Drexel in China: Tsinghua University
About the Program
Tsinghua University is widely regarded as one of the top five institutions in Mainland China. It boasts 48 undergraduate majors and has around 200 courses taught in English throughout the academic year. Tsinghua University was founded in 1911, formerly known as a royal garden of Qing Dynasty. The campus is famous for its beautiful surroundings embraced by shady trees and time-honored architectural complexes with different features and styles. Located on the site of “Qing Hua Yuan” in Haidian District, Beijing, Tsinghua offers a perfect combination of an urban and local atmosphere. Drexel students who participate on this program will be studying with the best and the brightest in China and receive an education from some of the most esteemed professors in Asia.
Situated in Beijing, the nation’s capital, Drexel students will be fully immersed in Chinese culture and rigorous curriculum. Students who are eager to improve their Chinese language skills will also find Beijing the perfect location to practice their spoken mandarin with the option to take formal courses during the semester.
Note: Tsinghua University does not allow Chinese national to participate in their exchange program.
Beijing, the Chinese capital city, is home to around 21 million people and is the political, cultural and commercial hub of one of the world's major economies. Home to many of China's biggest companies, as well as the headquarters of numerous major global corporations, it acts as an important financial center and has thriving real estate and automobile sectors. Beijing's history spans back over 3 millennia and is home to many historic sites, such as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, as well as modern architectural marvels.
- 3.0 minimum GPA
- CHIN 101
- Sophomore, Pre-Junior, or Junior
Students will have the option to choose from dozens of English courses
during their semester at Tsinghua. There is also an option to take language courses under the university’s language program so long as it is under 8 credits. Students who have a high level of mandarin can take a placement exam and participate in courses taught in Chinese. Students can take a maximum of 20 Tsinghua credits per semester which equals to roughly 5 – 8 courses.
Students participating in the program are asked to complete an academic pre-approval form. For this form, we ask you to review the course offerings at the host institution and discuss with your academic advisor which courses are best suited for your plan of study. You must obtain approval by the appropriate department for each course you plan to take abroad. For example, if you want to take a sociology course at the host institution for Drexel credit, its equivalent must be pre-approved by the Sociology Department at Drexel. Students are encouraged to elect 8-10 courses on the pre-approval form in case there are scheduling conflicts, or your top choices are not available.
You can find the list of pre-approved courses here
Students are taught and graded by faculty at the host institution. Grades are noted as "CR/NCR" on transcripts and will NOT affect the cumulative GPA. In order to receive CR, students must earn the equivalent of a "C" or above at the host institution. Students must maintain full-time status at the host institution while also taking the equivalent of a full-time course load at Drexel.
Fall Semester Calendar
|Program Start Date
|Program End Date
: Students need to change their co-op to winter/spring as they will not be able to return to Philadelphia before the start of winter term. Tsinghua will not allow students to take exams early or in Philadelphia. Students must stay at Tsinghua until the end of the exam period. Alternatively, you can explore other opportunities to study abroad in the Winter term if the program calendar has a start date that corresponds well with Tsinghua's end date.
Due to Tsinghua's semester schedule, Drexel students are encouraged to stay in Asia after their studies to complete a co-op experience. Students should contact International Co-op for more information about winter/spring co-ops either in China or elsewhere in the world.
Students will need to work closely with the Study Abroad office, their academic advisor and the co-op office to determine how to best plan their time during this program. Due to the need for cycle changes, the study abroad office urges students to begin planning 12-18 months in advance.
Exchange students will typically live in shared apartments with other students near campus. These apartments are reasonably priced and can be arranged through a local real estate agency, recommended by Tsinghua. It is possible for students to apply for the university dormitories, but the rooms are in high demand and visiting students generally prefer the conditions of private housing. More information about accommodation options can be found on the Tsinghua website
For meals, students can eat at a very economical price in the on-campus cafeterias, and this is an excellent way to experience and understand Chinese university life. There are also a variety of Chinese and Western restaurants located within walking distance of the campus and an even wider range of possibilities for exploration throughout the city.
Tsinghua will provide incoming international students (non-Chinese citizens) with a JW 202 form and the Acceptance Letter to support their visa application for the X visa. X visa holders need to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit from the local Public Security Bureau within 30 days upon entry into China, and anyone who fails to do so will be considered an illegal resident. It is recommended that students avoid early entry to save potential trouble.
More information about the visa will be provided by the Joint Institute upon acceptance.
Estimated Program Costs
Review the Estimated Study Abroad Costs page for a list of approximated program expenses.
Tuition & Financial Aid
This is a Drexel sponsored program, thus your Drexel tuition and financial aid remain the same during the term abroad. Students may also want to submit a revised budget to Drexel Central to see if additional funding may be available.
Students who receive Federal Work Study should consider applying for the Study Abroad Online Journalist work study position (only available to students after acceptance).
Those interested in seeking additional funding should review Scholarship & Funding Opportunities. Remember that scholarship deadlines may be much earlier than study abroad deadlines, so plan accordingly.
For more information on these and many other scholarship opportunities, visit our Scholarships page.
- The China Scholarship Council for American Students is also funding 10,000 scholarship opportunities for U.S. students studying in China for a term or more.
- Students going on this program are eligible to apply for the PaCIE and The Asia Institute’s joint scholarship. Awards up to $1,000 to support students seeking to participate in global learning experiences in Asia.
- The Freeman-Asia scholarship, available to US citizens and green card holders, provides substantial support for selected students to help defray costs of studying abroad.
- For Language minors only. The College of Arts and Sciences offers Critical Languages Abroad Grants to support study abroad for Drexel University’s minors in critical and less commonly-taught languages: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and German. Awardees will receive support towards travel and housing while studying abroad to advance their language minor in critical or less commonly taught languages. Grants up to $2,500 will be awarded to eligible students. The amount will vary depending on factors such as country, length of stay, financial aid, and travel costs. Learn More.
- Photos of Johnny Zhu, Marketing