Office of International Programs

China: IFSA Shanghai

The Rollins Shanghai program, offered through the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), introduces students to China and its complex language and culture.

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.

Application Information

Requirements for Admission

  • 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 3.0 GPA

Additional Requirements for Internship

  • Juniors and seniors
  • 1 yr of College-level Chinese is recommended, but not required
  • Strong resume and cover letter, and successful internship interview
  • Some majors have specific course pre-requisites for the internship; contact your faculty advisor or International Programs for more information.


  • Spring 2020 Deadline: September 30, 2019
  • Fall 2020 Deadline: March 6, 2020

How to Apply

Program Calendar

Fall 2019

  • Aug 21: Arrival Date
  • Aug 22 - 25: Orientation
  • Aug 26: First Day of Classes
  • Sept 28 - Oct 6: Independent Travel Break
  • Nov 4 - 8: Rollins Excursion
  • Dec 13: Classes End
  • Dec 14: Program End Date

Spring 2020

  • Feb 5: Program Start Date
  • May 30: Program End Date

Getting There


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 more information about the visa process and visas for non-US citizens, see our Passports and Visas Page.

Academic Information

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, with a core focus on applied economics and management and offering majors in law, philosophy, as well as humanities. SUFE, home to 24,000 students on two campuses, has recently been selected as one of the "21st Century's Key Universities in China." It is the number one ranked finance and economics university in China.

The program uses classrooms 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. 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 a less-intensive Chinese language course for 4 credits. Those doing the public health track will take the 4 credit course. 

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). 

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.  All courses are three credits; however, INB majors who wish to enroll in the internship for major credit may opt to do a 4-credit internship.

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 12-17 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. 

Transfer of Credit

Chinese language, content and internship courses taught through IFSA will be transcripted through Butler University. 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 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.

Housing & Meals


Students will live in newly renovated international student dorms on SUFE's campus, which is 15 minutes walking distance from the IFSA Shanghai office (located in the Tonghe Student Village) 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. 


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 housing complex. There are also Western style restaurants and bars in just a 10-15 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!).

Student Activities


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.

Yunnan province in southwestern China offers China's most diverse ethnic minority population, stunning scenery, and a rich history. Students gain deep insight into Yunnan's local culture and artistic heritage. They have the opportunity to experience urban life in Kunming, visit small Yi and Miao minority villages, and hike in the gorgeous, mountainous areas of this province. Participants of the trip may also explore the great nature beauty of the Stone Forest, the rainforest of Xishuangbanna, or participate in an extensive encounter with the Bai minority culture in the ancient town of Dali. Located on the Tibetan Plateau, Qinhai is considered one of the most beautiful regions in China. Students may visit Ta'er Monastery, one of the six most famous Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world, travel to Qinhai Lake, the largest salt water lake in China and one of China's best bird watching sites, or explore the ancient tombs of Liuwan. Students behold the breathtaking scenery, witness the contrast in development in the region versus the coast, and gain a deeper understanding of Qinhai's minority nationalities.


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 extra-curricular classes which may include cultural performances, museum visits, special lectures, visits to artists' studios, architectural walking tours, and many opportunities to meet locals, including students from other campuses. Specific activities for future terms are subject to change. In the past, special lectures topics have included “Adapting to China’s Business and Financial Practices” and “Art, Economics, and Shanghai’s Urban Redevelopment Politics”. 

Public Health

Co-curricular activities enhance students' understanding of China and the historical and modern influences that impact its culture and people. Students may learn to make Shanghainese dumplings, take tai chi lessons, and more. On this program, additional opportunities exist to attend clinic visits, TCM workshops, and professional healthcare-related events.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Course: At least one field visit related to TCM is included as part of the course, for example a visit to a TCM hospital in Shanghai. Six distinct TCM treatment demonstration sessions augment this course and are built into the course schedule.   

There is also a language table, the Chinese buddy program called Project Penyou, 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.



Program Fee

The program fee is equal to Rollins College tuition and fees, and room for one semester. 

  • Tuition: Standard Rollins tuition
  • Room: $4,250.00


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: $1,870 (estimate) 
  • Internet access: based on usage
  • Personal expenses and course materials: $800 (estimate)
  • Souvenirs, entertainment and independent travel: Costs will vary but an average estimate is $800 - $1,600
  • Travel/Property insurance (if desired): Costs will vary

Need-Based Scholarships

Scholarships based on financial need are available to off-set costs associated with international airfare, and, in exceptional cases, other costs associated with study abroad.  Students apply for scholarships through the normal program application.


Advising is offered on a walk-in basis: Tuesday-Thursday from 12:30pm - 2:30pm during the normal semester. If you are unable to make it at these times, email, call or stop by to set up an appointment. We can also put you in touch with student program alumni who would be happy to share their experience with you. You may also want to review our blog site to see what past students have said about their adventures on this program.

Please Note: This program has a required advising session (30 mins) as part of the application process. Please email to schedule an appointment. Walk-in advising is for informational purposes only.