Wang Center for Global EducationStudent Opportunities

Study Abroad in Chengdu, China

Fall Semester or Full-Year Program

Nestled in a rich agricultural basin near the foothills of Tibet, Sichuan Province is China’s most populous. Within the mixture of modern cities and rural villages is Chengdu, the provincial capital – home to Western China’s best universities and hospitals, and a major site for foreign and domestic investment, including global industry leaders like Microsoft, Boeing and Intel.

You’ll study at Sichuan University, one of China’s most prestigious universities. The campus is large and exciting, attracting students from all over China and the world. The university district outside the campus is fun and convenient, offering Internet cafes, restaurants, banking and shopping.

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Chinese Language & Culture; International Business; Global Studies; Environmental Studies; Economics; Anthropology

Classes are taught at Sichuan University (SCU). All courses, excluding language courses, are taught in English from Sichuan University professors or by the PLU professor who is the Site Director during the Fall semester. To provide an introduction to Chinese language, culture and society, all students are required to take a set of three core classes equaling 10-14 credits. Students then choose from a variety of elective courses to complete a total of up to
17 semester credit hours.

Fall Required Core

(10-14 credits)

CHIN 101/102/201/202/350: Chinese Language (4-8 credits)
CHSP 350: Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society - SO (4 credits)
CHSP 350: Western China: The Rural and Minority Experience (2 credits)

Fall Electives

(up to 7 credits)

Fall 2015: BUSA 309: Creating Value in Operations (4 credits)
PLU Site Director Course*

Fall 2014: RELI 390: Comparative Religion - RG, C (4 credits)
PLU Assistant Professor, Erik Hammerstrom

HIST 339: The 20th Century History of China (3 credits)
SCU Professor Zhou Yi

POLS 387: Chinese Politics: Historical Ideas to Contemporary Realities (3 credits)
SCU Professor Zhou Yi

POLS 332: Sino-American Relations (3 credits)
SCU professor Song Zhihui

RELI 350: Daoism & Traditional Chinese Culture (3 credits)
SCU Professor Zhang Chongfu

BUSA 352: International Business Trade Practices & Procedures (3 credits)
SCU Professor Weng Jia

ECON: Public Economics (3 credits)
SCU Professor Zhao Zhi

ARTD: The Arts of China (3 credits)
Pang Lirong

ARTD 350: Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy (1 credit)
SCU Staff

PHED 276: Introduction to Taiji - PE (1 credit)
SCU Staff

PHED 276: Introduction to Kung fu - PE (1 credit)
SCU Staff

PHED 276: Ping Pong - PE (1 credit)
SCU Staff

Pacific Lutheran University awards all credits earned in this program. Semester-long study away programs fulfill PLU's Cross Cultural Diversity requirement.

*Each Fall semester a PLU professor teaches one 4-credit course in their discipline and serves as the program's Site Director.

Internship Option

Students may apply separately for a part-time international work experience in Chengdu through InternChina. Students earn 2 credits of COOP 477 or departmental credit may also be arranged.

Fall Study Tours

This program engages students in the various cultures of China as an integral part of the required courses that explore Chinese culture and the minority experience. Students are first introduced to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall in Beijing and then take an overnight train to Xian whose famous Terracotta Warriors and Wild Goose Pagoda are a reminder of China’s prominence in the world as the eastern terminus of the Silk Road. Finally, students fly into Chengdu, home to China’s pandas and a sizable Tibetan minority population, and prepare for their semester of study at Sichuan University.

While in Chengdu, Students engage with local communities through study tours to rural farms, local villages and nearby monuments such as Emei Mountain. In October, students visit a Tibetan Region for a week of discovery to explore Buddhist temples, shrines, a culture vastly different than its surrounding regions.

Residence Hall

You will stay in an international student residence hall, where you will meet students from around the world. You will have a double bedroom with your own bathroom and shower. You are provided with a monthly stipend for food, which gives you the freedom to eat at the nearby cafeteria, or to explore the many surrounding restaurants.

Program Fee

The PLU comprehensive fee for Fall 2015 covers this academic experience (instruction and academic credit, housing and meal stipend, study tours, study abroad insurance, and visa fees). Financial aid applies.

Out-of-pocket expenses

Roundtrip air travel, books, personal excursions, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included in program cost.

Global Scholar Award

All PLU Gateway & Featured Programs are Global Scholar Award eligible. This need-based award can cover out-of-pocket expenses up to $2,500 on PLU Gateway and Featured semester programs.

For non-PLU students, please check with your home institution or sponsoring study abroad organization on program cost.

Contact Us

Greg Youtz
Professor of Music
Director, China Program

Tanya Ulsted
Study Away Coordinator & Gateway Program Manager


Sophomore, junior, or senior standing. Students must have a minimum 2.7 or higher G.P.A. (3.0 preferred). Must be a student in good standing. No previous Chinese language study required. All courses other than Chinese language are taught in English.

Application Deadline

Completed application materials are due to the Wang Center by March 13, 2015 for Fall 2015 or Full-Year 2015-2016 programs. A $50 non-refundable deposit is due with the application. A $250 non-refundable program payment to confirm participation is required within 10 days of acceptance.

Application Components

  • Typed and signed application form
  • Short essays
  • 2 recommendation forms (1 faculty, 1 professional)
  • Copy of passport ID page
  • Application fee
Note: Applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will be available in January 2015

Reflections on the Program

Learn about PLU student Evan Koepfler's experience studying in China during Fall 2012 as a Chinese Studies major.

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Fall 2014 site director, Erik Hammerstrom, on Twitter for photos and updates from the group!

Photo Gallery

Check out our Flickr Photo Gallery to see pictures from past participants in the China program.

Student Experience

Visit Lewis and Clark student Ellen Anderson’s blog to learn about her experiences studying in Chengdu with the PLU Gateway Program during Fall 2014.

Alumni Stories

Check out what China program alum Mycal Ford did after PLU and how his experience in Chengdu impacted his vocational path.

Program Highlights
  • Fall Semester (mid-August to mid-December) or Full Year (mid-August to May/July)

  • Chinese language study at all levels

  • Content coursework taught in English

  • Fall Study Tours to Beijing, Xi'an, Tibet, Shanghai and more

  • PLU faculty on-site (fall only)

  • Internship option

View PLU Gateway Program Catalog