) With a rapidly growing population, rising lifestyle expectations, and continuing industrial production, urban China's usage of water and energy resources is a key question for those concerned with a sustainable future. This class will localize these issues by investigating Shanghai as a case study of urban environmental issues in China. How does Shanghai face the challenges of resource use and waste that its sprawling urban footprint creates? How sustainable can Shanghai become?
- Internship Methodology Seminar (3 U.S. semester credit hours) Interns are placed in Chinese or international non-profits, corporations, consulting firms, or think-tanks. Placements are highly competitive, and other foreign languages and professional skills assist in the placement process. Interns spend approximately 10 hours per week at the internship site and complete a final academic paper with an accompanying oral presentation. Internships are supervised by a facuilty advisor who meets with students both individually and as a group throughout the term.
- Sino-U.S. Relations: Superpower and Realignment (3 U.S. semester credit hours) The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. This course examines their intricate relationship, focusing on the period after 1949, when the People's Republic of China was proclaimed. What roles have trade and human rights played in the relationship? How have recent incidents, such as the American bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999 and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, influenced the strategic Beijing-Washington relationship? What lies in the future, as China rises?
- Contemporary Chinese Politics: State, Party, People (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course examines the current political leadership of China, urban and rural relations, nationalism and foreign policy, mass participation, and the emergence of the rule of law. How has the communist political system evolved? What are the challenges when the society is under massive change as a result of economic reform and globalization? How is political stability maintained? And most importantly, the million-dollar question: when will China democratize?
- Survey of Art in China (3 U.S. semester credit hours) This course is a systematic seminar that explores the important developments in Chinese art from early history to modern times. Most sessions will take place in selected museums throughout Shanghai. Rather than studying the objects as art, students will examine them as "artifacts." Students also will explore questions such as: When and how did these artifacts come to be placed within the precincts of art museums? What statement does the object narrate regarding its historical and present context?
- Exploring Community & Culture in a Global Context (3 U.S. semester credit hours) Through a creative asynchronous online format, this course facilitates active engagement with your host community, exploration of cultural identity and examination of diversity in the context of political, economic and sociocultural structures. Students cover topics such as intercultural communication skills, intercultural learning theories, tools for intercultural analysis and the development of personal strategies for engaging with differences of any kind following the study abroad experience. This course is ideal for students seeking transferable skills and specific competencies for success in the global marketplace. Depending on your chosen IFSA program, this course may be taken as a part of or in addition to your full credit load. Home institution approval is required for enrollment.
In Shanghai, you have the opportunity to participate in a part-time, credit-bearing internship at sites that may include Chinese or international non-profits, corporations, or think-tanks. The placement process begins with the submission of the Field Component Intent Form upon acceptance into the program and typically concludes with an in-person interview in China.
IFSA makes every effort to place interns at companies or organizations that match the organization's needs with your skills, experience, and goals, including but not limited to the your Chinese language level and communication skills, prior professional experience, and work competencies. You are encouraged to be flexible. Internships may include opportunities to:
· Lead organization of English classes for Chinese migrants, including course preparation and occasional instruction
· Contribute to brand strategy and communications; monitor and maintain regular social media activity
· Coordinate planning and implementation of environmentally focused conferences and events
· Assist in arranging accessible group field trips that contribute to the well-being of differently abled community members
· Support administration of intercultural and international educational programs across China
· Research legal resources for company advisors; support processing of legal translations
After you return to the U.S., IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. credit system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects courses taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost.
Dates and Fees
Meet Your Program Advisor
What Our Students Say
“IFSA allowed me to take classes taught by Chinese professors from several local universities while also directly familiarizing us with urban China. I also got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel around central China through an IFSA-led trip!“
Unpacked: Student Stories
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