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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Year abroad (Year 3) | Convenor: Dr Lucy Xia Zhao

You will spend at least eight months in your third year, studying Chinese in China. This is an excellent opportunity to increase your fluency and understanding of the language. It also provides the opportunity to start work on your dissertation, which must show evidence of a substantial use of Chinese language sources, whether oral or textual.

All FAMES students study at either Ocean University of China in Qingdao, or Peking University in Beijing. The content of the programmes are the same, as is the standard of teaching at each University. Beijing is the capital city of China, and Qingdao is a medium-sized city (according to the Chinese standard) located on the east coast of China.

The courses at both unviersities start around the beginning of September and finish around the end of June in the following year. There are breaks for  Mid-Autumn Festival (one day in September), National Day (about one week at the beginning of October), New Year's Day (one day), Spring Festival/Winter Vacation (which usually lasts from the middle of January until the middle of February), Qingming Festival (one day in early April) and Dragon Boat Festival (one day in June). Please note that Christmas is not a public holiday in China and you would not be expected to leave at this time. 

You will receive approximately 15 hours of teaching per week, including:

  • Readings in Classical Chinese (i.e. texts specified by Cambridge)
  • Readings in Classical Literature (i.e. Hong lou meng, San guo yan yi, Shui hu zhuan, Xi you ji, etc.) 
  • Modern and Contemporary Literature
  • Newspaper readings
  • Chinese aural and oral
  • Chinese writing
  • English-Chinese Translation

You will be expected to abide by the Chinese university's rules and regulations, attend all classes and take all the examinations. There are exams in the middle and at the end of both the autumn and spring semesters. The univeristy you attend will send the University of Cambridge a report of your academic performance, class attendance and examination results for the courses.

The full costs, details of residence permits and visa requirements for the year abroad in China will be provided if you take up the course. You will be expected to pay for

  • air fares to and from China and internal flights to Qingdao if required
  • accommodation, either on or off campus
  • year abroad tuition fees (University fees)

Most Colleges do not charge College fees to students during the year abroad.