THE WORLD IS YOURS TO EXPLORE!
2020 Program Dates: June 17- July 22
(Flights depart the on June 16th)
LIVE WITH A HOST FAMILY
For the first 4 weeks, students will live with their host families and attend classes each morning. The host family is the heart of the SYA program in Beijing and could be the most rewarding aspect of your experience in China. In your host family, you will be given a glimpse of the rhythms and relationships of daily life that few people who study about China are privileged to observe.______________________________ “My son's host family was beyond amazing. I do not have enough superlatives to describe how wonderful they were. They provided him with so many wonderful experiences, showered him with gifts on his birthday, welcomed his friends, and treated him like their own beloved child. I am forever grateful to them..” -SYA Summer: China '18 Parent
TRAVEL AND EXPLORE
You'll explore ancient cultural and historical sites in Beijing and other lesser-known destinations during faculty-guided excursions.
The fifth week of the program is dedicated to providing students an experience of China beyond Beijing. In past years, destinations for the final trip have included: historic Xi’an, home of the famous Terracotta Army, and the monastery town of Xiahe in Gansu Province; Tai Mountain, Confucius’ ancestral home at Qufu, and the coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong Province; or bustling Shanghai and surrounding regions of the Yangtze River delta. Study trip arrangements will be finalized in the spring.____________________________ “Our child loved the program. It had an unmistakable positive impact on him and his self-confidence and maturity.” - SYA Summer: China '17 Parent
IMMERSE IN THE CULTURE
Attend traditional brush painting, calligraphy and martial arts classes to have a more authentic experience._____________________________ “This program is outstanding. My child's knowledge of the Mandarin language improved tremendously in the five weeks he was there. In addition, the entire experience was extremely well-organized. Finally, Mr. McLoughlin was wonderful at communicating with parents.” - SYA Summer: China '18 Parent
- Program Overview
- Meet the Directors
- Admission & Eligibility
- Daily Life
- Host Families
- Our School
- Tuition, Dates & Financial Aid
- Getting to Beijing
- Accepted Family Login
- Contact us!
SYA Summer: China is designed to boost student language skills and to broaden the understanding of the changes that have shaped contemporary China and its place in a globalizing world. Activities, excursions and travel seek to provide a number of ways that students can expand this understanding beyond the classroom. Host family stays offer a personal context and set of relationships within which students can base their experience.
The program begins with a three-day orientation that will allow students to get acquainted with each other, the school neighborhood, as well as start their Chinese language classes. Students will move in with their host families at the end of the orientation.
The Summer Program’s curriculum is both comprehensive and integrated. Students attend classes on weekdays from 8AM - 3:00PM. Students receive approximately 20 hours of Chinese language instruction per week. Language classes emphasize the four main language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, while focusing on specific and practical topics of study. For example, classes rotate through level-appropriate themes such as the Chinese family, Hutongs (traditional courtyard alleys) or urban life in China. These themes also provide the foundation for related activities, including excursions and interview projects that take students outside the classroom and into the city. After students arrive in Beijing, they will be given a language placement test to appropriately group them in language classes. In the past, students have regularly been divided into four different language levels.
In addition to the language classes, students participate for three to four hours each week in discussion-based classes offering them background information on China’s culture, society and politics as they relate both to their local and travel study experiences and to the world at large.
Wednesday afternoon and Saturday group excursions take students out into Beijing to see some of its greatest attractions and to experience its urban culture.
SYA China also arranges extracurricular classes which include calligraphy, Chinese painting and taiji/martial arts. Students will be able to choose from among the offerings. These classes offer a wonderful opportunity to learn more about traditional Chinese culture.
The last week of the program is dedicated to providing students an experience of China beyond Beijing. In past years, destinations for the final trip have included: historic Xi’an, home of the famous Terracotta Army, and the monastery town of Xiahe in Gansu Province; Tai Mountain, Confucius’ ancestral home at Qufu and the coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong Province; or bustling Shanghai and surrounding regions of the Yangtze River delta. Study trip arrangements will be finalized in the spring.
Li Xuedong Co-Director, Student and Administrative Affairs
Li Xuedong came to SYA in 2007, after spending two years as a Mandarin Chinese instructor at the Associated Colleges in China Program (ACC). In his years at SYA, Li Xuedong has worn just about every hat in the program. He has taught Chinese at all levels. He has directed student activities and SYA’s Activities, Service, and Wellness (ASW) program. He has served as travel coordinator and been in charge of our many field programs across China. Beyond SYA, Li Xuedong has taught English at the New Oriental School and runs his own English language weekend school. He enjoys playing music, singing, and song writing – and playing basketball as often as he can. Li Xuedong graduated from Beijing International Studies University with a B.A. in Chinese. Li Xuedong has worked in the SYA China Summer Program since its inception.
Li Yan Co-Director, Language Learning and Teaching, Academic Affairs
After graduating from the Minzu University of China, Li Yan taught at the Inter-University Program (IUP) before traveling to Indiana University to teach Chinese and pursue her MA in modern language education. During two summers in the U.S., Li Yan taught at the Middlebury Summer Chinese School in Vermont. In the course of her studies at Indiana, Li Yan co-authored Chinese textbooks published by Indiana University Press. After completing her degree in 2004, Li Yan joined SYA where, in addition to teaching, she has continued her interests in scholarly research. Li Yan has been a frequent presenter at language pedagogy conferences both in China and the U.S. Li Yan has worked with the National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (Han Ban), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the College Board in preparing Chinese exchange teachers for U.S. assignments. At SYA, she has played an important role in the establishment of a professional development program for Mandarin teachers. Li Yan has worked in the SYA China Summer Program since its inception.
All SYA Summer programs are open to rising 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade high school students. Application for admission is considered complete when the following have been received:
• Online application and $50 application fee
• Transcript (with fall semester grades)
The application for Summer of 2020 will be available in October 2019.
The schedule below gives a sense of how your days and weeks will be structured. Adjustments are made each year to accommodate student, faculty, and program needs but the 2019 schedule will closely resemble this model. Mornings are devoted to language learning. The order of Chinese classes will change for each of the four language groupings.
For the first half of the program, we encourage you to eat lunch in the school cafeteria. Your tuition to SYA includes this meal. After the school cafeteria closes in mid-July, students are given money for lunch and can choose from inexpensive options near the school.
Students are expected to be home for dinner each evening. Students must return home by 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, unless they are with their host parents or at a school function.
The host family is the heart of the SYA program in Beijing and could be the most rewarding aspect of your experience in China. Through your host family, you will be catch a glimpse of the rhythms and relationships of daily life that few people who study about China are privileged to observe. Considering the importance of your host family stay, you are probably wondering what it will really be like. Of course we cannot provide you with a profile of a “typical” Chinese family, any more than we could tell our host families what a “typical” SYA student and his or her parents are like; but we can offer some perspective and observations.
Most of our host families live quite well by local standards, but probably without some of the comforts to which you are accustomed. You will find that Chinese families are exceedingly solicitous about things like the diet and health of their American child. We urge you to be patient with this genuine expression of concern. During orientation in Beijing, the Program Director will discuss with you in detail guidelines for living in a host family as well as habits and customs you may find unfamiliar. Ultimately, we can only emphasize the advice that is valid in all cross-cultural situations, urging our students to be discreet, observant, nonjudgmental, flexible, self-effacing and polite, never forgetting to say “please” and “thank you,” and, of course, to expect the unexpected.
Beijing Normal University’s Second Affiliated Upper Middle School (HS#2) is located northwest of the city’s center, between the Second and Third Ring Roads, across the street from the east gate of Beijing Normal University.
SYA has been on the HS#2 campus since the year-long program began in 1994. Recently designated a National Model School, HS#2 has undergone extensive curriculum reform and facilities renovation. It now boasts a new athletic complex; an outdoor track and soccer field; basketball and volleyball courts; well-maintained gardens and a full- equipped classroom building where SYA has its own spacious classrooms, computer lab, library and office space. Students at HS#2 regularly matriculate into the best universities in the country – and increasingly into international universities. When SYA students wear the HS#2 uniform to class each day, they identify themselves as members of this impressive institution.
The school is in a great location. Walk south for 10 minutes from the school gate to the Second Ring Road. At this intersection is the Jishuitan subway stop and across the intersection is a large, full-selection department store. Walk north for five minutes from the school gate to the Third Ring Road. Across the intersection are a large upscale department store, a supermarket and a gym that many SYA students have frequented.
Close to school you will find a school supply store, banks and ATM machines, convenience stores, a large pharmacy, a bicycle repair station, a newspaper stand that sells phone cards. Snack shops, coffee shops, fast food shops, pastry shops, fruit shops, gift shops, photocopy shops, book shops. A variety of restaurants – from simple family and lunch special places to establishments where you could take company for something nicer. Across the street, Beijing Normal University’s sprawling, green, slow-paced campus offers our students the opportunity to get a feel for college life at one of the city’s premier institutions. Behind the school stretch smaller blocks of residential neighborhoods that haven’t seen the kind of vertical development experienced in other parts of the city. As a result, the school neighborhood has a decidedly local feel to it.
Program fee for SYA Summer: China 2020: $8,800
The summer fee is inclusive of tuition, homestay, meals, excursions and health insurance. Not included are: round-trip airfare, personal expenses such as visa fees, travel insurance and spending money.
Duration: Five weeks
SYA Summer reserves the right to cancel a summer program if minimum enrollment is not met by February 15th. In the event of cancellation, all deposits will be refunded.
2020 Program dates: June 17- July 22
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until programs are full.
SYA Summer has very limited need-based financial aid available. Less than 5% of our summer students will receive a grant, with no grant to exceed 50% of the tuition. Financial aid funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis and are for families with demonstrated need.
To apply, check the financial aid box on the Summer Application and send a copy of your most recent tax returns to firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment Schedule/Refund Policy:
A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is due within two weeks of acceptance into the program, with the remainder of the balance due by May 15th. A refund of 50% will be granted to those who cancel before June 1; however, no refund will be offered for cancellations after June 1.
Departure/Return: SYA organizes a round-trip group flight, typically from the East Coast, to Beijing. There will be a chaperone on the outbound flight in June, but not on the return flight in July. Families are not required to purchase a ticket on the group flight. Students will be met by SYA staff at the airport in Beijing upon arrival no matter what flight they take over.
Please note: group flights depart the day before each program starts abroad.
Students who are accepted to the program will receive details about the group flight and all other arrival options.