CHINA: Beijing


KEI organizes cultural activities in Beijing during the semester and summer, plus two overnight field trips to Shanghai and Xi’an during the semester. Transportation, lodging and admission for planned activities are included in the program fee. Below are the most commonly organized excursions and activities. KEI reserves the right to change planned excursions for destinations of equal value and interest. Excursions may change based on availability, local festivals and interest. Academic year and multiple term students participate on planned excursions during their first term of study.


Beijing, the great capital of China, beats so many world records: it holds the world’s longest wall, The Great Wall; the largest public square, Tiananmen Square; and the largest ancient palace, The Forbidden City. The Temple of Heaven serves as an outstanding example of ancient Chinese architectural wisdom, with the round center hall representing heaven, the inner four pillars representing the seasons, the middle twelve symbolizing the months, and the outer twelve symbolizing hours of the day. Other possible excursions include the Beijing Zoo and Peking Opera.


Shanghai has a unique combination of east and west, past and present. In the old days, Shanghai was the center of western powers in China, shared by eight nations, from the British and French, to the Japanese, each had their own district language – except Chinese itself. Sometimes called “Paris of the East” due to the neoclassical buildings along the Bund, Shanghai also retains much of its old Chinese character in the giant Jade Buddha and the Old Shanghai Street.


Xi’an served as the capital for 12 dynasties across a time span of 1500 years. No other city in China has such a great antiquity. It was here the Silk Road started or ended. Xi’an was the center of trade with the West, making it the world’s largest, richest and most cosmopolitan city in medieval times. Present-day Xi’an is enclosed by a massive, well-preserved 14th century City Wall, which was built to protect the city from “uncivilized” enemies. Xi’an also boasts the famous Terracotta Army, with thousands of life-size warrior sculptures, magnificent temples, ancient architectures and cultural relics, including the Big Goose Pagoda that holds the precious Buddhist scriptures.

Since I studied in Beijing through KEI in 2001, it’s been one whirlwind of a world tour. It sure has paid off deciding to study in China. I’ve been working in China since 2006. I recently changed industries from construction to global logistics where I preformed key account and project management duties. The whole experience has been rather successful. Contact me if you would like to ask questions about living and working in Beijing. My email is

Nicholas Lara
Nicholas LaraSaddleback College

Most definitely the time of my life! I couldn’t ask for anything better. I learned a lot about China through the business courses and field trips. In Shanghai we visited the French Concession where I stood in the room where the first Communist meeting was held in secret. You get chills when you take a step back and think about what has actually happened. Nanjing, Sanzhou, Hanzhou, and Wuxi were equally as impressive and impressionable. To get a history lesson in the place it happened is priceless.

Robert Brady
Robert BradyAuburn University

I am really enjoying Beijing and have settled into life here very well. The accommodations in our dorm are very comfortable. Chinese language classes started last week and have been very challenging so far. I am really looking forward to this new semester with KEI. Thanks again for all your attention to this program and to me. View my video …about Chinawith Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Cassandra Hardin
Cassandra HardinUniversity of Kentucky

In many ways, this program helped me become more independent as a person. I have gained many real-life experiences by interacting with Chinese business people and many other students. I want to thank KEI for giving me this opportunity, and supporting me in every way.

Zeng Lin
Zeng LinRider University

My experience in China was truly life changing. There is no better way to increase one’s understanding of a complex country like China than to study and intern abroad. Living in Beijing for a semester, meeting students from China and around the world, and studying the culture and language of a rising global superpower was the best experience of my life. I was the first African American many Chinese had come in contact with. Many wondered whether I was a musician or athlete. On a number of occasions I found myself at the center of public attention. Mothers and fathers nudging their young toward me while gesturing a request for pictures. This was truly a unique position to be in, at times I felt almost like a celebrity. Overall, there is nothing I would change about my KEI experience in China.

Monty McGee
Monty McGeeNOrfolk State University