- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 3.0 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Second Semester Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- Architectural Engineering students having completed at least the second year of the AE program (in particular, prospective candidates for the AE Integrated BAE/MAE or BAE/MS program)
- Students must have taken taken one year of Design Studio and have a basic understanding of the building industry (AE202, AE221, AE222)
This program is an immersive academic, cultural, and maturing experience. While much of the lecturing involves site visits to different historic and contemporary buildings in China, students should be committed to an intensive workload. This is a faculty-led program offering credits towards the major.
Students begin their studies in Beijing, visiting the Great Wall at Mutianyu, Summer Palace, Yuan Ming Yuan, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Drum and Bell Towers, the Olympic Venue, and National Center for Performing Arts. Lodging in a traditional courtyard home hostel is being arranged.
The second stop is Shanghai where students will visit traditional structures on the Bund, Xintiandi, and the Old City, as well as contemporary structures such as Shanghai Tower and One Museum Place. The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibit Center will serve as the anchor for the city visit.
In Xiamen, students will explore two traditional sites; Gulongyu and Yongding County Fujian Tulous. Gulongyu is the foreign concession island where foreign embassies were located. Tulou are earthen rural dwellings built in a circular form for protection against bandits and wild animals. These self-contained protected structures housed hundreds of residents and community spaces such as study halls and ancestor halls.
For the last three and a half weeks, the home base is Hong Kong. An architectural studio course will be hosted at a local university. The studio project typically involves a relevant local social issue. This year, the project focuses on “connection in an urban context”. Field trips will be held to Macao, Kaiping, and Guangzhou. To exercise social responsibility, students will be involved in a conservation project at the village of Tangkou.
The program aims to introduce students to both urban and rural China in historic and contemporary contexts. Participants learn about China and its people in an immersive experience and ultimately develop an understanding of their own role as a global citizen.
Summer: Please note this program will not run Summer 2020. Please check back for future iterations of the program!
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.
Withdrawal & Refund Policy
Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.
Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.
Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule.
Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account
Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.
After the Start of the Program
For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.