Youth For Understanding USA
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What kind of exchange experience do you want?
I want to spend a all program lengths  studying in China, or maybe all regions. And I'm looking for something with a traditional exchange  and I definitely want to show off my need for  any language skills. Can I go whenever?
  • All around the world.

    all regions
    Africa & Middle East
    Asia & Pacific
    Eastern Europe
    Latin America
    Scandinavian Countries
    Western Europe
    North America
  • Pick a place, any place.

    Say what?

    Any language requirements?

     Any  Yes  No
  • What I'm into.

    a traditional exchange
    a gap year option
    college & university programs
    language classes
    a connection to the Arts
    sports & outdoors
    a volunteer program
  • How long I want to go.

    All program lengths

    When can I leave?

    May to September
    December to March
Show me my options >


Scholarships Available

7 - Epson America, Inc. Internationa...
385 - Holcomb & Farnell Foreign Stud...
368 - YFU Community Grant
384 - YFU Financial Aid Fund

Age Requirement

Summer Departures: July 01, 2001 - June 30, 2004. Fall Departures: September 30, 2001 - July 2004. University Program: July 31, 1989 - July 31, 2001. Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. University program: July 31, 1889 - July 31, 2001


Mandarin Chinese. Mandarin Chinese and English. There is no language requirement, but Mandarin Chinese practice is encouraged and expected. There will also be a compulsory two-week Chinese language and culture course for year and semester students. This course is included in the program tuition. Summer students are only required to know Chinese basics.

Host Family Placement

Students are typically placed are in urban and suburban areas of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Shenzhen and Shenyang. However, students should be prepared to live in any region of the country.


School is in session from early September to late June.


Two optional cultural trips will be offered to students throughout the year. In the beginning of October, students will have the opportunity to take a trip to Beijing and experience all that the largest city in the world has to offer. In late June, students will be offered an optional trip to Yunnan. Semester students will be able to take advantage of whichever trip is offered during their program. Trips are subject to change.


Martial arts, table tennis, swimming, basketball, soccer, badminton, music and visiting galleries, museums, and theaters.

Discover China and get an in-depth view of the amazing history, culture and society of this ancient civilization! Welcome to High School and University students.
Learn more about China.

Summer Program

Discover China: Beijing & Shanghai

The 4-week adventure in China begins with a short arrival orientation, where you will get an introduction to the country, customs, and lifestyles. You'll experience true Chinese daily life by living with a host family and your language skills will be strengthened while you communicate with your host family members!


While staying in Beijing, you will spend the morning enjoying Chinese cultural classes including language instruction, art, martial arts, and sports. In the afternoons you will have free time or will take part in activities organized by YFU China. Students will have a chance to see places of interest in Beijing such as the Great Wall, Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace during one full-day excursion each week!


After three and a half weeks in Beijing, you will have the chance to travel to Shanghai for a 3-day cultural tour. Famous sites that YFU students visit may include People's Square, Shanghai Pudong New area, Binjiang Park, Oriental Pearl Tower, and the Shanghai Museum. You may walk along Huangpu River in the evening and take in a view of the Bund. After the exciting cultural tour, students will return to the US from Shanghai.


Note to Educators: This program is also available for school and youth groups through YFU's Classroom Excursions program. 


Academic Year and Semester Programs

During your time in China, you will live with a host family and attend a local Chinese high school. Part of your experience will be:

School: YFU USA students to China will be placed in grade 10 or 11 in either a regular high school or a technical and vocational high school depending on their Chinese ability. Chinese schools typically have strict rules for their students, and they have requirements on students' physical appearance (no piercings, no long hair for boys, and no perm for girls.) Physical education is highly encouraged. In many subjects contests are organized annually in all levels to encourage students' study. Examinations are designed separately for science and arts students.


Orientations: All students applying for the semester or year program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation which takes place in mid-July. This orientation is a required part of the program aimed at preparing students for their experience overseas. All students will participate in a one-day local pre-departure orientation in May or June. Upon arrival in China, students will attend a 3-day arrival orientation and cultural tour in Beijing. After the orientation, you will travel to stay with your permanent host family and have an intensive 2-week Chinese language and culture course. During your mid-year orientation, you will stay at a local hotel or with a host family and enjoy a cultural and historical tour of the area. Your year will be capped off with a re-entry orientation prior to your return to the US. All orientation costs are included in the program tuition.


Special program offers: Students will have the option to participate in one or two self-paid trips during their time in China. These trips usually take place in October and June, and it typically lasts about 5 days. The trips may include museum tours, a visit to a famous site in Beijing, and visits to the provincial capital of Kunming to learn about the local minority group. Trips are subject to change


Optional Excursions: Two optional cultural trips will be offered to students throughout the year. In the beginning of October, students will have the opportunity to take a trip to Beijing and experience all that the largest city in the world has to offer. In late June, students will be offered an optional trip to Yunnan. Semester students will be able to take advantage of whichever trip is offered during their program. These cultural trips will cost an additional fee ranging from $350-$650. The optional trips are subject to change.


University Program:

The university program is perfect for students who wish to pursue further education in China. This program offers bachelors, masters and PHD programs to eligible students. Students will be placed in a Chinese University and live in a Dormitory with the other University students. Orientations, cultural trips, and tuition inclusions are all in accordance with the High School academic programs. 


Tuition Includes:

-Placement with a carefully selected host family
-Enrollment in a local Chinese high school (excluding summer students)
-Airport transfers
-Domestic and international travel
-All pre-departure and post-arrival orientations and language camps
-Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
-Support from a YFU China area representative while on program
-Comprehensive Insurance

Additional Information 

Visa Information: Information regarding visas and other immigration processes will be provided upon enrollment. 


Additional Costs: Program tuition does not include personal spending money or school-related costs such as books and school trips. 


Important Information: Please understand that summer to China programs are subject to cancellation if the minimum of 10 YFU students is not met. YFU students include American applicants as well as other international YFU applicants.  


Programs Code Departure Return Full Tuition
Fall Year
University Fall Year

0879 *
1632 *

late August
late August

late June
late June

Fall Semester

1217 *

mid August

late January


1054 *

mid July

early August


* Programs also available to graduates