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Office of International Programs

China: IFSA Shanghai

The IFSA Shanghai program introduces students to China through courses in culture, language, business and public health and includes unique excursions and activities.

Sample some of China's delicious street food!

Experience Shanghai!

Sample some of China's delicious street food!

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The IFSA Shanghai program offers students the unparalleled opportunity to study Chinese language, Chinese culture, Asian studies, Global Health, International Business, International Relations, Sociology, Urban Planning, and Economics. Students participate in program activities and excursions that provide a first-hand encounter with China’s rapidly changing environments.

  • Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors
  • Clean record with the Office of Community Standards and good academic and College standing
  • Professional application: materials are submitted on-time, are edited before submission, and are thorough and thoughtful.
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA
  • IFSA requires students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in their programs.
  • This program has a required advising session (30 minutes) as part of the application process. Please visit our home page to schedule an advising appointment.

Additional Requirements for Internship

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • 1 year of College-level Chinese is recommended, but not required
  • Strong resume, cover letter, and successful internship interview
  • Prerequisites: INB Students must have completed at least one of the following courses: INB 337, INB 365, INB 372
  • Some majors have specific course pre-requisites for the internship; contact your faculty advisor or International Programs for more information.

How to Apply

Fall 2023 *Due to COVID-19 the Fall 2023 program has been canceled.*

Program Start Date: Mid-August 2023
Program End Date: Mid-December 2023


Spring 2023 *Due to COVID-19 the Spring 2023 program has been canceled.*

Program Start Date: Early February, 2023
Program End Date: Late May, 2023


Students are responsible for booking their own flights. Round-trip airfare from Orlando is estimated at $1600.  IFSA will provide students with specific arrival information so that students can take advantage of the arranged airport pick-up.


Rollins students will participate in a two or three day orientation with other IFSA program participants that includes: an introduction to the program, meeting your Chinese language and area studies professors, an overview of the academic program and expectations, a Chinese language placement test for students who have previously studied Chinese, information about program policies (academic, student conduct), health, safety and security tips and information, individual meetings with your Resident Director, information about experiencing and coping with cultural shock, tours of the campus, neighborhood and city; a cultural performance, and a meeting with your Chinese language partners.


A visa is required for US citizens.  IFSA will provide students with instructions for the visa process, which is generally done through a visa processing agent. For general information about the visa process and visas for non-US citizens, see our Passports and Visas Page.

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE)

The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE), founded in 1917, is a top-ranked, world-renowned research university. SUFE, home to 24,000 students on two campuses, has recently been selected as one of the "21st Century's Key Universities in China."

The program uses classrooms and residence halls at SUFE and students have access to the campus facilities and services. The courses are not SUFE courses but rather these are designed for the students in the abroad program. Many of the program faculty are SUFE faculty. Chinese language courses are held near the IFSA office, rather than on the SUFE campus. 


Chinese Language Courses: in general, students will take 6 credits of Chinese language on this program.  However, students with no background in Chinese language may opt to take the Essential Chinese language course for 1 credit during the first few weeks of the program. The intensive introductory seminar to contemporary Chinese language and culture includes practicing in the city to gain essential skills to communicate effectively and navigate in a new culture.

Students may also opt to do the Chinese language intensive program, which requires two prior semesters of Chinese and is an entirely language-focused program (students must sign a language pledge to only use Chinese during the time abroad). Students on the language intensive program are encouraged to select the homestay option to help develop a more intimate understanding Chinese language and culture.

IFSA Courses: in addition to the Chinese language course students will also choose one of the following IFSA core courses depending on their chosen track:

Students will then choose their additional courses from the array of other IFSA courses.  See below for links to course titles, descriptions and full syllabi. 

Transfer of Credit

Students on the program will take Chinese language, one of the two IFSA core courses, and at least one other IFSA course for a total of 12-15 credits.  IP recommends that students interested in and qualified for the internship course take a lower number of total credits in order to accommodate the hours spent at and commuting to/from the internship site. Students participating on this program will need to seek the appropriate departmental approval for all major/minor requirements and approval for General Education Requirements through Student Records. All courses on this program appear on the Rollins transcript as transfer credits and the grades are factored into the Rollins GPA. Students who successfully complete this program through Rollins will receive an official transcript from Butler University. It can take up to 3 months to receive the official transcript.

Faculty and Staff

IFSA Shanghai staff includes a Resident Director, Student Services Manager and Program Assistant-plus a Language Director and several language instructors - all based at their Program Center. Program faculty come from various universities across Shanghai, primarily SUFE and Fudan University, to teach exclusively for IFSA students. Student support and program logistics are organized by IFSA staff members, who are available to assist with any student issues or concerns on-site.


Students will live in newly renovated international student dorms on SUFE's campus, which is 15 minutes walking distance from the IFSA Shanghai office and SUFE campus classrooms. Each student will live in a shared apartment with other international students and will have a private bedroom. Students may be placed with a Chinese roommate in the campus housing. Each apartment includes two bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and four furnished bedrooms with a desk, closet space, and a remote control heating/air-conditioning unit. The bedrooms also include sheets, pillows, and a comforter. Towels are not provided. The furnished common areas include table and chairs, and a refrigerator. There is a public laundry room with washers and dryers in the building downstairs. Please note that no kitchen utensils or other supplies are provided. Internet is available in each apartment for purchase based on usage. 

Students on the Chinese Language Intensive Program are encouraged to select the homestay option.


There is no meal plan provided on this program. Students can choose to cook meals in the apartment kitchens or eat out. There are a variety of inexpensive restaurants near the housing, including some just outside the Program Centre. It's quite easy to purchase a full meal for less than $10 and breakfast and lunch can often be as low as $2. There are also Western style restaurants and bars about a 20 minute walk from the housing. As part of the orientation program, students are introduced to some of the local restaurants and learn how to order in a Chinese restaurant (including key terms for reading menus!).

Students on the Chinese Language Intensive Program who choose the homestay will have breakfast and dinner provided during the week. Lunches and weekend meals are not included.


IFSA organizes a one-week field study trip for students during the fall and spring semesters. Destinations may vary but usually include Yunnan or Qinghai province. Through exposure to China's social, economic, and geographic diversity, as well as regional and ethnic inflexions to the Chinese language that has been a focus of their studies, students gain a richly textured sense of the many realities that exist within China.

Students also have a free week for independent travel and past students have explored other parts of China or traveled to other countries in Asia including Thailand and Japan.


Throughout the semester, students are invited to take part in a full schedule of excursions, events, and lectures- all designed to enhance their understanding of China and the historical and modern influences that impact its culture and people. Students explore the famous Yuyuan Park, the historic Bund along the Huangpu River, and the former French concession. During the week, IFSA arranges cultural performances, museum visits, special lectures, visits to artists' studios, architectural walking tours, dumpling cooking, Tai Chi lessons, and many opportunities to meet locals, including students from other campuses.  There is also a language table, a Chinese buddy program, and students are encouraged to and can join any of the SUFE student clubs and orgs which are great places to interact with Chinese students.

Activities Related to Program Tracks: 

Additional activities are connected to the program tracks and core courses.  For example, students on the Public Health rack will attend clinic visits, TCM workshops, and professional healthcare-related events, and students on the Business track will have an opportunity to visit companies and business in Shanghai.

Things to Consider

Non-Asian students, especially BIPOC, may experience stares and heightened curiosity from locals. Make sure to check the resources available on the IP Your Identity Abroad page. 

Although there are no legal restrictions on same-sex relationships attitudes toward members of the LGBTQIA+ community vary. Make sure to check the US Department of State LGBTI Travelers page and ILGA Sexual Orientation Laws in the World for more information and other resources on the IP Your Identity Abroad page. 

Students with mobility disabilities may find accessibility and accommodations different from the United States. Check the US Department of State Travelers with Disabilities and specific to the country, Mobility International USA, and the IP Your Identity Abroad page for resources.

Program Fee

The program fee is equal to Rollins College tuition and fees, and room for one semester. Most Rollins financial aid and scholarships will apply to the semester abroad.

  • Tuition: Standard Rollins tuition
  • Room: $4,740.00  


Tuition and administration, visa, housing, airport pickup, Chinese language books, cell phone, full medical and emergency insurance, orientation, and excursions and activities.

Does not include

  • Airfare from Orlando: $1,600 (estimate)
  • Visa fee: $260 (interns pay an additional $170) (all costs are estimates)
  • Cost for all meals: $1,800 (estimate) 
  • Personal expenses and local transportation: $1200 (estimate)
  • Souvenirs, entertainment and independent travel: Costs will vary but an average estimate is $1000 - $1,600
  • Travel/Property insurance (if desired): Costs will vary


Scholarships based on financial need are available to off-set costs associated with international airfare and other costs associated with study abroad. Students can apply for scholarships through the Rollins program application. Students can also apply for additional scholarships through the IFSA website.

Living and Working

Having a credit card while abroad is very helpful. China has a lower cost of living as compared to the United States.