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  • Locations: Beijing, China; Hangzhou, China; Shanghai, China
  • Program Terms: December
  • Click for Tuition + Program Fee: December
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Short-term Academic Level: Graduate, Undergraduate
Recommended GPA: 2.5 Liberal Studies Domain: A+L, EL, SCBI
Study Abroad Contact: Erica Rideaux
Program Description:
Will the 21st century be "the Chinese century"?

Over the past few decades, China has become a global powerhouse by manufacturing for export. As “factory to the world,” China since the early 1980s has grown its economy to become the second largest economy by nominal GDP and the largest by purchasing power parity (Source: IMF data). In several industries, for example mobile payment, sharing and streaming platforms, robotics, AI, and renewable energy, China already is or aims to be the world leader. At the same time, China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative is set to project Chinese socio-political and economic power as a paramount leader connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe. Inevitably, China’s cultural influence – most recently through science fiction – is becoming notable around the world.

The program will help DePaul students develop a critical understanding of China’s cultural soft power and a sober view of the world’s future with China as an important player through engaging reading materials, class discussions, and a two-week visit in China. Topics covered in pre- and post-travel courses include China’s historical dynamics, cultural traditions, pop culture, science fiction, politics, and economy. The study abroad trip will begin in Shanghai, where we meet academics, students, and entrepreneurs to discuss contemporary society, science fiction, and the future “as seen from China.” We explore some of the city’s newest technological innovations, art and literature, and architecture. From Shanghai, we will take an overnight trip to the nearby city of Suzhou to experience a legendary water town. We then fly from Shanghai to Shenzhen, called the “Silicon Valley of China,” to discuss innovative tech and culture. Conditions permitting, we will take a day trip from Shenzhen to neighboring Hong Kong. Finally, we fly from Shenzhen to Beijing, where we will explore a mega-city struggling with different possible urban futures. In addition to visits to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, we will meet with urban planners, artists, writers, scholars, and government officials.


Li Jin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages. She is Director of Chinese Studies and Director of the Global Asian Studies Program. She has led 4 iterations of DePaul-Shanghai Summer Intensive Language Program since 2010.

John Shanahan is an Associate Dean and Professor of English. He has led several Study Abroad programs -- including a China program in 2018 -- and has traveled throughout China. His research centers on literature about technology and science fiction.

All students will be enrolled in the following 2 courses:
Course MOL323/AAS290: China’s Cultural Soft Power and Its Future
Credits 4 credit hours
Term registered Fall 2020
Class meeting times TBD in LPC, 8 class meetings
Liberal Studies domain Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Inquiry or Experiential Learning
Taught by Li Jin
Course description This course analyzes China’s cultural influence around the world through the concept of “soft power” and helps students develop a critical understanding of how people in China and those in the west view the future shaped by an ascending China.
Course ENG 235: Science Fiction
Credits 4 credit hours
Term registered Winter 2021
Class meeting times TBD in LPC, 6-9:15 PM
Liberal Studies domain Arts and Literature or Experiential Learning
Taught by John Shanahan
Course description Analysis of science fiction, especially contemporary Chinese science fiction in translation.
  Please note that although some courses are registered in a particular term, some coursework or final assignments may be due in a different term. E.g. Course registered in winter quarter, but coursework is due in spring quarter once the travel component of the program is complete.

We will stay in full-service hotels throughout travel in China.

In Shanghai, one of the world’s largest cities, we will visit sites associated with culture and urban planning, including the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, the Shanghai Tower, and various neighborhoods and historical sites including the Jade Buddha Temple and Yu Garden. We will meet with Fudan University students and faculty to talk about cultural topics and being a city resident in a fast-changing society. In a two-day bus trip from Shanghai to Suzhou, we will explore a nearby city famous for its canals and classical gardens.

From Shanghai we fly to Shenzhen, where will we visit the famous electronics area around Huaqiangbei, the giant tech companies Tencent and Huawei, and Shenzhen city government officials to understand their vision for the future of Shenzhen as a leading Chinese city in the areas of research and development, emerging industries, and eco-design; we will also meet with science fiction scholars and writers to discuss living and working in China’s “tech city.” Conditions permitting, from Shenzhen we will take a day trip to Hong Kong to experience still another dynamic part of China’s global influence.

Our last city is Beijing, where we will experience a head-spinning mix of the classical and the ultra-modern. Site visits will include the Forbidden Palace and nearby hutongs, the 798 Art district, the Temple of Heaven, and the Great Wall (a one-day bus trip outside the city). In Beijing we will meet with students, faculty, writers, business people, and government officials.

All students participating in study abroad will be charged both tuition (billed at the regular DePaul tuition rate, based on the number of credits enrolled) and a program fee. Please read the program fee details carefully to understand exactly what is included, as this can vary from program to program. If the program fee is posted, be sure to note whether the fee is current or from a previous year (past program fees may serve as a guide until the current program fee is available). If the current program fee has not yet been posted, please check back closer to the application deadline. Please also note the withdrawal policy.

DePaul offers several types of scholarships for students studying abroad, and students should visit the scholarship page early in the application process for information on eligibility and deadlines.


If you are planning to study abroad and do not have a passport, apply for one immediately. Some programs require students to obtain student visas. In that case, contact the country's local consulate or embassy for up-to-date instructions. As of this publication, students traveling with US passports on the China: Imagining the Future With China program DO NOT need a visa. Please note that visa requirements can change quickly. Study Abroad will update this website to reflect changes as they become available.

DePaul University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services. Inquiries regarding this policy should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources, 1 East Jackson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

Circumstances, such as an unexpected event abroad or a curriculum change, may require DePaul University to make changes to the program. DePaul University reserves the right to cancel or alter programs and courses without notice.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Admissions Notification Date Start Date End Date
December 2020 05/01/2020 06/01/2020 TBA TBA