At SYA China, each day is a new adventure filled with unique opportunities for learning, growth and language acquisition. Consequently, there is no "average" day at SYA China. The following schedule provides an outline for the full lives that students live while at SYA China during the majority of the academic year. Schedules vary from student to student, and are different during the initial cultural orientation in the fall, during the final weeks of the capstone project, on extended educational trips to other provinces and on fieldwork days. Below is a typical class day in the 2019-2020 academic year:

7:00 am

Wake Up

Get ready for your day in Beijing, China!

7:30 am

Have Breakfast

Enjoy a traditional Chinese breakfast such as a jianbing with your host family. 

7:45 AM

Go to School

All SYA students live a short distance from the SYA campus and walk, bike or take public transportation to school.

8:00 am 


SYA students can choose from a variety of math courses (taught in English) ranging from Advanced Algebra to AP Calculus BC. These courses combine in-class and online learning activities in a hybrid learning environment, with a focus on developing independent learning skills.

8:50 am


English is taught in English by teachers from American independent schools. Using a variety of texts you will further explore globalism and the abroad experience through literature.

9:40 am

Chinese History

In this required course, students experience the people and events that have sustained and transformed China.

10:30 am


SYA’s Mandarin program has four different levels ranging from beginning students who have never studied Mandarin to advanced honors. This double period class emphasizes reading, writing, speaking, listening and cultural understanding.

12:05 pm


SYA China students eat lunch with their Chinese peers at the BNU High School #2 cafeteria. 

1:00 pm 

Free Period

Prepare for your upcoming homework assignments, meet with teachers, hang out with your friends, or even play a basketball game with Chinese students at the school's courtyard.

1:50 pm

Chinese Tutorial

Students use this free-form teaching time to work one-on-one with teachers to practice Chinese characters, tone, verbal and comprehension skills. 


2:40 pm

Modern China: Politics, Society and Culture

Classes at SYA will engage you with your surroundings. End the academic day interviewing locals for this fieldwork based course.

3:30 pm 

Co-Curricular Activities

Spend your afternoons participating in sports teams, visual and performing arts, volunteering, at Model United Nations, or learning typical Chinese activities like Tai Chi, martial arts, or Chinese cooking.

4:30 pm 

Free Time

Complete homework assignments, spend time with friends or your host family exploring Beijing from the hutongs to the arts district. 

5:00 pm 

Visit a Beijing snack shop

Try some local xiaochi. Many SYA students love zhenzhu naicha, or "bubble tea", and baozi, or "buns"!



5:30 pm 

Head back home

Stop to take in the view on your way back home.

6:00 pm

Spend time with your host family

Host families come in all shapes and sizes. Time spent with your host family can be a great way to practice your Chinese language skills and come to feel truly at home abroad.

6:30 pm 


Enjoy authentic Chinese food with your host family.


7:00 pm

After Dinner

Complete your homework, relax with your host family and get ready for another day in Beijing, China! 


For a full list of available courses at SYA China, check out the SYA China Academics Page

To read more about SYA's hands-on academics, visit our Curriculum Page

Explore the SYA campus in Beijing!



Welcome to Beijing, China