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Academic Year Program 2015-2016: US $17,100
Semester Program, Fall 2015 or Spring 2016: US $9,000
Summer Program 2015: US $5,000
The fees at IUP are obviously much more expensive than those of a typical language program offered by other Chinese universities. However, the IUP program offers much smaller classes and daily one-on-one classes with top notch teachers. Australian students in recent years have relied on Endeavour Award scholarships in order to fund their study at IUP.
IUP is located in the heart of the Tsinghua University campus in Wudaokou. The Tsinghua campus offers a traditional campus environment with historic architecture, bicycle peak hour in the morning and beautiful gardens to enjoy on a nice clear day. Best get a bike or an electric scooter as this is one of the biggest campuses in China and 4.5 kilometers in diameter! Walking from the university gate to the IUP Center is a 20 minute walk.
Wudaokou is renown for its smorgasbord of foreign supermarkets, bars, international restaurants and somewhat seedy nightlight. Living in the student hive of Wudaokou can certainly be a great experience but the fun can wear off after a semester or two; as its quite far from downtown Beijing as well as the oversupply of young foreign students.
With Tsinghua University as the host university and the University of California Berkeley administrating the program, IUP captures a formidable reputation merely by association. In China, the program is highly renown as an elite language program and notorious for its highly intense workload. IUP students will generally advise that 3-4 hours of daily class preparation and homework is needed to keep up with teacher expectations and the rapid pace of the program.
In order to help students cultivate the habit of speaking Chinese as much as possible, the program maintains a total Chinese language environment. Students are expected to speak only Chinese within the program’s premises at all times. Students at the Center also tend to be highly studious and there is a high proportion of American students from IVY league universities, Fulbright scholars or mid-career lawyers and professionals. The teachers also organise regular social events and pizza days, while students often host house parties or go out on the weekend as a release from the mountain of homework.
Looking purely at the caliber of students studying at the Center, there is a good chance that a classmate next to you at IUP will one day be at the forefront of US-China relations; working for the State Department or a multinational company in Beijing and Shanghai. Employers, especially in Beijing, tend to look favourably at IUP graduates. Students also stay in close contact after the program through the well-organised and active alumni associations in China and the U.S. Asia Options would not recommend complimenting study at the Center with a part-time internship due to the heavy workload.
Asia Options Verdict
A big question about IUP is the tuition fees and the return on investment. Without a doubt the tuition fees are astronomical by Chinese standards and there are certainly cheaper alternative options of studying Mandarin. However, for those with the financial support to study at the Center, the IUP program offers a structured, challenging and immersive language environment which is hard to beat. Other benefits of the Center to keep in mind are definitely the caliber of students at the Center, the high quality of teaching, the well-established alumni network and events, and the excellent reputation of the Center in China.
Excellent teaching standards
Expensive tuition fees