Wheaton in China

The Wheaton in China experience features an immersive study of Chinese language and culture where students have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of how culture plays a profound role in human experience. Through observing how cultural difference affects the minds and hearts of people, students learn to better articulate their own cultural identity. 

Wheaton in China from Wheaton College on Vimeo.

Wheaton in China is a six-week program that combines intensive language study and cultural courses, immersion and excursions. Students live and study on the campus of a Chinese university. The program offers cultural courses taught by host school faculty and on-site language courses where students are placed according to their language level. One cultural course is taught by a Wheaton faculty member. The program also includes visits to Beijing, Xi'an, and many local cultural and historical venues. Students have the opportunity to worship in local Chinese churches, meet Chinese Christians, and participate in service-oriented activities. The bi-annual program offers courses (6 Credits) at all levels of Chinese for all majors. Wheaton in China took place in Tianjin (2017 and 2015), in Guangzhou (2013), and in Beijing (2012).

Program Details


A Comprehensive fee includes tuition, lodging, administrative fees, orientation materials, group land transportation, meal cards, textbook materials, lectures as well as trips and cultural activities. Airfare, passport and visa, vaccinations, on-your-own meals, personal items are not included. 

Students arrange their own flight itinerary to and from Beijing.

Wheaton in China program is open to all majors.

To apply for Wheaton in China and other Global and Experiential Learning options, visit Global Programs and Studies, Wheaton College's registration system for off-campus study and international travel, research, and internships. A registration fee of $400 is required with the application and will apply to the total cost.

If you have questions or would like to know more about the Wheaton in China program, contact Prof. Rose Wang, Chinese Section Coordinator, for more information.

Trip Highlights and Testimonials

At the Huangya Guan Great Wall cropped 400x506In 2017, Wheaton in China took place in Tianjin. Students first spent the orientation week on Wheaton's campus and attended a cross-cultural course taught by Wheaton faculty. In Tianjin, they took Chinese language courses and participated in three types of classes weekly: whole-group class, small-group class and one-on-one conversation time. They lived and studied on the campus of Tianjin University of Finance and Economics for six weeks with one week of home-stay. After they returned from China, students completed a post-trip self-assessment and reflection project. The program also included excursions to various cultural and historical sites in Tianjin and Beijing, allowing students to get a glimpse of both present day and historical China. Students also had the opportunity to worship in local Chinese churches and participate in service-oriented activities.

Program Highlights:

- Cross cultural orientation
- Total immersion program (Chinese only!)
- Language courses taught by language and culture faculty members
- Room and board on a Chinese university campus and potential home-stay arrangement
- Fellowship with other international and local Chinese students
- Visits to cultural and historical sites
- Worship in local churches


Jillian Dowdy 100x150“Ultimately, Wheaton in China was a growing experience for me both academically and personally. Not only did I learn a ton of Chinese, but I also learned to adapt to a new culture, get along with the same 9 people for a month, and adjust my behavior to better suit the situations I was in. At the end of the trip, while all the others were taking their planes back to the US, I was happy to be one of the ones staying in China so I can learn even more!”
- Jillian Dowdy '19, Chinese/Spanish Major

Alyssa Eubank 100x150“My time in China has taught me a myriad of things not only about the complexity of Asian culture, but also the way that an understanding of it may never be fully comprehendible. I’ve learned patience in cross-cultural grievances, perseverance in times where I have experienced cross-cultural barriers, and preservation of myself when at times I may feel weary from all of this international exposure... I will definitely be going back.”
- Alyssa Eubank ’19, International Relations Major, Chinese Minor

David Higgins 100x150“Spending a month in China was one of, if not the most incredible and humbling experience in my life... The sites we saw, the people we met (especially my host family), the food we ate, and the things we learned are all things I hope I never forget... I came out with a renewed determination to keep pushing and keep studying. I hope that in the years to come that I’ll continue to learn the language and learn even more about the country and people of China...”
- David Higgins ’19, International Relations Major, Chinese Minor

Trevor Strang 100x150“This experience in China was incredibly encouraging, given that prior to coming to China,  I was feeling quite hopeless that I may never reach the level of Chinese I desire – especially with regards to listening. Yet by the end of the trip, I felt far more confident in my Chinese abilities, and hopeful for future fluency. I’m eager to continue my studies in Chinese and interaction with its beautiful culture and wonderful people.”
- Trevor Strang ’18, Theology Major, Chinese/Arts Minor

Katie Thornton 100x150“Before my trip, I did not think I would be a person who could envision myself living in China for a long-term period; however, after my time in China, I hope to someday live in China for a good amount of time. I am so incredibly grateful that I surprised myself by doing hard things in China such as climbing the Great Wall, eating unusual foods, and putting myself on the line even when my language skills failed me. I am thankful for the person China allowed me to be.”
- Katie Thornton ’18, International Relations Major