Since Fall 2000, the UW has participated in a direct exchange with Sichuan University located in the city of Chengdu. This program is open to students from all majors on the UW campus.
Students who are interested in a program in China that offers more than the typical language programs should consider the UW-Sichuan program, which provides a rich and interdisciplinary set of experiences. Some features of the program include:
- A focus on undergraduate research
- A close-knit community, including UW and SU professors and students
- One-on-one work with professors as an undergraduate
- Come courses offered in English on the SU campus
- Intensive Chinese language instruction, from beginning level to very advanced
- Premier research opportunities: for example, a remote rural village that has been the subject of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research for over two decades (Yangjuan) and a major national park in the eastern Himalayas (Jiuzhaigou).
Our program accepts students at a variety of academic levels, and with a variety of majors and career goals. You can join the program as sophomores, juniors or seniors. One year Chinese language is required. Many students choose to satisfy this requirement by taking the first year intensive Chinese during the summer, prior to their departure for Chengdu.
Our program has received many honors and awards, including:
- An award from the US Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education
- An award from the Chinese Ministry of Education, which designated it a "national key project in higher education reform"
- Multiple awards from the US National Science Foundation, and the Natural Science Foundation of China
- Two $1000 awards from the UW Library Research Award for Undergraduates
- Numerous Mary Gates Undergraduate Awards
Preparation for Research
During the Spring Quarter before students leave for China, our Program Director, Professor Stevan Harrell, works with all our students to help them develop a research proposal and plan. The research that has been done by students in this program represent a wide range of interests and disciplines.
For those wishing to participate in this exchange starting in Fall 2012, please apply to our program by March 2, 2012.
This program operates as a direct exchange. This means you pay regular UW tuition while your counterpart at Sichuan University pays their tuition and you trade places for the year. The cost of living in Chengdu is about 1/3 of the price in Seattle so you can live for quite a bit cheaper during your year or half year abroad. You will be required to pay for your airplane ticket to China. You also can use your financial aid towards participation in this program.
Besides being able to take intensive Chinese language classes, there are a variety of courses taught in English that our students take ranging from the humanities to science. All course work taken will transfer to the UW for credit.
Length of Exchange
This exchange is for 2 quarters or for 3 quarters. Students generally leave around August 21st or 22nd and return in July for the 3 quarter exchange, or return in February for the 2 quarter exchange. (Sichuan University is on the semester system.) If you are interested in going to Chengdu on exchange for a shorter period to study Chinese only, then you should consider the summer program offered by Asian Languages and Literature department. Please visit their website.
Email the program manager, Laurie Stephan to set up an informational meeting to learn more about the program.
If you are interested in the possibility of spending up to a year in China, while earning UW credit, preparing yourself for a variety of exciting professional career paths, and having a unique experience, you should consider the UW-Sichuan Program.
For more information on research being done in the village of Yangjuan, visit this website: http://faculty.washington.edu/stevehar/yangjuanuw.html
Students have constructed a Wiki, an open forum in guidebook form, that UW students can browse for more detailed information on their experiences in Chengdu. Wiki link: https://depts.washington.edu/uwww/uwsichuan/wiki/index.php?title=Guidebook_for_UW_Students