Student FAQ

If you'd like more information or have a question that is not listed below please email us at

Where is the University of Dayton China Institute?

The China Institute is located in the Higher Education District of Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), an ultramodern economic and technological venture between China and Singapore. SIP is located just 75 miles from Shanghai and has been called China’s ‘Silicon Valley’.

When do academic programs run at the China Institute?

Our semester abroad programs are typically 14 weeks. Fall programming generally runs from August to November.  The spring term typically runs from January to April. Summer programs are six weeks long and take place during the first summer session of the University of Dayton academic calendar, typically May to late June. For more information click here.

Who can participate in China Institute programs?

Our academic programs are open to University of Dayton and non-University of Dayton students, both American and international.  Any applicant must be a university-level student. 

What are requirements to participate in a China Institute program?

All students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Students must also be in good standing with their university, both behaviorally and academically. All University of Dayton applicants need to successfully pass a university behavioral check before being admitted to any China Institute program.  

English is not my first language. Can I still participate?

All courses at the China Institute are taught in English. If English is not your first language and you have not completed the University of Dayton’s Intensive English Program (IEP), you must demonstrate English proficiency by meeting the University of Dayton’s English language requirements. For the university’s English proficiency standards, click here

I don’t speak Chinese. Is this program right for me?

Absolutely! The majority of students who participate in academic programs at the China Institute do not speak any Chinese and all courses are taught in English.  In addition, any student requiring a visa to study in China will take ASI 341: Special Topics in Arts Study: Chinese Language and Culture, a 3-credit hour course designed to increase your understanding of Chinese culture and improve your basic Chinese language skills. ASI 341 is offered for semester programs only.  A condensed version may be offered in future summer programs.

How many courses can I take at the China Institute?

During a spring or fall semester program, you must be enrolled as a full-time student, which means you can take anywhere between 12 and 18 credit hours.  For summer programs, students typically take 9-11 credit hours.

What courses are offered?

Although our programs are offered to students from any major, we currently offer courses through the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration and the School of Engineering.  The bulk of our courses are offered in areas such as the arts, business, engineering, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences (courses subject to change depending on the program).

How do I know what courses fulfill my major requirements and further my degree plan?

China Institute staff members are not qualified for academic advising.  All students are encouraged to consult with an academic adviser prior to any education abroad experience to discuss course selection.  If you are not currently enrolled at the University of Dayton, we highly encourage you to speak with your adviser in order to have courses approved for transfer back to your home institution.

I’m a current University of Dayton student. Are semester programs really the same cost as one on-campus semester at UD?

Yes! The University of Dayton believes education abroad opportunities should be accessible to all students. That’s why you are able to use your financial aid and merit scholarships to attend a semester at the China Institute. That cost includes your tuition, international airfare, Chinese visa costs, housing, meals, tours and excursions. 

I do not currently attend the University of Dayton. Are there any scholarship opportunities available?

Yes, students who are not currently enrolled at the University of Dayton are eligible to receive up to $15,000 in scholarships for semester programs to help offset the costs of tuition, international airfare, Chinese visa costs, housing, meals, tours and excursions. For summer programs, all students are eligible to receive a $3,000 travel scholarship.

How do I apply for a program at the China Institute?

Our application process is simple. Click on “Academic Programs” then “Apply Now” to begin your application. Or, you can also visit our application portal by clicking here

Do I need to submit anything along with my application?

Students who are currently enrolled at the University do not need to submit any additional materials with their application. If you are not currently enrolled at the University of Dayton, you will need to mail an official copy of your transcripts to:

Sean McCarthy
China Initiatives Admission Counselor
University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469-1310

What kind of tours and excursions are available?

All students who attend an academic program at the China Institute have the opportunity to participate in pre-arranged tours and excursions around China.  Excursions are typically scheduled for weekends, but certain site visits or smaller day trips may be scheduled on a week day.  Students will have the opportunity to visit incredible places in China such as Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing, Yellow Mountain, the Great Wall and much more! To view our photo galleries please click here.

Can I cancel any of the trips and excursions to reduce the overall price?

No.  Because we want you to get the most out of your education abroad experience, we do not encourage students to miss class, site and corporate visits or excursions unless there is an unexpected emergency or sickness.  Each student will sign a code of conduct at the start of the program which states that these program components are mandatory.

What kind of corporate visits do students go on?

The University of Dayton has countless corporate partners, including Fuyao Group, Inc., Emerson Climate Technologies, General Electric (GE), Higer Bus Company, Ford China and many more. Students will have the opportunity to interact with professionals from Fortune 500 companies.  To view our photo galleries please click here.

What is the China Institute facility like?

The China Institute is a five floor state-of-the-art facility featuring an Innovation Center, classrooms, American Culture Center (ACC), reading room, offices, conference spaces and research laboratories. Furthermore, the China Institute has several full-time staff members to assist students. The China Institute is closed and locked when classes are taking place. There is also a front-desk receptionist to greet visitors to prevent unauthorized access.  To view our photo galleries please click here.

What are the housing accommodations for students? Is the area safe for students?

Students live in four-bedroom, suite style apartments called Wencui Apartments.  Each student will have a private bedroom, private bathroom and enclosed patio space.  Students will share a living/dining room and a small kitchenette.  Other amenities include central heating/air conditioning, television, washing machine and dryer and 24-hour hot water service.  The student apartments are located just a short distance from the China Institute facility. Many students take this opportunity to walk in groups to campus.  We also provide a daily shuttle service for students which runs between the student apartments and the China Institute.  To view our photo galleries please click here.

Student residences and the China Institute are located in safe and secure locations.  The current crime rate is less than 0.004% (based on population of 77,000 students, faculty and staff residing in the Higher Education District). Student residences are also equipped with key card entry.  Each student will also have their own individual room key and rooms come equipped with safes for valuables such as money and passports.

I’m a current UD student. How does housing work if I participate in a China Institute program?

Students will need to contact Housing & Residence Life to determine the best course of action for their UD housing. There are options available that Housing & Residence Life will be able to explain in detail.

I’m a current UD student. Can I “hold” my UD housing spot while I’m in China?

If UD students want to “hold” their housing spot to make sure no one is assigned while in China, there is a $300 holding/retention fee that should be paid to Housing & Residence Life.  We do not compensate students for any housing holds. Students will need to contact Housing & Residence Life to determine the best course of action for their UD housing.

I’m a current UD student and have already signed a contract for next year’s housing with a landlord. Does UD reimburse me for my housing costs while in China?

Students with personally arranged housing (i.e. landlord housing) are responsible for all costs while in China. The China Institute does not reimburse students for these costs.

I’m a current UD student. Does the China Institute work with students on tuition remission and would it affect the travel scholarship?

The China Institute happily works with UD students on tuition remission.  The payment for the program may be altered depending if the student is on full or partial tuition remission.  Please contact us with specific questions.

I’m a current UD student. Does the China Institute work with ROTC?

Yes.  Any student participating in ROTC (with or without scholarship) may apply to any of our programs.  Students on ROTC scholarship should speak with their ROTC advisor to determine if their scholarship can be used for a program at the China Institute.

Is there Wi-Fi available?

Yes, students will have access to a secure Wi-Fi server both at the China Institute and in the student residences.

Are there resources available for students with disabilities?

The University of Dayton is committed to including individuals with disabilities as full participants in its programs, services and activities.  Students with disabilities are encouraged to communicate their study abroad plans to UD’s Office of Learning Resources (OLR) as early as possible so a reasonable accommodation plan can be made.

What other resources are available?

The China Institute has a dedicated Student Life staff on-site to assist students with their needs while abroad in China. Additionally, the China Institute hires Resident Assistants (RAs) as a resource for students at the student apartments, on tours and excursions and at all other times outside the classroom. Furthermore, students currently enrolled at the University of Dayton will have remote access to counseling services and tutoring for certain courses.

I'm a current high school student interested in international education opportunities. Are there any programs I could participate in?

Yes! The China Institute offers a B.E.S.T. program open to high school students who have completed their sophomore year. The B.E.S.T. program cultivates the interaction of students from around the world through a unique blend of academic, experiential and cultural learning. Students are able to get a head start on their college education by taking six hours of college credit, which may be transferred to any college or university. B.E.S.T. offers a range of practical learning courses in business, engineering, science and technology to social sciences and humanities. If you are interested in the B.E.S.T. program at the China Institute or on the University of Dayton's main campus, please email Jia Jia Wei, Director of China Initiatives, at for additional information and questions.

How do I book my plane ticket and obtain a Chinese visa?

China Institute staff members coordinate all travel details. We will book your flight and take care of the visa process so you have less to worry about as you prepare for the experience of a lifetime. Additionally, China Institute staff members arrange for students to participate in a group flight so you won’t have to travel internationally by yourself.

Are group flights available for students?

Generally, a cohort of students will leave all together if possible.  Since our staff schedules the airfare for participants, it's very feasible to fly to China as a group out of a major international hub (Chicago or Newark for example).  We'd be happy to schedule the flight from your home town to that major hub, so the student can leave with the group.  If the student is in the Midwest or on East coast, this is usually easier to schedule.  However, if the student is on the west coast, it’s generally easier for the student to travel straight to China from there.

How do I know if I’ve been accepted to a program at the China Institute?

The China Institute’s application is on rolling admission.  This means you may submit all application materials any time prior to the deadline for review.  After your application is reviewed, you will be issued an admission decision via email.  If you are accepted into the program, you will also receive instructions on the next steps to prepare for your trip.  Please allow one to two weeks for an admission decision after submitting your application.

I’m a non-UD student. May I email you my college transcript instead of mailing it?

No.  All non-UD applicants must mail the official college transcript to Sean McCarthy or upload the official transcript online.  Information regarding how to submit the official transcript can be found on your Application Overview page. Please mail all transcripts to:

Sean McCarthy
China Initiatives Admission Counselor
University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469-1310

I’m a non-UD student and am only a freshman in college. Do I need to submit a high school transcript in addition to my current college transcript?

Any student who has been in college only one semester should submit their high school transcript in addition to their college “in progress” grades. 

Could an academic program be cancelled?

The University of Dayton reserves the right to discontinue a program at any time before or after departure at its sole discretion.  Among reasons for cancellation are travel warnings and advisories from the U.S. Department of State and/or insufficient enrollment.

Can I withdraw from the program if I need to?

It is expected you will not withdraw from the program once you’ve confirmed your enrollment except in case of emergency.  We understand emergencies or other unexpected circumstances can occur and you may have to withdraw from the program. If for any reason you are unable to continue with your commitment to the program, please contact us immediately.

How do I communicate in China?

There are several ways students can communicate with friends and family while in China. Phone Cards, Skype, Personal Cell Phones, Chinese SIM cards, and smartphone apps, such as Viber and WeChat (among others), are your best options for communicating with friends and family.  More information about this and other pre-departure items will be shared with you after admission to the program.

How do electronic devices work in China? Will I need a Voltage Converter or Plug Adaptors?

Yes. Domestic electricity supply voltage varies between countries. If any student wishes to bring electric devices for use while in China, a portable plug adapter and a voltage converter will need to be purchased.  More information about this and other pre-departure items will be shared with you after admission to the program.

How can I learn more about traveling to China?

You may always ask us, but there are multiple travel guides and other resources available to help prepare yourself with information about China.  We encourage reading up to help prepare – this will enhance your knowledge and experience, minimize a sense of cultural strangeness, and improve the ability to interact with locals. One of the best ways to make the most of your experience in China is to know something about it and be able to express yourself—even if only with a few words—in the language(s) spoken there.  Reading online newspapers, literature, magazines, books, and websites should be helpful.  Rosetta Stone may be used to help learn the language.  Buy a bilingual dictionary for use abroad. For more information, visit the following websites:

Department of State - Students Abroad
Department of State - Advice for Smooth Travel
Lonely Planet Guides
Fodor's Guides
Frommer's Guides

How does banking work in China?

It is not recommended students travel with large amounts of cash.  Consider using several different forms of payment for any expenses.  Credit cards, ATM cards, and cash can all be used effectively while in China. Traveler’s checks could also be brought to China.  American Express traveler’s checks are recognized and accepted by all major banks in the world.  Currently there are seven main foreign credit cards available in China, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Federal and Million. The two main cards are Visa and Master Card, while the rest are less common.  A debit/check card (ATM) is highly recommended.  ATM machines are available around the China Institute campus and residences.  If the symbols and logos of your credit card are shown on the ATMs, then it can be used to withdraw money.  ATMs are common, which makes debit cards the most convenient option.  Have a back-up card in case anything happens to your card and be sure to monitor your ATM withdrawal charges. Between withdrawal charges and bank fees, students may want to withdraw money only once a week. Be aware of limitations your bank puts on using your account from another country.  Check before you leave to be sure your PIN can be used overseas, and make sure your financial agency knows about your travel abroad. Call before traveling to alert them or your card may be locked when you try to use it abroad. More information about this and other pre-departure items will be shared with you after admission to the program.

For additional information on Chinese currency and banking abroad, please visit:
Online Currency Converter
The China Guide to Chinese Currency (with pronunciations)

How are medicines, medical conditions and toiletries handled during the trip?

We recommend students bring prescription medications to China.  Carry the original bottle of prescription medicine on the plane and keep a copy of the prescription.  Students should also know the generic and brand names of the medicine.  We also recommend bringing other over-the-counter medications in your carry-on luggage (Tylenol, IB Profen, Tums, Imodium, etc.).  These medicines are available in China, but the brands may be different than in the United States of America. Please be aware that medicines in China may have different ingredients than similar medications in the United States.  If you like a particular brand of something, try to take enough for your entire stay. If any student wears glasses or contacts, pack an extra pair.  Bring them and any medicines you need in your carry-on luggage. More information about this and other pre-departure items will be shared with you after admission to the program.