Asian Studies

About the Year Abroad

The Year Abroad is a wonderful opportunity to spend a lengthy period of time living in a Chinese-speaking environment.

Many of our students have studied at Dalian University of Technology (DUT), located in the city of Dalian in the North East of China, in Liaoning Province. The department of Asian Studies has a special agreement with DUT, and students also have the possibility to stay with a local family. The School of International Cultural Exchange at DUT is responsible for making accommodation arrangements, whether you choose to rent a room with a local family or stay in the University's halls of residence.

Take me to the Dalian University of Technology website

Students can also apply to spend the Year Abroad at the following universities in China and Taiwan:

Peking University

Fudan University

Zhejiang University

National Chengchi University

 I went from being terrified to at ease, a development that should not be sold short. The most important thing about living far away from home, in a foreign place, is to take care of oneself. I am happy to say that Shanghai is a fantastic city - very much an old city and very much a new one as well. In some ways it’s more modern than Europe.

Nina Lotze, Chinese and Economics MA (Hons)Nina studied at Fudan University in Shanghai, China in 2017-2018

Structure of the Year Abroad

The university year in China has two semesters: the first semester in Dalian lasts from late August to early January, the second from late February to early July. Other universities will have similar semester dates.

During the first week your host university will assess your level and allocate you to a class accordingly. In DUT there are five levels: 1 (beginners) to 5 (advanced). It takes one semester to advance to the next level. Typically, Edinburgh students in the past have been placed in level 3 upon arrival, some in level 4.

The classes are conducted solely in Chinese and are composed of circa 16 students per class. There are four elements to the course: grammar, listening, reading and oral. In addition you can also sit in a variety of courses, including classical chinese and calligraphy. The total contact hours amounts to 25 hours per week on average.

There are assessments at the end of every term and coursework throughout, including oral presentations and written papers on a weekly basis. During this year you will also have to produce two written essays for The University of Edinburgh as part of the Chinese Literature 3 course. Alternatively, you can choose to take a credit bearing e-learning course (The First Emperor) as part of Chinese History 3, to maintain contact with fellow students and teachers at the University of Edinburgh.