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international programs


office of international programs

Photo of Chinese waterway

As the world's most populous country, China offers students a wide range of opportunities for programs abroad, from business to history. China's script reached perfection in the Han dynasty, two thousand years ago, and those stone lions standing sentinel outside sleek new skyscrapers are built to a three-thousand-year-old design. Yet this ancient culture is now undergoing the fastest creative and commercial upheaval the world has ever seen, with Hong Kong-style skylines rearing up across the country. This dizzying modernisation is visible in every aspect of Chinese life, and it is the tension and contrast between wrenching change and continuity that makes modern China such an endlessly fascinating destination.

BC Semester and Academic Year Programs

BC students wishing to study in China have the option of several programs including the BC in Beijing program, which offers study opportunities at cutting-edge research institutions as well as the Hong Kong University of Science and Techology and Hong Kong University.

Map of China

Speak to an OIP Advisor

In preparation for your study abroad in China, you will work with a Boston College OIP Advisor who specializes in this country and in BC's programs there. Your advisor will help guide you through the application and pre-departure process, as well as act as your main contact with BC while abroad. For students studying abroad in China, your advisor is Christina Hatzipetros. To find out more information about this program, or to schedule an appointment with Christina, please click here.

Currency in China

The main unit of currency in Mainland China is the Yuan. ATM's are widespread and are your best way to get Chinese currency.

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Dollar is the currency of Hong Kong.The currency code for Dollars is HKD, and the currency symbol is HK$.

It is important to remember that Yuan, Hong Kong Dollars, and US dollars are not equal, however, and students should consult a currency conversion calculator like the one below:


Current Events & News Resources

In preparation for your time in China, you should familiarize yourself with the current events and contemporary issues facing the Chinese Republic. By knowing about your host country before you arrive, you are making yourself a more informed traveler, a more receptive student and a better prepared individual. It is also helpful to know about your host country so you can pack correctly. Following these and other news sources will be of great value in preparing you for your time abroad.


Language & Customs

The official languages of China is Simplified Chinese. English is not very widely spoken and so students must primarily rely on their foreign language competency.

Chinese customs may be very different than many in the United States. It is best to familiarize yourself with acceptable practices before you arrive in the country. Some tips for successful cultural integration may be found here.

Hong Kong

Cantonese, a minority dialect of Mainland China, is spoken by 88 per cent of people in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, other Chinese dialects, such as Hakka, Taishanese and Teochiu are also present, as is Mandarin of course – China’s official dialect, which has become more widely spoken in Hong Kong since the reunification in 1997. More information regarding culture and language in Hong Kong can be found here.


Visa Information

An F or X Visa is required for study in China. The F visa is for short term study of 6 months or less, serving semester students. The X visa is for long term study (more than 6 months), serving academic-year students. Students applying for an X visa will also need to obtain a residence permit within 30 days of arrival. Students are advised to obtain an F visa to avoid the hassle of obtaining a residency permit for short term study. The F visa may be obtained for a valid duration of 6 months, with single or double entry. To apply for a visa, students will need to submit the application form, their original acceptance letter, a JW 202 form (which will be issued with the acceptance letter), and a photo to the nearest Chinese consulate or embassy. Students may also use a visa processing agency or travel agent to do this for them. This may be a cost effective solution, as applications are only accepted in person. For general information about visa application, please visit this website.

Hong Kong

Students studying in Hong Kong must route their visa application through the Undergraduate Programs Office at the School of Business Management at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (SBM-HKUST) well in advance of your departure (at least two months). Information regarding the visa process is provided in your HKUST acceptance letter. For more information on visa information in Hong Kong, please see this website.