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Valpo Study Center in Hangzhou, China
Hangzhou, China (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Budget Sheets Fall
Fact Sheet:
Program Type:
Valpo Study Center
Language of Instruction:
English, Mandarin
Class Status:
2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior, 5-Graduate
Term of Study:
Housing Options:
Minimum GPA:
Language Courses Offered:
Non-Valpo Students:
Subjects Offered: Foreign Languages, Humanities, Social Sciences
Program Description:
horizontal curve

  • Everyone!  Previous study of Chinese is not required, and almost all Valpo students can study abroad in Hangzhou without delaying graduation IF they plan carefully with their academic advisor.
  • You must be a sophomore, junior or senior in good standing with an overall 2.75 GPA. If you are a graduate student and interested in this program, please e-mail Marisa Henderson ( to arrange a meeting and discuss details.
  • As many as 15 students from both Valparaiso University as well as students from other schools in the Lutheran Colleges' China Consortium, or from universities-at-large may study in Hangzhou for the fall semester.

Courses- 13 credits minimum

Students take either 10 credits of intensive Chinese language at the Yuquan Campus of Zhejiang University (at one of six different levels); or take 5 credits of Chinese conversation (EAST 109/209) and audit the other 5 credits of Chinese language (EAST 110/210).  An advanced level of Chinese language is offered as well (EAST 309/310).  Students also take a 3-credit Culture and Civilization course, taught in English.  Additional courses may be available, depending on your Chinese language ability and the resident director of the program.  The courses for fall include:

EAST 109 Beginning Chinese I 5 credits
EAST 110 Beginning Chinese II 5 credits
EAST 209 Intermediate Chinese I 5 credits
EAST 210 Intermediate Chinese I 5 credits
EAST 309/310 Advanced Chinese I/II 10 credits
EAST 395 Chinese Culture and Civilization 3 credits
The site director will offer a course from his/her academic discipline  3 credits

• Independent study can always be arranged with VU faculty, particularly those with interests in China.  Past program participants have arranged projects in business, theology, art, and numerous other fields.

• Experiential opportunities are available for credit, such as teaching English at the local YMCA, or other internships. Engineering and business students may also be able to arrange academic and experiential opportunities through the university.  The Office of International Programs (OIP) can help arrange such opportunities, but students must consult their advisors to inquire about how such credit can be used in their academic programs.

hangzhou group 1


• The program includes one or two tours of China, organized by the resident director.  The tours generally include the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and other significant places.  Other field trips in the Hangzhou area may also be arranged.  The study center fee covers the costs for most of these activities.

• The courses at Zhejiang University meet from September to mid-December, allowing time for lengthy travel opportunities.  Short trips from Hangzhou to Shanghai, the Yellow Mountains, and other areas are easily accomplished on the weekends.  The Chinese National Day weekend allows enough time for visits to Nanjing, Suzhou, and other places just beyond the reach of a weekend.


Hangzhou is a former dynastic capital located in the eastern province of Zhejiang, about two hours from Shanghai by train.  Its reputation as an attractive city contributed to the proverb "Above there is Paradise; below there is Suzhou and Hangzhou."  The city is a center of industry and agriculture, as well as tourism, particularly famous for its silk and tea products.  Hangzhou is close to many tourist spots, such as the Yellow Mountains, and is on many convenient travel routes.


Students are housed in new, air-conditioned dormitories with single rooms and private baths. They share the dorms with international students from all over the world, such as Japan, Germany, Australia, the U.S, etc.  Kitchen facilities, student cafeterias, and various private restaurants are available for dining.  Classes are held five days a week in buildings close to the dormitory.  Students generally have access to e-mail and the internet.

Planning Ahead

• You must apply for the program through the Office of International Programs (OIP).

• You should consult with your academic advisor and the OIP as early as possible about studying abroad.  Freshman year is not too early to begin your inquiries about studying in China.  Careful planning will insure that your classes taken in Hangzhou will be used for graduation requirements.

Cost considerations

• Air fare: Students can expect to spend from $900-$1400 roundtrip between Chicago and Shanghai.   Many of the discount flights described in newspapers are not useful for a semester abr
Hangzhou classoad due to the conditions attached.  The OIP and the resident director will make every effort possible to book the lowest priced, most-convenient air tickets for the group.

• Tuition and General Fee: Students pay the same tuition and fees they would pay in Valparaiso. All VU study abroad programs are considered “in-residence,” so all financial aid (except work-study and some “on-campus” aid) applies.

• Study Center Fee: Each student who studie
s in Hangzhou pays an additional study-abroad fee, which is used by the program for group trips and activities.

• Room and Board: Students pay only the "room" portion of VU's room and board charge.  Students purchase meals on their own in Hangzhou, either in the student cafeteria or in local restaurants.

• Spending Money: China used to be an extremely cheap country; its rising prosperity has meant rising prices (though it is still one of our least-expensive programs!). The amount of spending money you need greatly depends on your personal travel and purchasing plans.  Previous Hangzhou Program students have found $1200-$1500 suitable for all their discretionary spending needs.  Students should also consider applying for scholarships that may be available for study in China. 

For Non-VU Students/Lutheran Colleges' China Consortium

Students interested in the Hangzhou Program should contact either Valparaiso University's Office of International Programs or faculty advisers at their own college.  Valparaiso University will admit students as a visiting student in the Hangzhou, China program for the fall term.  

Participating Member Institutions of the Lutheran College' China Consortium include: hangzhou group 2
  • Concordia College, Bronxville, NY
  • Concordia College, Moorehead, MN
  • Concordia University, Seward, NE
  • Concordia University, Chicago, IL
  • Luther College, Decorah, IA
  • Roanoke College, Salem, VA
  • Thiel College, Greenville, PA
  • Waldorf College, Forest City, IA
  • Wartburg College, Waverly, IA
  • Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH

Erin Kunert Associate Director of Study Abroad Programs Harre Union 209; Tel: x5333
Marisa Henderson OIP Office Coordinator Harre Union 209; Tel: x6247
Dr. Yun Xia Resident Hangzhou Study Center Director, Assistant Professor of History ASB 369
Dr. Jennifer Prough Assistant Professor of Chinese and Japanese Studies MuH 126


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2016 03/15/2016 04/01/2016 TBA TBA