Shanghai, China

IFSA Summer in Shanghai

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Program Overview


Choose your ideal Shanghai summer. With eight levels of Chinese language instruction, it’s easy to find the perfect fit your skills. Designed for rapid improvement, our language classes include plenty of time to get out of the classroom and practice both with peers and around the city.

Passionate about sustainability? Shanghai’s rapid development provides plenty of examples of successes and challenges in urban planning. Take advantage of your front row seat to explore China’s rapid rise as a global economic power.

This flexible program includes options for one or two four-week sessions. Take a class along with an eight-week internship with IFSA Summer Internships in Shanghai.

This is an exclusive IFSA-Designed Program. Learn more about these affordable programs here.

Details at a Glance

Application deadline

Summer: March 15

Minimum GPA


Credit load



Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option

Instruction language

Chinese, English

Language prerequisites


Visa required?

Yes. Learn more.

Apply Now


During your IFSA Summer in Shanghai, customize your study abroad experience by taking a single class during the four-week Session 1 or take a single class during the four-week Session 2. You can also extend your studies by enrolling in both Session 1 and Session 2.


City and Environment
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? (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Chinese Language
No prior language study is required. A placement exam during on-site orientation determines each student’s appropriate language level. (4 U.S. semester credit hours)


China: Economic Giant
This class explores China’s emergence as a global economic power. The phenomenal changes seen in the Chinese economy since radical reforms began in 1978 serve as a backdrop for understanding more recent policy shifts and global trade strategies. Students will examine challenges encountered by the Chinese government in sustaining high-speed economic growth, with case studies such as infrastructure investments and supply chain disruptions. In addition, students will apply economic theories and situate them in geographical and historical contexts when analyzing today’s sociopolitical consequences. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Chinese Language
No prior language study is required. A placement exam during on-site orientation determines each student’s appropriate language level. (4 U.S. semester credit hours)

Australia Outbound Program
Students enrolled at select Australia universities are invited to participate in Session 2 of this program. The program is open to students of all year levels and all fields. Students will earn 45+ contact hours credit; the equivalent of one subject.

Please see the Australia Outbound term below in the Dates and Fees section for program fees and expected expenses in Australian dollars. For more information on the Australia Outbound program, please reach out to us at



  • You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university. Students attending select Australia universities are also eligible.
  • You must have completed at least one (1) full-time semester of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.

Recommendation Letter
Not required.


Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects classes taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.


Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.

Below are a selection of activities and excursions from previous terms; options may vary for your program. Due to the seasonal nature of many of program activities, we cannot guarantee a specific activity or excursion will be available in a given term or program.


  • City Walk: With a guide leading the way, the walk along the Bund in Shanghai promises to be an unforgettable experience. This iconic waterfront area is steeped in history, showcasing a mesmerizing blend of historic structures and modern skyscrapers that form a breathtaking panorama. As you meander through this picturesque setting, the guide will provide insights into Shanghai’s architectural evolution, allowing a deeper appreciation for the city’s rich heritage and its pivotal role in shaping its development.
  • Shanghai Urban Planning Museum: Immerse yourself in Shanghai’s rich history and witness its remarkable transformation from a humble village to the sprawling global city it is today. Through interactive exhibits and insightful displays, gain a deeper understanding of the city’s past, present, and future.
  • Chinese Culture Workshop: Experience the richness and diversity of Chinese culture by participating in the Chinese Culture Workshop! Immerse yourself in a hands-on exploration of traditional customs, arts, and practices that have shaped China’s vibrant heritage.
  • Water Town Trip: Escape the hustle and bustle of Shanghai with a day trip to one of the charming, nearby water towns. Step into a world of tranquil canals, winding alleyways, and traditional stone bridges adorned with intricate carvings. Explore well-preserved Ming and Qing dynasty architecture, including elegant residences and quaint temples, as you meander through the town’s historic streets.

Housing and Meals


Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option




Students live at the international student dormitory of Shanghai University of Economics and Finance (SUFE), our local partner in Shanghai.

Sample housing 

Explore an example of where IFSA students have stayed in past years to get an idea of what your Shanghai home might be like.  

  • Living space: Furnished four-bedroom apartments. Each student has a private bedroom with bed, desk, and storage. Apartment mates share two bathrooms, a living room, and kitchen. Bedding provided. Students provide towels and kitchenware basics.  
  • Location: A 15-minute walk from SUFE classrooms and campus.  
  • Meals: No meal plan. Students prepare or provide their own meals, and there are many options in the university neighborhoods. Plan on spending $11 to $13 USD/day.  
  • Details: Emergency call system. Internet not included (about $9/month per student). Easy walk to public laundromat.  
  • Nearby: Supermarket and shops. Metro. Five Corner Square. University Street. Nanjing Road. Yew Garden. People’s Square. 

Dates and Fees

Term begins
Term ends
Program costs
Application deadline
Summer 2024 - Session 1
May 27, 2024
June 21, 2024
Summer 2024 - Session 2
June 24, 2024
July 19, 2024
Summer 2024 - Sessions 1 & 2
May 27, 2024
July 19, 2024
Summer 2024 (Australia Outbound)
June 24, 2024
July 19, 2024
$9,250 AUD

Get Started

Brittany Brooks

Brittany Brooks

Enrollment Counselor