Program Details

Program Details

Important Notice: For U of A students, only those who have had a minimum of 1 year of Chinese college equivalent or more (i.e. completed Chinese 101/102 or higher before July 2020) are eligible to apply for 2020 Harbin Summer Program.

1. Course Information

All classes will be taught by H.I.T. faculty lecturers who have professional certification in teaching Chinese to non-native speakers. Students coming with the U of A delegation will first be evaluated by H.I.T faculty, and then assigned to language classes appropriate to their own level; other students in each of these language sections will all be non-native learners at roughly the same level from all over the world.

Program dates for 2020 are June 29- July 24. Evaluations for class assignments will take place the day before classes, so students must be present on campus at that time; we recommend that students arrive a few days early, so as to get settled. (Detailed information about travel arrangements will be discussed among those accepted to the program, in the spring). All students are expected to be 18 or older by the time they arrive in China; we will always provide all the personal and academic assistance that we can to students in the program, but neither the University nor Ms. Li Yang can take legal responsibility for participants.

During the four weeks of the course, classes will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon every weekday, and students are expected to show up on time to class every day. Please remember-this is an intensive language course; in addition to your time in class, please expect to do another 1-2 hours of homework per day. However, despite the heavy workload, there is still plenty of time for having fun! Some weekday afternoons, and some weekend days, H.I.T. will offer cultural programs on campus and field trips around the city. Most students also spend many hours shopping, dining out, clubbing, and even taking weekend trips as far away as Beijing.

2. Living Conditions

Students will be housed in on-campus foreign-students' dormitories near their classrooms. Most housing will be in four-person suites, containing two double-occupancy bedrooms, a living room, and private bathroom. Kitchens are not available in these rooms. We can work with H.I.T. to try to place students with roommates of their choice; however, in case of odd numbers of roommates, cancellations, or other issues, participants may have to share a bedroom with a non-U of A student enrolled in the program. There is no air-conditioning in the dorms; however, nighttime temperatures in Harbin are cool, and with electric fans available on campus, the dorms are comfortable enough to get a good night's rest.

Inexpensive food is available during all mealtimes at campus cafeterias, and students are encouraged to make use of these. In addition, various snack shops on or near campus may provide some variety at reasonable prices. Those who wish are free, of course, to seek out other dining options around the city; however, there is a great range of prices available, and high-end dining can be just as expensive as in Canada. In general, there will be very little Western-style food available except for fast-food chains; cafes are relatively common, but frequently not open in the early morning when one might most long for caffeine.

3. Costs

Total estimated costs for the four-week program, including tuition and fees, room and board, and airfare, are around $2180. The total estimate of $2180 (which will vary with exchange-rate fluctuations) is based on the following line-items:

  1. H.I.T. fees: 160 RMB=~$32*
    1. Registration FREE
    2. Tuition FREE (through Chinese government scholarship)
    3. Housing FREE
    4. Textbooks FREE
    5. Chinese medical insurance FREE
    6. Housing registration fee 10RMB
    7. Electricity and Internet 150RMB (estimated)
    8. (Refundable food card deposit 30RMB not included)
  2. Food (eating cheaply) 10RMB/meal=900RMB/month=$180
  3. Round-trip airfare, Edmonton to Harbin, $1700
  4. U of A administration, programming, and emergency fee $300

* Students who are NOT Canadian citizens or who has participated in the program before would not be eligible to receive Chinese government scholarships. Therefore, an additional $500 (2800RMB) should be paid for the H.I.T. tuition fee.

This total cost obviously does not include costs of entertainment, shopping, or tourist travel; participants should budget accordingly if they wish to be able to do any of these. Because an important part of a study-abroad trip is the opportunity to get off campus and engage with locals, we do strongly recommend taking at least a small amount of spending money (perhaps $50/week) to cover local travel, small purchases, etc.

4. Scholarships

A. CLIC scholarships

For all full-time students who are Canadian citizens and have never participated before in the Harbin program, you will receive a Chinese government scholarship provided through the Canada Learning Initiative in China (CLIC) program. In addition to providing a complete rebate of almost all fees associated with the program, these scholarships provide a living stipend of 3000RMB for one month (about $600). Students will usually receive the living stipend by cash in the first week of the program.

B. Education Abroad awards

All students who receive the CLIC scholarships and have completed a minimum of 12 credits of UAlberta coursework (or one term of graduate study for graduate students) with a GPA of 2.7 or higher will be automatically awarded scholarships of $750 each from the university's Go Abroad office.
For international students who are not eligible to receive the CLIC scholarship, you are strongly encouraged to apply for the Education Abroad Individual Award which will award you scholarships of $750 each.
Normally, the Go Abroad office will distribute this money in June; those receiving scholarships will need to get their direct deposit information to the Go Abroad office in order to be paid.

C. China Institute scholarships

In addition to the above CLIC and Education Abroad scholarships, we are granted for $20,000 in scholarship funds from the university's China Institute for 2020. This $20,000 will be given out as an additional $500 scholarship to 40 participants. If there are more than forty applications, these $500 scholarships will be awarded by a judgment of our department partially based upon academic merit, and partially on the basis of seeking even representation from across the university.

Therefore, counting all costs and scholarships, we estimate that the total out-of-pocket expenses for participants in 2020 will be only $330!

There is no separate scholarship application. All applicants to the summer program will automatically be considered for all available scholarships. When we notify you of the results of the application, we will tell you exactly how much scholarship money we are able to offer you, so that you can have a clear idea about costs before you are asked to make a formal commitment to join the program.

For further information, contact Ms. Li Yang at

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