Princeton in Beijing Online - Summer 2021

PiB at Great Wall

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its inherent health and travel risks, Princeton in Beijing will not hold its Summer 2021 program in Beijing, China. In lieu of an in-person program for Summer 2021, PiB is moving ahead with an online program designed to deliver the same high-quality, intensive language learning experience with a focus on accurate pronunciation and grammar, qualities necessary for language mastery. 

Program Overview
  • The online program will be 8 weeks and cover the equivalent of two semesters of Chinese language courses at Princeton University with a total of at least 120 synchronous class contact hours.
  • With an approximate 3:1 student-teacher ratio, small class instruction and daily individual sessions ensure participants get specialized attention tailored to individual needs.
  • Extracurricular activities aim to promote socialization and cultural immersion.
Program Fees

The fee for the Summer 2021 Online Program is $4,000 (plus $60 application fee).

Program Dates

Classes begin on Monday, June 14 and end on Friday, August 6, 2021. Expect student-teacher orientations, general Q&A, and Opening Ceremony to take place the weekend prior to the start of classes.


Completion of the online program will yield 8 credits for students enrolled at Princeton University.

Note: Additional rules and regulations regarding the issuance of credits across state lines for distance learning may affect Princeton University’s ability to issue official credits/transcripts for non-Princeton participants. An update will be provided in early 2021. Regardless, Princeton in Beijing will issue its own certificate of completion and grade report for all non-Princeton participants who complete the program.


CHI 105C and 107C: Using the fluency-through-accuracy approach, students work on developing a strong foundation for the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). The material in A New China (C.P. Chou, et al., Princeton University Press) gradually moves from daily conversational content to texts that have substantial content from the real world, covering issues especially relevant to American students studying in China. Texts provide deeper insight into the Chinese way of life and the intricacies involved in being a resident of China.

This level is suitable for those students who have had one year of college Chinese prior to attending, and do not speak Mandarin as a heritage language.

CHI 303C and 304C (non-heritage speakers) or CHI 305C and 306C (heritage speakers): The Third Year curriculum is designed to further improve the four basic language skills -- listening, speaking, reading, and writing -- while at the same time introducing students to the complex fabric that makes up modern China. Through All Things Considered (C. P. Chou, Yan Xia and Meow Hui Goh, Princeton University Press) and Eyes on China (C.P. Chou, Jincheng Liu, and Xin Zou, Princeton University Press), students learn the vocabulary needed to discuss the modern societies of America and China and the issues that face people in those societies today, as presented in the official Chinese media.

This level is normally suitable for those students who have had two years of college Chinese prior to attending, or who have taken one year of an accelerated program meant for heritage speakers.

CHI 405C and 406C: Students at the Fourth Year level take full advantage of the authentic Chinese language environment. In addition to studying texts such as Anything Goes (Chih-ping Chou et al., Princeton University Press), students study materials available to the Chinese of Beijing, including newspapers, the daily news on TV, and national magazines.

This level is normally suitable for those students who have had three years of college Chinese prior to attending, or who have taken two years of an accelerated program meant for heritage speakers.

CHI 451C and 452C: This course, which is designed to bring students to near-native competence in all aspects of modern Chinese, prepares students for advanced research or employment in a variety of China-related fields. Materials are drawn from modern Chinese literature, film, and intellectual history, and include readings on contemporary issues as well. Textbooks normally include China's Development and Dilemmas (C.P. Chou, Yongtao Zhang, and Yunjun Zhou, Cheng & Tsui) and materials selected on current social and political issues. A component in classical Chinese can be added if warranted by student need.

This level is normally suitable for those students who have had four years of college Chinese prior to attending, or who have taken three years of an accelerated program meant for heritage speakers.

Note: Each course level requires a minimum of 10 students enrolled to run. If that threshold is not met, those affected will be notified.

Need-Based Financial Aid

Limited need-based funding will be available for applicants who qualify.

All Princeton students who are currently receiving financial aid from Princeton University and will continue their studies at Princeton after PiB (i.e. freshmen, sophomores, juniors and graduate students) will still need to complete the financial aid section of the PiB application form. Princeton University students are eligible for funds not only from PiB, but also from the East Asian Studies Program and the Dean's Fund for Study Abroad.

As part of PiB's financial aid application, students are required to submit a financial aid award letter from their home institution and tax return(s) from the most recent year available. If you are an undergraduate, please provide a copy of the most recent federal tax returns of your parents.  If they filed separate returns, be sure to combine both documents into one before uploading.  If you are an international student, provide us with tax returns from your home country if available, along with as much financial information as possible so that we can evaluate your need.

Tentative Daily Schedule

Daily classes (Monday-Friday) comprise of 2 hours of small class sessions and 1 hour of individual session. See the following for a tentative daily schedule (subject to change before start of program). All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

9:00 AM-9:50 AM; 10:00 AM-10:50 AM: Session A
11:00 AM-11:50 AM; 12:00 PM-12:50 PM: Session B
1:30 PM-4:30 PM: Individual sessions (1 hour per student)
8:00 PM-10:00 PM: Office hours/extracurricular activities

Additional Details

Grading: Princeton students have the option to receive letter grades or P/D/F for participation in the online program.

Language Pledge: In order to preserve a Chinese language environment and approximate total language immersion, Mandarin Chinese will be the only language used in all interactions during class hours.

Technology: All participants will need a computer with webcam, high-speed internet access, headphones, and microphone, and a relatively quiet learning space. Classes will be conducted online using the Zoom video conferencing platform.

PiBO 2021 Deadlines

Application with Financial Aid Deadline:
January 31, 2021

General Application Deadline:
February 28, 2021

Admissions Notification:
Rolling basis; no later than April 2021

PiBO Application

Apply here.
*Non-Princeton applicants are welcome to apply*

For more on how and what to prepare, please refer to the Application Checklist.